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Jessica Luna English III  December 5, 2017       Improper Waste Disposal  More than 80% of the earth’s surface have been confirmed marked by human activity. Ever since the 19th century, humans have made a huge impact on the earth and now the earth depends on us. One of the major issues that humans are causing is our waste. We find ways to dispose our waste ” better ” although it seems that nothing has changed but gotten worse.

Our waste disposal have been disposed in varieties of ways such as dumping into landfills or the ocean and as the population increases, the more human waste is consumed, we pollute the environment. The effects of improper waste disposal is damaging our environment, causing global warming, causing contamination, and dumping in places where could make a huge problem and humans are clueless about this impact. Improper waste disposal is a type of waste in which is disposed in a negative way. It is caused by the types of dumping humans do. The main one is littering; almost everyday a person will litter and causes a problem by just littering. Littering is a person throwing away objects such as trash on the ground and leaving that waste lying on the ground instead of disposing it properly. It can impact our environment with the smallest trash being thrown in the ground.

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According to Public Complex, “Littering can significantly impact receiving waters. Litter, such as fast food wrappers, soda cans and bottles, and other trash, if not properly disposed, could eventually end up in our lakes, streams, and oceans. When litter reaches these surface water bodies, it not only causes problems aesthetically, but it can also have a negative impact on marine and other wildlife” ( “Tier A Stormwater Guidance” (47) 63, 2001).  Public Complex explains the issues that can lead when a person litters and as a result, it affects our ocean, lakes, streams and even animals such as their habitats. According to Ahmad, “Around 1.9 billion tonnes of litter end up in the ocean every year, which clearly shows that people tend to throw things randomly anywhere, more often than they throw waste in garbage bins… Styrofoam container takes up to a million years … A disposable diaper can take more than 500 years; cigarette more than 10 and even orange or banana skins stick around for more than a month”.

(Rehan Ahmad, 2016). It is estimated that about 1.9 billion of waste have been found in the ocean due to humans littering. It affects our ocean and environment. The more waste is found in the ocean, it creates a huge problem. It is studied that waste, in order  to be decompose and broken down, takes years or even millions of years to occur.

Ocean dumping is a type of dumping where waste is being thrown into the ocean which it can include toxic chemicals being thrown in the ocean without even knowing. The ocean have been used for billions of years now and its “useful ” for untreated waste or water that humans use consumed which  all goes into the ocean. According to Hinton, ” Oil spills are dangerous for marine life and can affect coral reefs that thrive in the ocean. In fact they can greatly affect the life cycle. The gills of fish can be clogged by spilled oil which can block off respiration. If sunlight is blocked, marine plants will die because it affects photosynthesis and its process”. (Hinton, Kevin, “The effects of Ocean Dumping”).

Since humans use the ocean as the last option (place) to get rid of waste or water, some of the effects that have occured due to this is oil spill. Marine living in the oceans are being harmed because of the oil spills in which humans started and created. Having oil spills in the ocean can not only harm the ocean but marine life. It puts their life in endangered, which means reproduction increases as more we harm the ocean. Hinton also explains, “These toxins not only affect the marine life, but they affect humans as well. For example, let’s say the fish are contaminated, if someone were to catch a fish and eat it, they could get food poisoning.

” (Hinton, Kevin, “The effects of Ocean Dumping”). Ocean dumping effects marine life but also humans because humans eat seafood such as fishes, crabs, etc. Since waste is being thrown into the ocean, marine life could get contaminated because of the toxic chemicals.

Marine’s life is not the only ones in risk on getting contaminated by the toxic chemicals, humans play a role as well. Started from the article, “How Ocean Pollution Affects Humans”, “If humans are exposed to these toxic chemicals… nervous system and kidneys”(Danilevics, Andrew “How Oceans Pollution Affects Humans). Again, since ocean dumping causes toxic chemicals, humans treating the toxic environment of the ocean would expose chemicals like oil, metals, much more. Also, dumping is not the only reason why the toxic chemicals are coming from. These chemicals also come from industries which flows into the rivers and eventually goes into the oceans. Land or Ocean dumping is just a part of an issue humans create.

Another effect that is caused by humans is contamination or pollution such as soil pollution, air contamination or chemicals such as leachate being disposal from waste. According to Boehlke,  “The Western Courier shares with readers that as plastic water bottles break down they can release DEHA, a type of carcinogen that can cause reproductive problems, liver issues and weight loss. This type of chemical can leach into the soil and cause contamination that can reach plant and animal life as well as water sources”. ( Julie Boehlke, 2017).  It have been studied that a chemical such as DEHA (Diethylhydroxylamine) can cause problems. This chemical is released because of the plastic water bottles humans used and once these bottles are being broken down, it causes to release DEHA; if this chemical is not being treated it can cause contamination to the soil or our water sources. Also, Rinkah continues to explains about air contamination, and says, “Paper, plastics and other materials that are burned can contaminate the air when they are burned.

Over time the chemicals can build up in the ozone layer. If they contain toxic chemicals like dioxin they can reach the air that people breathe and cause a public health risk”. (Julie Boehlke, 2017). This means, everytime we burn materials such as paper or plastics, we already contaminate the air because it creates a toxic chemicals, dioxin. Dioxin can lead  to serious risk to humans and animals. Although, paper or plastic is a reusable or can be recycled, the fact that it is being burned, it creates a problem.

This shows that humans are disposing their waste incorrectly, recycling might not make waste disappeared but it helps to reuse materials and specially it helps to avoid contamination to the environment. According to Tsiattalos, “Soil pollution naturally contributes pollution releasing volatile compounds into atmosphere… reaches streams, lakes, or oceans” Soil pollution does not only created toxic chemicals but the more soil pollution is contaminated because of humans, it causes air pollution. It could lead to water pollution due to the chemicals and soon it flows down to the  ground water.  In the article, “The effects of improper garbage disposal”, Boehlke continues with air contamination,  “Garbage that is disposed of improperly can also begin to release methane gases. According to the Energy Information Administration, these gases are greenhouse gases that can destroy the earth’s ozone layer and contribute to significant climate changes or global warming”.  (Julie Boehlke, 2017). Since humans are disposing their waste improperly over time, it begins to release the gas, methane. Methane is a type  of greenhouse gases which is rank one of the worse gases; this gase can create global warming because it absorbs the sun’s heat which creates warmer climates and it can also destroy the earth ozone layer.

Waste is divided into many sections and humans do not realized that there are different types of waste. It is important to know how waste is being disposed and knowing it won’t harm  the environment. Waste is categorized such as non-biodegradable, hazardous, e-waste, and universal waste; each are very important to know how because each of them are disposed differently.E-waste is electronic equipment that no longer used, it includes computers, printers, televisions, etc. According to “Electronic waste- an emerging threat to the environment of urban India”, It is believed that based on the improper disposal of e-waste can causes toxic chemicals and can even development cancer risks and neurological disorder. ” The improper disposal of electronic products leads to the possibility of damaging the environment and humans health as well..

As more e-waste is placed in landfills, it exposes environmental toxins chemicals which it can increase problems such as elevated risks of cancer and developmental and neurological disorders” (2014) .Universal Waste or u-waste is a type of hazardous waste which contains harmful chemicals to the environment and humans. Some of the examples of an universal waste is batteries such as AA, AAA, etc, lamps like light bulbs, mercury containing devices and electronic devices. Household Hazardous Waste is a type of  waste that contains harmful chemicals such as  poison, flammable products, etc. These type of waste can be very dangerous when “disposing it” because it can create toxic chemicals. According to the Department of Public Works, “Improper use, storage and disposal of household hazardous products can potentially harm our families, children, and pets, pollute our neighborhoods and contaminate our groundwater and air”.

(“Dangers of Improper Disposal”). It shows that everytime hazardous is disposed improperly, it can harm families and pollute or contaminate; this shows that even people harm their own families. Why? Humans are so clueless when it comes about them “getting rid ” of their trash and dispose their waste incorrectly. Another way that people are clueless when disposing household hazardous is throwing these type of waste in a regular trash can, it can not only affect the groundwater, ocean but also sanitation workers.

It have been a studied that about 36,784 total of injury event were reported in 18 states in the year  of 2001 that had to deal with improper disposal. These events included injuries. According to HADEES, 101 reported injuries that sanitation workers had central nervous system, eye irritation, burns, etc; all were causes because of improper waste. “The 69 injured persons had a total of 101 reported injuries, most frequently respiratory irritation (46 46%), dizziness or other central nervous system symptoms (12 12%), eye irritation (11 11%), and burns (nine 9%). Forty-two (61%) injured persons were treated at hospitals but not admitted, 11 (16%) were treated at the scene, four (6%) were… these injuries were reported through official channels (e.

g., fire or police departments, emergency medical services, or poison control centers” (“Improper Disposal of Hazardous Substances and Resulting Injuries — Selected States, January 2001–March 2005”). There was a case report in New York in June 2004, where an sanitation truck was found about 10 gallons of hazardous substance such as hydrochloric acid. Two male sanitation workers had chemical burns because of the hazardous substance and got treated. Although, this shows that humans are not only harming the environment with the chemicals being disposed improperly but also harmful humans. According to HSEES (Hazardous Substances Emergency Events Surveillance), “In June 2004, a sanitation truck compacted an improperly disposed of container of hydrochloric acid, releasing approximately 10 gallons of the hazardous substance into a commercial/residential area.

Two male sanitation workers sustained chemical burns and were… A hazardous materials (HazMat) team, law enforcement officials, fire department officials, and emergency medical services personnel responded to the event”.  (“Improper Disposal of Hazardous Substances and Resulting Injuries — Selected States, January 2001–March 2005”). Living in the 21st century, the improper waste disposal have increased rapidly and people are still unaware about this situation. Humans have are clueless about the impact they are creating.

Normally, people believe trash is trash and getting rid of trash is by simply throwing it in the “garbage” and believing that is it. Although, that is not the case, humans are not educated on the types of waste their are and how to dispose it correctly without polluting the earth in such a negative way.  The more time passes, the more we pollute the earth either knowing it or being unaware and clueless about this situation.           Bibliography Ahmed, Rehan. “Detrimental Effects Of LIttering.” 13 May.

2016 Boehlke, Julie. “The Effects of Improper Garbage Disposal.” 13 June.

2017 “Dangers of Improper Disposal” County Of Los Angeles Department of Public Works.

gov/epd/hhw/dangers.cfm> Dilevics, Andres. “How Ocean Pollution Affects Humans” 26 March.

2016 “Electronic waste- an emerging threat to the environment of urban India” 20 Jan. 2014

gov/epd/hhw/dangers.cfm> Hinton, Kevin. “The Effects of Ocean Dumping” Tier A Municipal Stormwater Guidance Document. State of New Jersey: 2004


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