Tuesday, 25 January, 2022

Stop haphazard waste disposal

Stop haphazard waste disposal

With unplanned rapid urbanisation, the waste generation rate is increasing in the entire world, including Bangladesh where sustainable waste management has been a low priority for years creating serious health and environmental consequences. The scenario has not changed much even in the present time when people are becoming more health-conscious and the government is reaffirming its commitment to reduce environmental pollution. The same old waste management system that is actually nothing but the haphazard disposal of waste in the capital, as well as the entire country, is serving mostly as a breeding ground for vectors of different diseases and polluting the environment with its by-product, methane.

According to the lead news published in this daily yesterday, the city corporations and municipalities of the country, including two city corporations of the capital, Gazipur City Corporation and Sreemangal Municipality in Moulvibazar District, are collecting solid waste from households in the cheapest way possible and dumping it beside rivers, canals, roads and even in residential areas, without considering the aftermath— environmental degradation i.e., water, soil and air pollution, along with several public health risks. Surface, as well as groundwater, is contaminated by the current waste management system. They even set up Secondary Transfer Stations (STSs) in floodplains, near water bodies and housing predominated areas, which are considered as restricted areas for dumping waste in many countries of the developed world.

The waste management system in the country is in complete disarray because of the absence of rules for it. That the country fails to formulate laws regarding waste management despite holding many meetings in this regard since 2007 is nothing but the callousness of the authorities concerned towards the issue. While some countries are using thermal treatment, biological treatment, land filling with energy recovery and recycling waste management options to reduce pollution and get economic benefits, we fail to understand the importance of proper waste management.

However, proper management of solid waste is a must to keep our country liveable at present time, as well as to face the challenges in the future. Taking steps to compost organic waste and recycle the inorganic portions can be a way out to reduce a significant amount of landfill load and decrease environmental pollution. These steps should be taken as soon as possible since the waste generation rate will continue to increase in the country with time.