Nothing is perhaps more essential to health and wellbeing than the correct management of waste. Although good food and clean air are critical, how we dispose of our waste has a huge impact on our environment and thus our health. Without proper waste managment, severe impacts as a consequence of exposure to radation and hazardous chemicals could result.

In the context of landfills, for example, leachate is an important aspect to be managed. Leachate is the term for liquids existing in the waste or rainwater that passes through the waste within the facility that becomes contaminated with waste. Leachate consists of different organic and inorganic compounds that may be either dissolved or suspended and is one of the reasons that items such as batteries and refrigerators, which contain harmful chemicals, must be disposed of in a proper manner. If landfill leachate enters surface water or groundwater, it poses a significant risk if not properly controlled.

Incineration is another waste management mechanism that requires monitoring in the context of health and wellbeing. Incineration is a disposal method that involves the burning of waste material, effectively converting unwanted materials into heat, gas, steam and ash. This of course has implications for air quality, for which more information can be found here.

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