The term waste is a particularly general one which can be applied to a multitude of different items, but is broadly described as anything which is surplus to requirements and is being disposed of because an alternative use cannot be found for it. When another use cannot be found, i.e. attempting to recycle the product or substance, it needs to be disposed of either through elimination or being stored somewhere such as a landfill site. The method of disposal or storage can have severe negative consequences for the environment, not to mention the health, safety and wellbeing of all living organisms nearby, including human beings.
As a result of this potential for serious harm to be done, developed countries of the world have introduced strict laws and regulations with regards to the safe handling, movement, storage, disposal, and monitoring of waste. Whilst many people may think of dangerous waste as things like radioactive waste from nuclear power stations or clinical waste from hospitals or medical facilities, in reality just about any waste can lead to the creation of health problems or put at risk the welfare of creatures, often from the decomposition process of waste and rubbish as microbes flourish and release harmful gases or seep into nearby water.
Along with being required to comply with all applicable legislation within their particular jurisdiction, businesses are now also more acutely aware than ever of the impact upon their brand image and reputation that can come from being perceived as a major damager of the environment. The rise of far-reaching social media campaigns can quickly lead to a substantial boycott of a company's products which can seriously affect their sales revenue, or bring about protests which disrupt and hamper their operations. This has led to the recognition by company managers that training is now not only important with regards to the health and safety of their own workers, but that their employees need to understand how their actions can impact upon the environment too. To cater for this need, qualifications like the Environmental Certificate qualification accredited by NEBOSH (the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health) are now highly sought after to teach employees the knowledge required for understanding how their actions and those of the business can negatively impact upon the local environment, and put health and wellbeing at risk.
Internal Pages Regarding Waste
Please use the links below to read more about the topic of waste with regards to environmental health and safety:
- Burning of Waste Materials
- Why do Companies Need Permission to Discharge Waste into the Sewer?
- Temperature of Liquid Waste Discharge
- Correct Disposal of Waste
- Landfill and the Environment
- Incineration of Waste
- Storage and Identification of Waste and Recycling Material
- Company Waste Reduction and Recycling
- Waste Facilities and the Environment
- Screening Waste Water