Every very household in Borno deals with rubbish on a daily basis. Many families use skip bins, some throw refuse on the street, some use refuse to block drainages, some have their local recycling centres, and waste removal services to dispose of their waste. From simple household rubbish to the commercial waste of businesses, proper removal of rubbish matters. However, there are still those who choose to dispose of their rubbish themselves. This is where the problem arises, especially when toxic wastes are involved. If the government did not help to collect refuse on our street, we will have the following 5 problems:
- Soil contamination : Soil contamination is the No. 1 problem caused by improper waste removal and disposal. Some wastes that end up in landfills excrete hazardous chemicals that leak into the soil. Take the case of plastic bottles. When they eventually break down, they release DEHA, a carcinogen that affects our reproduction systems, causes liver dysfunction, and weight loss. Soil contamination does not only affect plant growth, it is also unhealthy to humans and animals feeding on those plants. It is therefore important that every household takes recycling to heart. Plastics, metals, paper, and electronic wastes can be recycled at your local recycling centres. If everyone takes time to segregate and sort their recyclable wastes and bring them to recycling centres, the bulk of waste that will be removed from the landfills.
- Air contamination: Waste that contains hazardous chemicals, such as bleach and acids, needs to be disposed of properly, and only in approved containers with correct labels. Some papers and plastics are burned in landfills, emitting gas and chemicals that hurt the ozone layer. Waste that releases dioxins are also dangerous and pose a health risk when they diffuse into the air that we breathe. Add to that the methane gases that decomposing wastes release.
- Water contamination : Hazardous wastes in the environment leech into the ground, and ultimately, into ground water. This water is used for many things, from watering the local fields to drinking. Toxic liquid chemicals from waste can also seep into water streams and bodies of water. Untreated sewage can threaten marine life that comes into contact with the contaminated water. It can destroy and suffocate marine habitats, such as corals. Contaminated water is also dangerous and harmful to humans who consume fish and other marine life.
- Bad impact on human health : Improper disposal of waste can greatly affect the health of the population living nearby the polluted area or landfills. Waste disposal workers and other employees in these landfill facilities are at a greater risk. Exposure to improperly handled wastes can cause skin irritations, blood infections, respiratory problems, growth problems, and even reproductive issues.
- Impact on animals and marine life : It cannot be stressed enough: our carelessness with our waste and garbage does not just affect us. Animals likewise suffer the effects of pollution caused by improperly disposed wastes and rubbish. Styrofoam and cigarette butts have been known to cause deaths in marine animals who consume them. Animals who consume grasses near contaminated areas or landfills are also at risk of poisoning due to the toxins that seep into the soil.