Question: Increasing use of protection for the current pandemic increases the risk of bio-waste accumulation. Explain the problems associated with waste accumulation and measures to reduce it.
Answer: The increasing risk of pandemic spread has forced people to use protection kits that has the potential to create a pollution hazard. Major cities are facing a crisis regarding the disposal of this waste without over-stressing the fragile urban waste management.
Problems associated with bio-waste accumulation
- Soil and water pollution
In the current scenario, people are aware regarding the need to discard bio-waste in a proper manner without causing any additional problems. But as time progresses, there is a possibility that people may give up this habit and the waste may end up in open ground and water sources causing further problems to environment.
- Infection explosion
The biosafety equipment used to protect against the infection may host large number of harmful viruses and their exposure in the environment may allow the disease to spread freely. This will negate all the efforts put to contain the spread of infection.
Measures to prevent the accumulation of bio-waste
The best practice would be to make use of waste to produce useful products. It must involve sanitizing the material before recycling. This will reduce the accumulation of the waste as most of it will be turned into something useful without causing pollution.
Ex: Using plastic kits to make roads or railway sleepers.
- Complete annihilation
If the material cannot be turned into something useful then it must be completely destroyed so that it does not cause further problems. The destruction can be carried out through pyrolysis so that no traces of the material stays back.
- Using bio-degradable materials
Another technique would be to use bio-degradable materials in manufacturing protection kits so that they can be easily disposed of after use without causing pollution. But selecting such material remains a challenge.
Thus, a major bio disaster such as the current pandemic must not turn into a pollution disaster. The solution to one problem must not be the reason for a new one.