Civilisation can be regarded as one of the best and worst things ever to happen to man and Earth, depending on the perspective you are looking at it from. Of course, its benefits are numerous and have helped push humans to constant growth, looking for new and exciting ways to improve themselves and the environment. But, the demerit is that every activity to improve human lives and the environment produces wastes that can be harmful to the planet and lives in it.

Over the years, various materials and methods for waste management have been introduced to promote the safety of lives and the environment. And although improvements can be seen, waste is still being carelessly managed in some areas. This has proven to be disastrous for mankind and the environment over the years. Plus, it poses a threat for even more danger if something is not done about it.

To further highlight the effect of poor waste management on the environment, this article will provide details on the adverse effects of improper waste management.

6 Harmful Side Effects of Poor Waste Management Practices

  1. Soil contamination: The raw materials of most of the products consumed by humans are found in the Earth’s crust, from agriculture to mining and more, and even water is found beneath the Earth. There are two classes of waste; biodegradable and non-biodegradable. Degradable wastes are wastes that are safe for the soil because, when decomposing, they nourish the soil. In contrast, non-biodegradable waste products find it difficult to decompose, and when they do, they produce elements that are toxic to the soil. These toxins pollute the soil and the water beneath the soil. The PSA Group are specialists in the containment of hazardous spills.
  2. Water contamination: Water is a solvent and, as a result, is used in all activities; thus, when polluted, every other area is affected. This is made worse because water can be easily contaminated by improperly managed waste. When waste is disposed of carelessly on land, groundwater is affected, and when poisonous gases contaminate the atmosphere, water is polluted through rainfall.
  3. Extreme climate conditions: When waste is carelessly disposed of, when decomposing, it releases harmful gases (greenhouse gases); the result is global warming, where climate change is seen through harsh weather conditions making the environment unconducive.
  4. Air contamination: The atmosphere is essential for living because all living organisms depend on the air from the atmosphere for survival. Improper management of waste results in the release of harmful gases into the atmosphere making the air toxic, affecting all living organisms.
  5. Harm towards animals and marine life. Over the years, the Earth has lost several animals and marine life species. The number continues to increase because harmful waste is being introduced into these animals and marine species’ habitats, suffocating them.
  6. Harms human population: Animals and marine life are not the only living organisms affected by improper waste; the human population is also affected. Improper waste management has resulted in an increase in diseases as new variants of bacteria and viruses are provided with an environment to evolve and harm the human population.


It is valid to state that the earth functions in a system (ecosystem) where harm to one part affects the others. Hence, this article has highlighted some of the adverse effects of improper waste disposal on the environment.

The PSA Group provide a range of environmental management services aimed at combatting and curtailing waste management disasters. This includes soil and water testing, polluted water transportation and disposal, dewatering services and much more.