Improving the Environmental Sustainability of Open Dumping Essay

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Improving the environmental sustainability of open dumping: Understanding the issues before making the transition to sanitary landfilling. 1.0 Introduction The term “open dumping” is used to refer to the practice of indiscriminate waste disposal at an “open dump” with either no, or at best very limited measures to control the operation and to protect the surrounding environment (Amano, 2005). Dumps have been used throughout history by mankind to solve solid waste problems. In the past, when waste streams were simple and land availability was not a challenge, open dumping was used as an inexpensive and often appropriate solution. It served the purpose of keeping waste separated from the public, hence limiting exposure to disease vectors, as well as odor and other direct effects (Wagner, 2011). However, the introduction of more and more complex products into the waste stream (complicating disposal), increasing urbanization and population growth have all resulted in a huge increase in the impacts of open dumps in many developing countries (Assamoi and Lawryshyn, 2012). Open dumping of municipal solid wastes (MSW) is becoming one of the more serious and contentious urban environmental problems faced by local governments of the world’s least developed states. This form of waste disposal is not supported by any means of modern infrastructure or environmental control and is invariably associated with the presence of scavengers, people who make their living from recovering marketable fractions from the deposited wastes (Cossu, 2010). Although open dumping still appears to be the most economic solution for waste disposal in these countries, it is not in line with the increasing public awareness of environmental issues and the demand for environmental improvement, including the current focus on sustainability and global climate change. The objective of this paper

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