Every household produces a certain amount of waste or refuse daily. If this is just thrown outside the house, it can bring vectors like house flies, mosquitoes, cockroaches and rats. These vectors would spread many diseases, there by affecting public health. Refuse, therefore, must be collected, stored in covered bins by every household and disposed of properly at regular intervals.
In many rural areas, each household is responsible for disposing it’s own refuse. This is done by burning, burying, and compositing (making of compost manure). Dry waste such as paper, and husk of food is usually burnt. Refuse which cannot be burnt such as glass and metals are usually buried in piece of waste land. Waste vegetables and food matter, dry leave and animal droppings which will decompose are placed in pits lined with stones. The refuse is sprayed with sewage to start and speed up decay, and covered with soil to prevent flies from breeding. In time this refuse rot to form compost which can be mixed with soil to improve it for cultivation.
NB: compost pits should not be sited near water supply. Waste water which does not contain faeces or urine is allowed to drain. Or be used to irrigate agricultural land provided it does not contain soap or detergents. In small villages, groups of villagers clean the public places like the market and village square and dispose the refuse on a rotational basis.
In large villages, towns and cities, refuse disposal is the responsibility of public health authorities, which comes under the ministry of health. Each household stores the refuse in covered bins. The refuse is collected from the bins regularly by refuse lorries and disposed of by;
-burning in incinerators
-dumping on waste land
-emptying into sea.
In many countries refuse is burned completely in incinerators at high temperatures. Before burning, components of refuse such as cans, bottles and plastics are separated out to be buried, or taken to a recycling plant.