Managing Our Waste

Managing Our Waste

Municipal, Industrial and Hazardous Managing Our Waste Chapter 22 This lecture will help you understand: The types of waste we generate Managing waste The scale of the waste dilemma Conventional waste disposal Ways to reduce waste Industrial solid waste management Managing hazardous waste

Central Case: Transforming New Yorks Fresh Kills Landfill The largest landfill in the world closed in 2001 Staten Island residents viewed the landfill as a civic blemish It was briefly reopened to bury rubble from the World Trade Center after the 9/11/2001 attack It will take 30 years to turn it into a world-class public park

nightly-news/30848810?vm=r# 30848810 Types of Waste Waste = any unwanted material or substance that results from human activity or process Municipal solid waste = nonliquid waste from homes, institutions, and small businesses Industrial solid waste = from production of goods, mining, agriculture, petroleum extraction and refining Hazardous waste = solid or liquid waste that is toxic, chemically reactive, flammable, or corrosive Wastewater = used in a household, business, or industry Also, polluted runoff from streets and storm drains

Aims in managing waste Waste management aims to: Minimize the amount of waste generated (source reduction) Recover waste materials and recycle them (Recycle or Compost) Dispose of waste safely and effectively Source reduction is the

preferred approach Scale of the Waste Dilemma The U. S. produces more waste per capita than any other country in the world about 4.4 lbs per person per day. Germany produces about 1 lb person per day Most developing country produce even less But. As developing country become more industrialize they begin to produce more waste. Paper, yard waste, food top three types of waste

BE5QAYXp8 What is a Waste Stream? Waste stream = the flow of waste as it moves from its sources toward disposal destinations Reduce Use materials efficiently, consume less, buy goods with less packaging, use goods longer Recovery (recycling, composting) = next best strategy in waste management Recycling = sends used goods to facilities to manufacture

into new goods (e.g., newspaper) Composting = recovery of organic waste But there will always be some waste left to dispose of Sanitary Landfills Regulated by local, state and federal government to protect groundwater from contamination U.S. landfills must meet the EPAs national standards Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) of 1976 Must

provide daily cover to prevent odors and the spread of disease by animal vectors Problems include: odors, blowing trash, release of methane (greenhouse gas), breach in containment resulting in groundwater contamination. NIMBY A typical sanitary landfill Leachate = liquid from trash dissolved by rainwater - It is collected and treated in landfills But itagainst can escape if the liner is To-protect punctured environmental contamination, landfills must be

located away from wetlands and earthquake-prone faults, and be 20 ft above the water table Incineration The controlled burning of mixed garbage at very high temperature Fly ash must still be disposed of in landfills and may contain toxic chemicals. Generates toxic compounds that may be released as air pollution Expensive scrubbers are needed to purify the exhaust - this adds to the

cost of incineration. A typical solid waste incinerator Baghouse = a system of huge filters that physically removes particulate matter Waste to Energy (WTE) Landfill gas Methane used like natural gas Incineration Burn waste to produce heat - to boil water to turn turbines to turn generators to make electricity. Reducing waste is a better option

Source reduction = preventing waste in the first place Avoids costs of disposal and recycling Helps conserve resources Minimizes pollution Can save consumers and businesses money Most waste consists of materials used to package goods Use minimal packaging Use recyclable packaging Reduce the size or weight of goods and materials Reuse is a main strategy to

reduce waste Items can be used again Use durable goods used instead of disposable ones Donate items to resale centers (Goodwill and the Salvation Army) Other actions include: Rent or borrow items instead of buying them Bring your own cup to coffee shops Buy rechargeable batteries Make double-sided copies Use cloth napkins instead of paper ones Recycling consists of three steps Recycling

= collecting materials that can be broken down and reprocessed to manufacture new items Recycling diverted 61 million tons of materials away from U.S. incinerators and landfills in 2008 Step 1 = collection and processing of recyclable materials through curbside recycling or designated locations Materials recovery facilities (MRFs) = workers and machines sort, clean, shred, and prepare items The second and third steps of recycling

Step 2 = using recyclables to produce new goods Many products use recycled materials Step 3 = consumers buy goods made from recycled materials Must occur if recycling is to function As markets expand, prices will fall Financial incentives can address waste

Pay-as-you-throw approach = uses financial incentives to influence consumer behavior The less waste a house generates, the less it is charged for trash collection Bottle bills = consumers receive a refund for returning used bottles They are profoundly successful But beverage industries and groceries fight them Industrial solid waste

U.S. industries generate 7.6 billion tons of waste/year 97% is wastewater Industrial solid waste = is not municipal or hazardous waste The federal government regulates municipal waste State or local governments regulate industrial solid waste

With federal guidance Waste from factories, mining, agriculture, petroleum extraction, etc. Industrial ecology Industrial ecology = redesigning industrial systems to reduce resource inputs while maximizing physical and economic efficiency Industrial systems should function like ecological systems, with little waste Life

cycle analysis = examines the life cycle of a product to make the process more ecologically efficient Waste products can be used as raw materials Eliminates harmful products and materials Creates durable, recyclable, or reusable products Defining hazardous waste Hazardous waste is a liquid, solid, or gas and is one of the following: Ignitable = easily catches fire (natural gas, alcohol) Corrosive = corrodes metals in storage tanks or equipment

Reactive = chemically unstable and readily reacts with other compounds, often explosively or by producing noxious fumes Toxic = harms human health when inhaled, ingested, or contact human skin Hazardous wastes have diverse sources Industry produces the largest amount of hazardous waste But waste generation and disposal are highly regulated Households = the largest source of unregulated

hazardous waste Paint, batteries, solvents, cleaners, pesticides, etc. Mining, small businesses, agriculture, utilities, and building demolition all produce hazardous wastes Organic compounds and heavy metals are particularly hazardous because their toxicity persists over time Organic compounds can be hazardous Synthetic organic compounds resist bacterial, fungal, and insect activity Plastics, tires, pesticides, solvents, wood preservatives

Keep buildings from decaying, kill pests, and keep stored goods intact Their resistance to decay makes them persistent pollutants They are toxic because they are readily absorbed through the skin They can act as mutagens, carcinogens, teratogens, and endocrine disruptors Heavy metals can be hazardous Lead, chromium, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, tin, and copper

Used widely in industry for wiring, electronics, metal plating and fabrication, pigments, and dyes They enter the environment when they are disposed of improperly Heavy metals that are fat soluble and break down slowly can bioaccumulate and biomagnify E-waste is growing Electronic waste (e-waste) = waste involving electronic devices Computers, printers, cell phones, TVs, MP3 players

Americans discard 400 million devices/year 67% are still in working order They are put in landfills, but should be treated as hazardous waste Valuable trace minerals can be recovered the 2010 Olympic medals were made from e-waste! Before disposing of hazardous waste

Hazardous waste used to be discarded without special treatment People did not know it was harmful to human health They assumed the substances would disappear or be diluted Since the 1980s, cities have designated sites or collection days to gather household hazardous waste

RCRA Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) = states must manage hazardous waste Large generators of hazardous waste must obtain permits Materials must be tracked from cradle to grave Intended to prevent illegal dumping

Illegal dumping of hazardous waste Hazardous waste disposal is costly It results in illegal and anonymous dumping Illegal dumping creates health risks Along with financial headaches for dealing with it Industrial nations illegally dump in developing

nations The Basel Convention, an international treaty, should prevent dumping, but it still happens High costs also encourage companies to invest in reducing their hazardous waste Incineration, bacterial and plant decomposition, etc. Surface impoundments Surface impoundments = store liquid hazardous waste Shallow depressions are lined with plastic and clay

The water evaporates The residue of solid hazardous waste is transported elsewhere The clay layer can crack and leak waste Rainstorms cause overflow, contaminating nearby areas Deep-well injection Deep-well injection = a well is drilled deep beneath the water table Waste is injected into it A

long-term disposal method The well is isolated from groundwater and humans However, the wells can corrode and leak waste Radioactive waste is especially hazardous Radioactive waste is very dangerous and persistent

The U.S. has no designated single disposal site Waste will accumulate around the nation The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) = the first underground repository for transuranic (higher atomic number than uranium) waste from nuclear weapons development Caverns are 655 m (2,150 ft) below ground in a huge salt formation thought to be geologically stable WIPP became operational in 1999 and is receiving thousands of shipments of waste Contaminated sites are being cleaned up Globally,

thousands of former military and industrial sites are contaminated with hazardous waste Dealing with these messes is difficult, time consuming, and expensive Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) (1980) Superfund is administered by the EPA Established a federal program to clean up U.S. sites polluted with hazardous waste Superfund Experts

identify polluted sites, take action to protect groundwater near these sites, and clean up the pollution The EPA must clean up brownfields Lands whose reuse or development is complicated by the presence of hazardous materials Two events spurred creation of Superfund legislation In Love Canal, Niagara Falls, New York, in 19781980, families were evacuated after buried chemicals rose to the surface Times Beach, Missouri, was evacuated after contamination with dioxin from oil sprayed on roads

The Superfund process Once a Superfund site is identified, EPA scientists note: How close the site is to human habitation If wastes are currently confined or likely to spread If the site threatens drinking water supplies Harmful sites are placed on the National Priority List They are ranked by their level of risk to human health Cleanup goes on a site-by-site basis as funds are available The

EPA must hold public hearings to inform area residents of its findings and to receive feedback Local Brownfield and Superfund sites Who pays for cleanup? CERCLA operates under the polluter pays principle = charge polluting parties for cleanup However, the responsible parties often cant be found A trust fund was established by a federal tax on petroleum

and chemical industries The fund is bankrupt and Congress has not restored it So taxpayers now pay all costs of cleanup Fewer cleanups are being completed 1,279 sites remain, and only 341 have been cleaned up Cleanup costs $25 million and takes 1215 years

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