- Risks Associated with Waste Management Projects. Illustrat...
Risks Associated with Waste Management Projects. Illustrate your essay with specific examples.
With the advancement of civilization and reckless use of natural
resources human activities have created a profound impact on
environment. However, one of the most pressing problems of today's
generation is managing waste which is created in this process.
Depending upon the type of waste created, waste management projects
need to tackle a range of associated risks. Some of the risks
imposed are generic in nature and applicable to nearly all types of
waste management projects. However, each specific project may
inherit its own risk factors that may be more unique in nature
depending upon the waste management technique that is used. In
order to keep the risks under control the waste management sector
is strictly regulated.
A broad appreciation of the regulations helps management to
scope the risks to a certain extent. However, management needs to
take into consideration a wide variety of risks in order to
undertake waste management projects. This paper explores some of
these risks that are associated with waste management projects. The
paper discusses risks associated with waste under three categories
namely environmental risks; social risks and economics risks. This
paper addresses both generic and more specific kind of risks
associated with waste management projects. The specific risks
relate to the type of waste being handle and the technology being
In case of yet another method of waste disposal such as
combustion, the type of environmental risks involved differs
considerably. Combustion is yet another process of reducing the
waste weight and volume. It is also referred to as
'waste-to-energy' facilities or 'incineration'. The energy that is
released as a result of this combustion is also used up. Although
this is a cheaper option, the recent growing concern of green house
gas emissions is making this option less environmental friendly.
However, the risks associated with processing waste in this manner
are comparatively less. This is partly due to the extensive
regulations, which covers this type of waste management techniques
(LGEAN, 2007). The usual risk is related to the re-use of the ash.
This ash may be used for road constructions and filling open pits
of mines. However, when ash is used in the production of concrete
and or roads, there is concern about the potential leaching that
may take place from the ash affecting local groundwater sources
(LGEAN, 2007). Currently, there is active debate on the suitability
of this technique in comparison with landfills (Eschenroeder &
From the above discussion it can be concluded that waste
management projects impose a certain level of risks for the
management. These risks are varied and depend upon the type of
waste handled, the technology used and to a certain extent the
context in which such projects function. They can be broadly
classified as environmental risks, social risks and financial
risks. These types of risks are not mutually exclusive, they are
but overlapping in nature. They can escalate from a local scale to
regional scale. Certain environmental risks, such as green house
gas emissions are of a global scale and efficient waste management
strategy at local level can go a long way in tackling such issues.
With proper planning and understanding, most of the risks can be
avoided. It is crucial for the management to be aware of the type
of waste that is being handled, the end users of the by-product (if
at all), of the waste and the disposal method that is used.
Understanding legislation requirement especially for controlled
waste is usually a good way for the management to scope risks
associated with a particular waste management project. Slight
adjustments and careful considerations of the usage of techniques
and management strategies can go a long way in risk reduction if
not total avoidance.