I think we can all agree that the Waste Industry is in quite a predicament. On one side we have politicians dictating what has to be done, on another side there are the operators and municipalities that have to affordably and practically find ways to implement those strategies, and finally you have the consumers that must find ways to responsibly dispose of waste. Technologies have been created, markets have been created, and standards have been created to help facilitate the response to the growth in the industry. But is it enough?
Winston Churchill once said, “Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it”. We are where we are today because of some critical cultural shifts that are part of the story of Waste and Environmental Responsibility.
The Story of our Past
Looking back at the global history of waste management, it’s quite clear much has changed. It’s an ever-changing and ever-growing crucial issue that has been the point of much dialogue around the world. Now more than ever before, our future environment depends on us learning from our past mistakes so as not to inflict even more damage with the waste that is produced.
With the Industrial Revolution and the introduction of synthetic plastic in the early 1900s, our waste management systems began needing more solutions to the growing problems that were being created. We tried switching from horse drawn carriages to motorized waste collection equipment, from inventing dumping levers on garbage trucks, to dumpsters placed in designated public and private areas around every city – but still, it wasn’t enough to keep up with the climbing waste rate.
Fast forward to the 1940s after WWII – disposing of packaging material has increased, the developed world embraces consumerism, and the production of plastic globally rises, leading to more and more individual homes in need of additional waste assistance. Our questions were answered when we were introduced to the first home-used trash bags in the 1960s. Then during the 1970s the electronic waste era begins, but only for us to discover the immense dangers of incorrectly disposing of medical waste a decade later in the 80s.
Though garbage/waste truck technology dramatically changes in the 90s to help the system become more efficient and effective, the developed world continues to struggle with the enormous amount of food and waste being produced, now more than ever. With this staggering rate of waste growth, awareness is created within developing countries of the need to differentiate the types of waste and develop strategies to responsibly deal with each of them. This, in turn, has led to ongoing efforts on behalf of operators to develop creative disposal processes that facilitate the creation of waste streams.
Stay tuned as we cover the Waste Story over the next three blogs. Alpine Technology Corporation has been serving the Waste Industry with powerful software for the past 4 decades. Go to www.rams-pro.com for more information.