The negative impact of garbage and waste in our environment, health and economy are one of the most significant concerns every country is facing today. Inadequate waste management gives an overwhelming pressure on communities to carefully plan the disposal of their waste and garbage. To address this problem, easy to implement, but advance waste management strategies with a measurable outcome is needed. In this article, we will show you how communities took bold steps in ensuring a sustainable and efficient solution to waste management problems.

Identify every low-hanging fruit in the tree

In 2011, Merafong City local municipality faced a big problem of disposing at least 100,000 tons of waste and garbage from 35,000 households and businesses around the city. They met many issues including:

Torn and open garbage bags that can cause spillage of toxic and non-toxic wastes. It is unhygienic and dangerous if these wastes go to water streams, it can cause severe consequences in people’s health. Not to mention the problem of flies and unpleasant odors bought about by unattended garbage. Another problem when dealing with waste management is the work conditions issues of the people handling these garbage including the risk of injuries like sprains from heavy lifting, cuts and bruises from sharp objects. The point is, using garbage bags gives more problem than a solution to this issue. To address the problem, many rubbish removal companies recommended people to switch from using plastic bags to trolley bins. When faced with complex problems, the best solution sometimes is the simplest but can deliver useful and significant gains. Apart from solving the issues above, cities that employ these waste management strategies experienced a substantial decline in health issues and costs both for employees and materials.  Not only that, it gives additional revenue for the city or the municipality by selling additional wheelie bins to all the members of the said community. Eradicating the use of plastic bags can also spread awareness among residents on how it can affect our environment and our health. It gives them an idea of how responsible waste management can help reduce plastics in the landfill and can result in reduced carbon footprint according to studies conducted by CarbonFootprint, a company that studies CO2 reduction and climate change.

Better garbage collection service

Many communities face garbage collection problems. Let’s admit it, collecting trash is the most important, but rarely prioritized aspect of waste management. The main problem is how to deliver the collection bins in the waste collection area. The solution lies in the effective dissemination of information among households. Several factors should be considered such as geographical area (location, distance to the waste disposing site, population and transfer station), potential growth of the community and the population’s resource allocation. The waste disposal unit should assess the risk areas, the cost, and problems faced during collection by randomly collecting waste in specific areas. After conducting experiments, the community can now come into conclusion how they can properly manage their waste with the optimal result by calculating the factors like numbers of garbage trucks required to collect all wastes, waste generated per area and distance to the disposing site. Proper mapping of the area can also ensure that the equipment, resources and workforce are properly and effectively utilized.

There are benefits we can get when the waste route system is planned correctly. Collection of garbage will be eradicated. No more stagnant waste lying around that can cause an infestation of flies and rotting smell. Missed collection in some areas of drivers will also be addressed. Distance from household to the collection point to the disposal area will also be reduced, and chances of truck collection breakdowns will be minimized, thus reducing the cost of fuel and lessen the carbon footprint. Productivity is also improved since the waste collection service will be maximized by implementing additional work shift every day. Equipment as well as the manpower will be used effectively and minimize the overtime by collectors. Morale would be high with workers since they can go home early if they completed their route every shift. The most critical improvement when the garbage disposal system is improved is the customer satisfaction. A well-organized system can make residents satisfied and complaints received will be minimized. On top of that, any problems with the system can be identified early, and preventive measures will be implemented even before the problem can reach the critical stage.