Waste management is the collecting, treating, and disposing of waste material after it has served its purpose or is no longer useful. Improper disposal of municipal waste can create unsanitary conditions, and these conditions, in turn, can lead to pollution of the environment and to outbreaks of vector-borne diseases, that is, diseases spread by rodents and insects.
In Lebanon, of the daily amount of roughly 4,500 tons to 5,000 tons of municipal solid waste, 48 per cent is landfilled, 29 per cent is openly dumped, 15 per cent is composted and only 8 per cent is recycled.
Lebanon’s latest figures indicate that there are 504 municipal solid waste (MSW) dumps and 166 construction and demolition waste dumps. The great paper report edited by the International Labor Office (ILO) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) explained that “Lebanon lacks any ambient strategy or efficient system to handle industrial and hazardous waste.
Various Sources of Waste in Lebanon
Every day, tons of waste material is disposed of at various landfill sites. This waste comes from homes, offices, industries and various other agricultural-related activities. It can pollute the surrounding air and can seriously affect the health of humans, wildlife and our environment.
The following are major sources of waste material in Lebanon:
1.Residential – Residences and homes are some of the major sources of waste material in Lebanon. Garbage from these places include food wastes, plastics, paper, glass, leather, cardboard, metals, ashes and special wastes like bulky household items— electronics, tires, batteries, old mattresses and used oil.
2.Industrial – Industries are known to be one of the biggest contributors of waste. They include light and heavy manufacturing industries, construction sites, fabrication plants, canning plants, power chemical plants. These industries produce waste in the form of housekeeping wastes, food wastes, packaging wastes, ashes, and demolition materials, special wastes, medical wastes, as well as other hazardous wastes.
3.Commercial – Commercial facilities and buildings are yet another source of waste today. Commercial buildings and facilities,
in this case, refer to hotels, markets, restaurants, stores and office buildings. Some of the waste generated from these places include plastic, food wastes, metals, paper, glass, wood, cardboard materials, special wastes and other hazardous wastes.
4.Construction and Demolition Areas – Construction sites and demolition sites also contribute to the waste management problems. Construction sites include new construction sites for buildings and roads, building renovation sites and building demolition sites. Some of the wastes produced in these places include steel materials, concrete, wood, plastics, rubber, copper wires, dirt and glass.
5.Treatment Plants and Sites – Heavy and light manufacturing plants also produce waste. They include refineries, power plants, processing plants, mineral extraction plants and chemicals plants. Among the wastes produced by these plants include, industrial process wastes, unwanted specification products, plastics, metal parts, just to mention but a few.
6.Biomedical – This refers to hospitals and biomedical equipment chemical manufacturing firms. In hospitals there are different types of waste products produced. Some of these wastes include syringes, bandages, used gloves, drugs, paper, plastics, food wastes and chemicals.
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