Hygiene and Environmental Health Module: 22.  Solid Waste Management

Study Session 22  Solid Waste Management


The common practice for household refuse disposal in rural areas is to dump solid wastes openly in backyard gardens or in an open space. Such indiscriminate disposal is an environmental hazard and can threaten human health and safety. Solid waste that is improperly disposed of can result in a number of problems. It can create a breeding ground for pathogenic microorganisms and vectors of disease, and cause a public nuisance due to unsightliness and bad smell. It can cause contamination of surrounding soil, groundwater and surface water, and it can also create fire hazards, physical hazards and have poisoning effects (from pesticides and insecticides). However, these problems can be avoided by using appropriate management techniques. For all waste management issues, your role should be to engage community members and families in awareness of the solid waste problems in their area and try to change their behaviour. In doing so, it should be possible to have a clean, attractive and sustainable environment.

In this study session, you will learn about the different types of solid waste and their common sources. You will also learn about the stages in solid waste management and appropriate disposal methods. Proper management of solid waste will help your community prevent communicable diseases and safeguard the environment in a sustainable manner.

Learning Outcomes for Study Session 22