Optimistic and pessimistic impacts of COVID-19 scenario on waste management in developing nations: A review
Ismail Luhar1, Salmabanu Luhar2
1Shri Jagdishprasad Jhabarmal Tibrewala University, Rajasthan 333001, India
2Department of Civil Engineering Technology, Environmental Management and Safety College of Engineering Technology, Rochester Institute of Technology, New York, 14623, USA
Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs);
Greenhouse Gases (GHGs);
During the lockdown period due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the heaps of unusual wastes of packaging from panic buying, medical wastes from Covid-19 centres and isolation places, as well as discarded single-use safety gears like personal protective equipments are posing challenges not only for health hazards but also escalating the probability of the spread of diverse variants of Novel Corona Virus SARS-COV-2. Unfortunately, the containment of the spreading of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown measures are impacting waste management adversely like anything in almost all corners of the world, especially, in developing nations where there exists lesser awareness with regard to this deadly disease and orderly disposal of these pandemic wastes. Also, the waste hierarchy of the “4R concept”, i.e., Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and recovery is negatively influencing during the prevailing epidemic circumstances which hinder the methodical waste disposal useful to save the environments and human health. The scenario of haphazard dumping of this waste is found worst in developing nations which are not fully prepared to face such thorny and all of a sudden difficulty of disposal of piles of these new risky wastes with their limited facilities and staff. However, the developing nations have instituted policies to ensure sustainable management of waste but it proved inadequate against the giant pandemic situations. Surprisingly, both - optimistic and pessimistic, types of impacts are being monitored on environments during the Covid-19 lockdown. Particularly, in the context of developing nations, the present review manuscript assesses both the optimistic and pessimistic impacts of the COVID-19 epidemic on the waste management sector and environment comprehensively along with the ways to address this gigantic Covid-19 waste crisis systematically.
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