Municipal solid waste, as the phrase implies, refers to the trash that has definite form and does not dissolve in water or evaporate/sublimate into the air. It is basically the garbage you see in most places. It consists of discarded plastics, paper, bottles, product packaging, electronic devices, personal care products, and more. It is arguably the most common example of pollution, but its impact is not only evident on land. It can also mire bodies of water or drainage systems. It also becomes part of air pollution as they are burned improperly or left to decay, producing foul smells.
What’s more alarming about municipal solid waste is the health and safety risks it poses. It can contaminate underground water reserves and foster the spread of diseases.
There are many types of garbage that are considered health hazards. The waste materials from factories, for example, can contain dangerous chemicals. Electronic devices, such as batteries and fluorescent lamps can contain toxic substances. Discarded paints, cleaning products, insecticides, pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides similarly contain potentially harmful compounds. These can seep into the ground and contaminate groundwater. If disposed of into rivers, they can reach reservoirs for water that may be used for human consumption.
To properly get rid of waste materials that contain contaminants, there are procedures or methods to follow. Not all junk removal service providers are knowledgeable in these methods. It’s essential to find companies that have the right expertise and experience. If you are in Boca Raton, Florida or nearby areas, you need to look for Boca Raton junk removal companies such as Evergreen Junk Removal that have a track record in handling hazardous waste.
Spreading of diseases
Another critical concern regarding municipal solid waste is its potential role in the spread of diseases. Biomedical or hospital waste, in particular, is a serious cause for concern. If not disposed of appropriately, it can propagate infectious diseases and spread them. Used bandages, dressings, cotton, gloves, syringes, needles, lancets, as well as removed body parts can carry disease-causing microorganisms. If they don’t, they can serve as breeding grounds for other bacteria or viruses.
Moreover, even ordinary garbage can create problems. It can support the proliferation of unwanted and illness-inducing microorganisms. It can then attract flies and other pests that can become carriers of diseases. Stray animals or the wind can scatter improperly disposed of garbage. If thrown into water systems, it can also introduce diseases into larger areas and similarly contaminate tap water.
Children and older people are the ones most easily affected by the health risks associated with poor municipal solid waste management. The hazards range from common infections to chronic diseases. These include skin and blood problems, eye and respiratory infections, gastrointestinal disorders, chronic respiratory illnesses, and even cancer. There have been studies that link some cancers to frequent exposure to hazardous chemicals.
The term “municipal solid waste” in a way helps make the garbage problem sound more serious. Regardless, what’s important is to acknowledge the fact that improper waste management has serious consequences, mainly water contamination and the spread of diseases.