Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Garbage : between problem and risks

There are many definitions of what we constitutes waste. It eludes any objective definitions. In the Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 2003, waste is defined as rubbish or materials that are not needed and are economically unusable without further processing. While in The Concise Oxford Dictionary - 1995, the definition of dirt is an ‘unclean matter that soils’, ‘excrement’, ‘a dirty condition’ or ‘a person or thing considered worthless’. It may be in liquid, gas, or solid form and originate from a wide range of human operations, such as industry, commerce, transport, agriculture, medicine, and domestic activities.
Waste is widely known as a potential source of problem, as well as risk to public health and the environment. It is necessary to distinguish between problem and risks.
A problem is something that has occurred or is presently taking effect. It imply that a compromise has to be made, consciously or unconsciously, between the experienced drawbacks and the possible gains of unchanged behavior. Problems are therefore distinctly separated from risks and are bestowed with different motivational qualities.

Risks, on the other hand, are something that has not yet occurred, but very well may do so in the future. A problem is something that has occurred or is presently taking effect. A risk can turn into a problem, when the forecast of risk actually takes place, or when previously unknown effect of a risks generating issue disclose themselves as having negative effects. Risks project only one possible future. However, since they have not yet developed into problems they do not always generate the same motivational force for a change in behavior as problems do. The way risks are perceived and how grave they are considered to be, surely depends on how they speak to the individual. Most risks is we probably do not even bother with as long as they don’t bother us.

There is much debate today revolving how we can eliminate risks. Eliminating risks is a part of waste management. It is a kind of prevented action as to minimize problems occur in the future on the expectation to prevent waste to cause harm to human health and the environment.