People in most households and businesses do not give their trash a second thought once a waste management company picks it up. However, the current state of landfills in the United States and other industrialized nations requires a significant change in consumer habits and the way they think about trash.
Waste management companies have stepped up to the challenge of making the collection and recycling process more efficient by introducing new technology. Congress has also gotten involved by passing more environmentally friendly legislation.
This blog highlights some recent changes and advancements in the future of waste management. All together, more attention on this issues spells good news for the earth.
Improved Trash Collection Technology
To prevent individual trash containers from overflowing or people accumulating waste because they have no place to put it, some waste management companies have implemented sensor technology.
A sensor placed under the lid of the trash container automatically alerts the waste management company responsible for collection to service that container. Other companies have started using improved screening technology that allows workers to separate recyclable material according to type more efficiently.
Upgrades in Precious Metal Processing
The automotive and chemical industries are highly dependent on precious metals to manufacture products. New plasma arc technology allows workers to recover most of the metal from a non-functioning vehicle. Those metals can then be recycled. While this can be a dangerous job, the technology also makes precious metals available to a wider spectrum of industries and eliminates the need for iron ore mining.
Corporations Are Becoming More Environmentally Responsible
Consumer awareness of their own carbon footprint is on the rise. As a result, consumers put more pressure on the companies they do business with. They want to support businesses who demonstrate corporate social responsibility.
It’s easy enough for businesses to claim they are doing things differently. But today’s consumers look for results and demand accountability.
Today’s corporations understand that they must take these concerns seriously if they hope to keep their customer base. Two areas that have undergone significant change in recent years are industrial waste reduction and supply line efficiency. Companies are also making a more conscious effort to manufacture new products with recycled materials whenever possible.
How The World Bank is Helping to Finance Environmental Initiatives
The United States is far from the only country impacted by the growing accumulation of consumer and corporate waste. According to The World Bank, 90 percent of dumping or burning of the world’s waste takes place in countries with lower average incomes. That leaves poor people most vulnerable to the health consequences of living near waste dumps. Here are just some of the effects the organization has noted:
- Contagious disease transmission
- Increased respiratory problems due to burning trash
- Illness and death of animals from eating garbage
Besides the health impact, countries with significant waste accumulation issues have seen a decrease in tourism revenue. The World Bank also reports that one-third of the two billion tons of trash generated annually does not go through a proper disposal process.
Tackling the world’s waste and landfill problem takes significant resources. Therefore, the World Bank is partnering with government officials from local to national levels and corporations. Together, they are working to raise money to implement solutions.
Since its launch in 2000, the organization has provided more than $4.7 billion dollars to 340 waste reduction and management programs across the world. With funding and innovation, the future of waste management looks bright.