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Risks Associated With Poor Management of Solid Waste

Poor management of solid waste can cause severe health damage to a society. Some major risks associated with poor management of  solid waste are described in brief in the below table.


Risks of Poor Management of Solid Waste


Breeding ground for disease carriersRats, flies, mosquitoes, cockroaches, pigs, birds and other disease vectors breed in open dumps, waste storage facilities, piles of rotten refuse etc.
Spread of disease by animals and other vectors, and foodAbove vectors transmit disease and pathogenic bacteria from waste to the households; consumption of meat from animals eating infected waste.
Spread of diseases by direct contactNeighborhoods, waste workers, scavengers in developing countries are in direct contact with waste (in case of organized handling, there is a risk of accident). People using recycled materials are also in direct contact with infected materials.
Air pollutionPoor management of solid waste such as fine grained materials, pathogens, decomposition of waste generating greenhouse gases and other gases, dust and smoke from burning, etc. cause pollution at transfer station, communal bins, dumping sites.
Contaminated waterLeachate and precipitation (may contain metals, organic pollutants, hazardous substance, etc.) from waste piles and open or inadequately protected disposal sites contaminate surface and ground water.
Fire riskPiles of waste and gas generated by these present a fire risk which is another form of poor management of solid waste
Connection to other servicesBlockage of drains and sewers increase workloads to those services.
Environmental pollutionOverall environmental degradation due to contamination of air, water and soil environment via gaseous emission, particulate matter, ash, leachate, piles of unwanted materials,etc.