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How Technology Improves and Worsens the Garbage Problem

Technology has always been a double-edged sword in many aspects. It creates numerous benefits, but it also comes with drawbacks. This reality is notably exemplified in the garbage issue. Technology can be used as a solution, but it also contributes significantly to the problem.

Garbage Problem

 

How technology helps

Technology offers many advantages to help address the garbage problem. Without technology, there would be no trucks and other equipment used for hauling large volumes of trash. Boca Raton junk removal service providers or companies in other cities involved in garbage transport would not have efficient means for handling and moving waste materials. Hazardous waste products, in particular, require special tools to be safely handled; technology is there to address these needs.

Additionally, technology is responsible for the incinerators, compactors, and other systems used to reduce the volume of waste sent to landfills. Technology has also produced chemicals useful in speeding up the disintegration of plastics and other non-biodegradable items. It is likewise instrumental for the development of strategies in effectively addressing municipal solid waste management in different countries worldwide. Traditional and alternative waste treatment relies on technology. These include bio drying, gasification, landfarming, mechanical biological treatment, molten salt oxidation, plasma arc waste disposal, pyrolysis, and waste autoclaves.

Moreover, technology is responsible for the development of mobile apps that help make waste management more efficient. Local governments can use apps (in cooperation with households) to enable efficient trash pickups. These apps can be used to facilitate scheduling and provide notifications to coordinate trash collection.

 

How technology worsens the problem

With all the conveniences technology provides to the field of waste management, unfortunately, it is also an undeniable source of trash. The manufacture of electronic devices and other tech products continues growing over the years in response to the heightened market demand. These tech devices don’t last forever. At some point, they will eventually stop working and become irreparable. These unusable products then add to the ceaselessly increasing amount of tech trash worldwide.

The United Nations has already warned of the alarming levels of tech waste the world has accumulated over the years; most of which comes from consumer devices such as mobile phones, computers, and appliances. The Global E-Waste Monitor report released by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the International Solid Waste Association, and the United Nations University estimates that the volume of electronic waste will reach 52.2 million metric tons by 2021. To emphasize, that number is just for a single year of e-junk generation.

 

In the absence of coordinated international efforts, the tech waste problem will only worsen as the year’s pass. It won’t be long before the tech waste problem rivals global warming or climate change. Fortunately, technology itself can also be used to create solutions, particularly when it comes to recycling and the development of environmentally-friendly materials for the manufacture of new tech products.

Technology is not the problem. It’s how people use it. It makes sense to make good use of technology in producing new useful products. However, it makes more sense to likewise use technology in solving the waste problem it generates.

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