An Investigative Study Concerning Waste Management Practice within the Armed Forces

Swann, K (2009) An Investigative Study Concerning Waste Management Practice within the Armed Forces. [Dissertation]

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The main aim of this project was to attempt to gain an insight into waste
management within the British armed forces concentrating particularly on issues
occurring while on operations overseas. This has become an increasing concern
to society today due to conflicts currently taking place in areas such as Iraq and
Afghanistan and environmentalists concerns over particular wastes produced,
including everyday waste but also nuclear waste etc. In addition, another
important aim was to determine the ways in which the waste management
policies were themselves being carried out and whether they were successful.
Whilst ideally centered on the entirety of the armed forces, this was unrealistic
and so four main areas were chosen to be used as examples. As a result of
individuals unwilling to co-operate, the study went in unexpected directions but
was still in itself successful. Through the use of data collected by means of
questionnaire, the study was taken in a positive direction as it showed that
concern over waste management came from superiors and the people behind
the everyday running of the organisation were not truly taking an interest or were
oblivious to any regulations in place.
Comparisons between two individuals’ experiences in Kosovo ten years apart
revealed improved waste management over the past decade which while
theoretically expected, was satisfying to see theory being put into practice.
Although the study failed to investigate the problem of waste management in
hostile operations, (for example in Iraq), it did succeed in verifying whether or not
the measures currently in place were actually working in real life situations and
not just theoretically.
The project as a whole did well in proving that the modern day British armed
forces are not only leaders in technology but are also pioneering the way forward
with strong concern about the environment. One important matter that was
concluded however was that while there are plenty of laws and regulations
governing the military, there is still a need to inform all personnel of these in
order for further success. In addition to this, it is important to realize that while the
Ministry of Defence is experiencing successes in its pilot areas where waste
management policies are being trialed, there is a need to implement the policies
on all defence property in order for maximum success to be achieved.

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