Waste management is the answer to the waste disaster in the developing and developed urban cities all over the world, due to the unpredicted growth of these urban areas, the growth of waste production has increased but in the recent years, statistics has shown that waste collection has reduced a great deal increasing pollution in the modern cities as household and industrial waste are produced in a year, in a study conducted in Zimbabwe, it was concluded that urban waste collection did drop from 80% to 30% in a period of less than two decades. This has led to a widespread of open dumping site affecting the environment negatively and increasing the health risk to the residence of the area. These dumping sites are fertile breeding sites for dangerous animals to the health of human beings; animals that find these dumping sites favorable to their survival include housefly, rodents and other vector that are capable of spreading and causing illness. Illnesses that are common in these areas include fever, cholera, dysentery, malaria and other diseases. Pollution these areas are found to be in both the air, land and water as the smell in these environments are always unbearable as the leachate from these sites do sip in the underground water polluting it as plastics and other spillage pollute land. (Folianto, pp 1-2, 2015)
However, there are strategies that are kept across in managing various waste productions and have been assimilated by governments to solve this problem. Technology has played an important role in mitigating waste production, educating the masses and training them has helped in improving the management of waste thus improving the health of individuals, local government and the central government is working with its locals to improve waste management.
Waste management has been a developing challenge to both the community, local and central governments. In Australia, waste management is a sector that has been fully focused on in order to ensure that its citizens are in good health and in a productive environment. There are various strategies that are put across by the central government to mitigate the waste production and this includes educating the masses, putting collection points in random places in major cities and towns. Refuse trucks are to be made available by the government, a loader and compactor trucks are to be readily available. In this paper, I will analyze the waste management of New Town, a suburb of Hobart city, one of the major capital cities of Australia with a population of 240,342 people and was established in 1804 February in the state of Tasmania that is the least populated state in Australia’s capital cities and is assumed to be the second smallest territory after the Northern Territory.
The suburb of new town is found four kilometers north of the city’s central business district and is among the oldest suburbs of the city and it serves as the city’s residential suburb currently. The town has a well education system that entails two single sex public school, New Town High school for boys and Ogilvie High School for girls, the town has a campus that has over a thousand students and a primary school that is over a hundred years old, the New Town Primary School. Centro New Town plaza is the major shopping center that houses the Coles supermarket and several smaller specialty shops. New Town is known for its beautiful leafy streets that were flanked by the colonial federal government. The town has large residences houses that are scattered throughout the suburb and they were probably architected by the town’s known architects that include people like Thomas Atkinson the grandson of Mary Reibey and Henry Hunter, who are known to be the most prominent colonial architects.
In the suburb of New Town, Hobart, following the 2016 census statistics, there were 6,122 people living in the suburb with 49.1% being male and 50.9 of the population being female, 40% of the population were found to be people of median age, the Aboriginal and the Torres Strait Islanders were found to make up the 2% of the population. From the same statistics, there were 1,366 families with an average of 1.7 children per family; there were 2,904 private dwellings with an average of 2.1 people per house. The economic strength per house was estimated to $1,203 weekly income per house and a monthly mortgage repayment of $1,600. The weekly rent was estimated to be $240 and an average of 1.4 motor vehicles per household. From the population of the suburb, people aged 15 years and above, 37% were married and 13.6 of the same population were divorced or separated. There are at least 31 commercial properties for lease in the suburb of New Town and they are spread in a linear way along the major streets of the suburb to attract investor and to make the properties accessible to the general public.
The quantity of waste generated from houses all over the continent of Australia is estimated to be at 540 kilograms of waste of which more than half of these waste are avoidable. According to an article written by Clean Up Australia, it is estimated that the amount of waste that is produced in Australia per person in a year, is enough to fill the entire state of Victoria. Australians through edible food in the bin worth $8 billion every year. After a week in New Town suburb, garbage is always collected after a week’s accumulation. In the year 2017, Australia produced an estimation of 67 million tons of waste and 37% of this waste was recycled and 130,000 tons of plastic finds its way in the oceans every year. In New Town, it is estimated that the number of waste produced annually in terms of kilograms is at 3,305,880. It is estimated that in every household that there should be at least two bins that collect wastes and should by emptied every week according to the national waste management program to ensure that collection of waste from households is efficient (Pearson pp. 118-132, 2015).
Waste can range from solid to gaseous form, in material category according to the national waste management in Australia; the suburb of New Town generated an approximation of ten megatons of material waste annually. Material waste ranges from; masonry materials, metals, organic, paper and cardboard, plastic, textiles, leather and rubber, glass, hazardous, ash and other waste materials. Ash waste recorded the highest number of waste that is estimated to be at 60 million followed by other materials that are estimated to be at fifty million, masonry materials at forty five million, glass at forty three million, plastic at forty million, textile at thirty nine million, paper and cardboard at thirty eight million, organic materials at thirty seven million, metals at twenty three million and hazardous materials at eighteen million (Pearson pp. 118-152, 2015).
The collection frequency of waste materials in New Town with the estimated number of waste produced is at two times in a week in order to maintain the balance between recycling and maintaining a healthy environment. The route that is efficient with the collection of waste is with accordance with the waste produced by households in that, the starting point is where waste production is highest and the finishing point is where waste production is minimal, it is however noted that the starting point of collection is from the farthest point from the recycling company and the route is towards the management company. The size of the collection trucks can be different regarding the type of waste it collects as we can see from the above statistics on the quantity of waste produced (Oosthuizen pp. 393-500, 2018).
Waste processing varies with the type of waste that is being processed. The easiest waste processing being organic waste, can be processed by the agricultural composting program as organic waste materials can be composted. However, there are some guidelines in the composition of these wastes such as; the compost piles should be far from sensitive people and far from residential properties and should be protected from water sources and water runoff. Activities that are prone to release poor smell should be minimized to reduce negative impacts, these are just few requirements for organic waste composition. Metal waste can be crushed and shredded and reused for industrial purposes such as manufacturing of trucks and cars. Metals can be used to manufacture domestic items such as cutlery and crockery. The advantage of metal recycling is that it maintains its properties even after being recycled severally. Construction wastes vary from one material to the other, the best way of processing construction waste is majorly by reuse or recycling of the waste produced. Wastes from construction sites are mostly returned back to the manufacturing processes where products can be recycled, paper and cardboard wastes are majorly recycled and others burn them, recycling is the best option where they are taken to the recycling plant and they are made new again or converted to other paper related materials (Hsu pp. 919-950, 2019).
Glass waste is managed by recycling them by crushing and melting them into new materials, glass waste are first purified and cleaned of contamination before the recycling process begins. Hazardous waste is dangerous to the health of human beings hence governments tend to monitor them from the time they were created, transported, treated, stored until they are disposed. Before the disposal of hazardous waste, it is treated to minimize its effect to the environment; each hazardous waste has its guidelines in treatment, recycling and disposal. Ash is treated using different methods, dry or wet. Ash can be used in cement industries as raw materials or as binders for the utilization of the larger quantities of ash. Plastic wastes are usually recycled for reuse where they are chopped and washed then they are melted and broken down to other basic components. Plastics are majorly converted into fabric where they are downgraded into fabric and converted into clothes. Textile waste materials are also recycled into new end products that can be chemical end products, energy or clothing (Singhu pp. 619-630, 2019).
When recycling waste materials, there are many resources that can be recovered and they range from raw materials as we can see in ash waste or other end products as in the recycling of plastic. Energy can also be recovered as in the recycling of textile and rubber waste materials. When disposing off waste materials, there is need to establish what type of waste it is and how they are going to be disposed. Different type of waste should be disposed into different bins, recyclable waste are to be disposed into recycling bins and hazardous materials in hazardous bins so on and so forth. There are different waste disposal options and they include landfill which has a lot of disadvantage to the environment and health wise, the incineration process that is better as it can offer raw materials for cement companies, composting for organic wastes and vermicomposting where worms are used convert organic waste materials into humus-like materials that are environmental friendly (Ng pp. 248-262, 2019).
A processing center in waste management is ultimately influenced by the design of the buildings as it affects the efficiency of the waste collection program and its diversion rate. The transport of waste starts in the house holds, to bins, to trucks and later to recycling companies. Processing companies are always far from residential areas to avoid bad smell. The processing company needs a better reception for the trucks and large compounds for their packing.
Vermicomposting process is the selected disposal option when dealing with organic waste, it may be similar and confusing with compost option but they are differentiated by the use of earthworms to change these waste into vermicast. It can be as fast as the worms can ingest the waste and it can be in hours, this is one of the many advantages of vermicomposting over compost process as the process does not also have the difference in temperature be it exothermic or endothermic (Boruah p. 122147, 2019). Most of the labor force needed in the vermicomposting as it is in the compost process is done by the worms hence minimal human labor is needed, the setting up of this process is done in temperatures less than 40 degrees Celsius and one is good to go.
The triple bottom line approach is an approach where the interests of companies are on social and environmental concerns more than profits when it comes to companies. When recovering resources from waste products, one should consider the type of disposal option in mind. The better disposal option in resource recovery should have minimal environmental and social effects. For example, incineration of waste products can have minimal environmental and social effects and can generate a lot of resources in form of raw materials to cement companies. Recycling is another way of recovering resources as there is few to no environmental and social effects and there is a hundred percent resources recovery (Agrawal p. 104448, 2019).
From the above information, I would like to recommend that the local government in New Town to educate its residents in waste product segregation for proper waste management and resource recovery. I would also recommend that the government of Australia to minimize demolition of buildings to avoid ash waste as it is difficult to manage it. A lot of challenges are seen in the waste transport sector where there are poor transport trucks, longer distance with poor driving conditions and so forth, I would like the local government of Hobart city to work on this sector and improve the waste transportation hence its management.
Waste management is a challenging sector where if there is even a slight negligence, there will be a catastrophic result. The suburb of New Town in the city of Hobart Australia is on the forefront in the management of waste production as it has registered ten million tons of waste annually with household waste and construction waste registering high numbers. Vermicomposting is found to be the better option indisposing organic waste and recycling being the better option in recovering resources in waste production.
Agrawal, S. and Singh, R.K., 2019. Analyzing disposition decisions for sustainable reverse logistics: Triple Bottom Line approach. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 150, p.104448.
Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2017. Census of population and housing: Reflecting Australia—Stories from the census, 2016.
Boruah, T., Barman, A., Kalita, P., Lahkar, J. and Deka, H., 2019. Vermicomposting of citronella bagasse and paper mill sludge mixture employing Eisenia fetida. Bioresource technology, 294, p.122147.
Folianto, F., Low, Y.S. and Yeow, W.L., 2015, April. Smartbin: Smart waste management system. In 2015 IEEE Tenth International Conference on Intelligent Sensors, Sensor Networks and Information Processing (ISSNIP) (pp. 1-2). IEEE.
Hsu, E., Barmak, K., West, A.C. and Park, A.H.A., 2019. Advancements in the treatment and processing of electronic waste with sustainability: a review of metal extraction and recovery technologies. Green Chemistry, 21(5), pp.919-936.
Ng, K.S., Yang, A. and Yakovleva, N., 2019. Sustainable waste management through synergistic utilisation of commercial and domestic organic waste for efficient resource recovery and valorisation in the UK. Journal of Cleaner Production, 227, pp.248-262.
Oosthuizen, H., Willett, R., Wilmshurst, T. and Williams, B., 2018. Accounting for national waste data: a Southern Tasmania outsourcing perspective. Public Money & Management, 38(5), pp.393-402.
Pearson, D., Minehan, M. and Wakefield-Rann, R., 2013. Food waste in Australian households: Why does it occur. The Australasian-Pacific Journal of Regional Food Studies, 3, pp.118-132.
Sindhu, R., Gnansounou, E., Rebello, S., Binod, P., Varjani, S., Thakur, I.S., Nair, R.B. and Pandey, A., 2019. Conversion of food and kitchen waste to value-added products. Journal of environmental management, 241, pp.619-630.
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