Inadequate waste management not only endangers the environment, but it also has the potential to accelerate the spread of the coronavirus through secondary transmission.
FREMONT, CA: The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak has increased waste production, posing new issues in waste management, particularly for medical and non-medical household garbage. Efforts to reduce plastic pollution have been hampered by the widespread use of disposable masks and gloves, frantic buying, and home delivery of food products packed in single-use plastic.
Furthermore, the amount of plastic garbage generated by medical facilities is increasing at a rapid pace. Medical institutions are producing various waste at an increased rate to combat the pandemic's spread. Similarly, various reports have raised concerns about growing waste generation around the world.
The world's waste management sector was inefficient and facing issues even before the COVID-19 outbreak. Over three billion people do not have access to garbage disposal, and over two billion do not have access to waste collection, according to UN-Habitat 2020. As a result, an increase in medical and domestic waste generation has exacerbated the issues faced by an already overburdened industry.
Here are three ways to address the challenges faced by waste management:
Improved Waste Facilities
Existing waste facilities must be improved quantitatively and qualitatively to control the increased amount of medical and residential waste generation induced by COVID-19. These improvements, however, should be accompanied with sufficient information about how much garbage is produced, where waste is generated most frequently, and what types of waste treatment facilities are available at certain hotspots.
Advance Technical Know-How
Advanced technical know-how in sorting, segregation, transportation and storage should be implemented as soon as possible. As a result, sustainable waste management technologies must be modified to maximize the upkeep of current waste management infrastructures or processes and the establishment of new waste control units.
The efficiency of the staff participating in the waste management process is a critical issue that must not be disregarded. This workforce is now overworked, and they will need to be familiar with the necessary tech-enabled tools, such as maintenance management software, to help them overcome their operational issues and become more productive and effective in their positions.