Notably, more and more waste is produced each year from industries in the Great Toronto Area (GTA) while space in existing landfills becomes limited. This has led to a number of municipal governments to look for other ways of solving this garbage problem. One such option is the incineration of waste. This has been considered a better option since it offers energy production on the sideways. However, there are those who oppose this move claiming that there will be cases of air and water pollution from the disposal of ash as well as gaseous emissions. This has led to a stalemate as to whether incineration should be considered as an option of managing waste while at the same time producing energy. This paper looks at the advantages as well as disadvantages of waste incineration.
Incineration is a form of waste management referring to the burning of waste. It is an important means of reducing the amount of landfill material if guidelines are followed to the latter. Notably, incineration is a method that can save a lot of money otherwise used to transport wastes to the dumpsites, as well as the carbon footprint left behind by such use of transport (Brunner, 1991). The fact that there will be a reduction in space required for dumping waste is one of the advantages of incineration. Pressure on land will be tremendously reduced as urban areas will save a lot on buying new land or otherwise (Wentz, 1989).
Another important point to note is that, landfills have never been an attractive site to look at; it harbors numerous pests and insects. On the other hand, if an incinerating plant is put up, it will look like an industrial structure and therefore a good addition to the city structures. These incinerating plants are advantageous in that they can aid in the production of electricity, which will then go a long way in reducing energy and financial costs. As an example, there are various cold countries that use incinerators for heating their houses and offices that are near the plant.
Moreover, there will be a total elimination of gases and leachates produced by waste from landfills. It is also important to note that the ash from incineration does not harm the environment in any way. Some industrialists have even considered converting this waste to other useful materials.
There are some disadvantages cited with the incineration process. The building of an incineration plant can be very costly (Brunner, 1991). This has put off most municipal authorities from going this way. Moreover, incineration has led to the abandonment of other waste management venues such as the reuse of waste and recycling. It is also important to note that, incineration plants require a great use of skilled personnel for their operations as well as maintenance.
In my view, energy from waste incineration is a viable waste management option considering that the advantages are more than the disadvantages. I choose this option over the rest because incineration plants do not take up a lot of space. With the use of technology, these plants can be evolved to minimize any health risk (Edwards, 1983).
In conclusion, the incineration process reduces waste by burning it together with other combustible material. Notably, the incineration process is not costly as it is sustained by the waste itself. Any civic authority considering this to be an option should first way the advantages and disadvantages before making a decision. However, it seems the better option compared to the landfill. Furthermore, new designs for incinerators can be created that will eventually lead to a reduction of any harm caused and also increase their efficiency.
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