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Earthquakes, Tsunamis, major hurricanes and large-scale flooding can create large quantities waste, of building debris, rubble, sediments, organic waste and possibly even toxic wastes. Such waste poses not only a threat to public health, but can also seriously hinder relief programmes and the subsequent reconstruction efforts. The uncontrolled dumping of such wastes impacts negatively on public health and can have a detrimental impact on the environment. Incorrect waste disposal can lead to chemicals and heavy metals leaching into the groundwater, increased vermin presence, negative odour and visual impact. Large quantities of visible waste have a negative psychological impact on affected communities. In spite of this, these wastes can provide a valuable resource to the reconstruction works through recycling and reuse to provide construction materials and income generating opportunities. The population can also play a positive role in planning and implementing environmental clean-up activities.

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