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Solid and Hazardous Waste

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Presentation on theme: "Solid and Hazardous Waste"— Presentation transcript:

1 Solid and Hazardous Waste
G. Tyler Miller’s Living in the Environment 14th Edition Edited by Mr. Manskopf 2009 Chapter 24



4 Love Canal In 1978, Love Canal, located near Niagara Falls in upstate New York, was a nice little working-class enclave with hundreds of houses and a school. It just happened to sit atop 21,000 tons of toxic industrial waste that had been buried underground in the 1940s and '50s by a local company. Over the years, the waste began to bubble up into backyards and cellars. By 1978, the problem was unavoidable, and hundreds of families sold their houses to the federal government and evacuated the area. The disaster led to the formation in 1980 of the Superfund program, which helps pay for the cleanup of toxic sites.

5 Love Canal, New York When Waste is Not Disposed of Properly
1942 to 1958 Hooker Chemicals Disposal Site 1953 Sold to Niagara Falls School Board (school, housing) 1976 Residents becoming sick 1978 Lois Gibbs leads outcry 1980 Declared Disaster Site 2004 Taken off Superfund List

6 Chapter 24 Key Concepts Types and amounts of wastes
Methods to reduce waste Methods of dealing with wastes Hazardous waste regulation in the US

7 Section 1: Wasting Resources
Why should we care about solid waste? How much waste does the U.S. produce? What is in the garbage? The throw away mentality: OUT of SIGHT… OUT OF MIND

8 Solid Waste Unwanted or discarded material that is not liquid or gas
Out of sight Out of Mind No Waste In Nature Two Reasons to Be Concerned: Wasted Resources Causes huge amounts of air, water, land pollution and soil erosion

9 Wasting Resources Industrial and agricultural waste
Municipal solid waste Fig p. 533 US: 11 billion metric tons/year

10 Affluenza In Action U.S. produces 1/3rd of world’s solid waste and buries ½ of it Most waste from mining, oil, gas, ag., sewage, industry Think about a simple product like a computer…how much waste produced to create it (Life Cycle)

11 Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)
Municipal solid waste refers to solid waste generated by commercial establishment and households and collected by locally mandate government bodies. 1.5% of Solid Waste is MSW 38% is paper, 12% yard waste, 11% food waste, 10% platics E-Waste Growing FAST

12 MSW Continued… Garbologists findings
50 year old newspapers still readable Pork Chops decades old WHY DO THEY NOT DECOMPOSE????.....what do things need to decompose? The purpose of a landfill is to bury the trash in such a way that it will be isolated from groundwater, will be kept dry and will not be in contact with air. Under these conditions, trash will not decompose much. A landfill is not like a compost pile, where the purpose is to bury trash in such a way that it will decompose quickly.

13 MSW Continued… Enough disposable diapers each year linked together would go to moon and back 7 times Enough office paper to build a wall 11 feet high between NYC and SF The United States goes through 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour and only 1 out of 4 is recycled. Enough plastic bottles are thrown away each year in the United States to circle the earth four times.


15 Section 2: Producing Less Waste
What are our options? Management or Prevention How can we reduce solid waste? What can you do?

16 Producing Less Waste and Pollution
Waste management (high waste approach) Waste is part of economic growth, lets manage negatives Burying, burning, shipping Waste prevention (low waste approach) Before product is produced look to minimize life cycle Reduce, reuse, recycle

17 Dealing with Material Use and Wastes
Fig p. 535

18 The Sustainability Six
Consume less: Do we Really NEED this? Redesign products to use less resources: How can we make this product using less resources throughout their life cycle Redesign to use and make less pollution: Toxic substances etc.

19 The Sustainability Six
4) Develop products that are easier to repair, reuse, remanufacture, compost or recycle 5) Design products to last longer 6) Eliminate or reduce packaging (nude packaging)

20 Planned Obsolescence A manufacturing decision by a company to make consumer products in such a way that they become out-of-date or useless within a known time period. The main goal of this type of production is to ensure that consumers will have to buy the product multiple times, rather than only once. This naturally stimulates demand for an industry's products because consumers have to keep coming back again and again.


22 Section 3: Selling Services not Things
How can we copy nature and reduce waste? What is a service flow economy? In a service and flow economy, companies liquidize a service rather than a product. To do so, manufacturers of devices, like air conditioners, loan their physical equipment to houses and other buildings, and consumers pay for the maintenance of the service rather than for the machine itself. This revision of the traditional producer-consumer relationship would encourage a change in how Americans view the acquisition of goods from an indicator of status to the investment in the most reliable and sustainable goods present in the market.

23 Solutions: Cleaner Production
Ecoindustrial revolution: its goal is to make industrial manufacturing processes cleaner and more sustainable by redesigning them to mimic nature's way of dealing with waste Resource exchange webs: waste of 1 manufacturer becomes raw materials for another Biomimicry: using less resources to do same Service-flow economy selling services not goods. Renting, eco-leasing, etc.


25 Solutions: Selling Services Instead of Things
Service-flow economy Uses a minimum amount of material Products last longer Products are easier to maintain, repair, and recycle Eco-leasing: computers, cell phones, etc. See Individuals Matter p. 538

26 Section 4: Reuse What are the advantages and disadvantages of reuse?
Should we use refillable containers? What are some other ways to reuse things?

27 What is REUSE? Cleaning and using the material over and over again increasing the lifespan of the product

28 Junkyards and salvaging wood from old homes etc.

29 Not Reuse…

30 Reuse: Pros Extends resource supplies Saves energy and money
Reduces pollution Create jobs Reusable products

31 Reuse: Cons Waste (especially e-waste) can contain harmful substances…especially heavy metals Many seek out living scavenging for waste in large open dumps

32 Some Success 95% of Finland’s soft drink, beer, wine bottles reused
Germany about 3/4th are refilled

33 Other examples of Reuse…
Shopping bags and tool libraries

34 Be creative!


36 Section 5: Recycling What is recycling? What is composting?
How should we recycle solid waste? How much waste paper is being recycled? How feasible is recycling plastics? Why isn’t more reused and recycled?

37 What is recycling? Reprocessing solid waste into new useful products
5 Categories in US Household Recycling Paper Products Glass Aluminum Steel Some plastics

38 Types of Recycling Primary (closed-loop) Secondary (open loop)
There are three levels of recycling, primary, secondary and tertiary. Primary recycling is taking the recycled material and putting it back into the same product; secondary recycling is using the material in some other end product; tertiary recycling requires breaking the material down into its original components. Preconsumer waste Postconsumer waste Fig p. 539

39 Characteristics of Recyclable Materials
Easily isolated from other waste Available in large quantities Valuable

40 Recycling Rates Switzerland, Japan 50% U.S. 30% up from 6.4% in 1960
60-80% is achievable

41 Benefits of Recycling Fig p. 541

42 Composting Composting organic waste mimics nature
Only 5% of yard waste composted in U.S….could easily be raised to 35% Compost used as fertilizer, topsoil and help restore eroded land

43 Composting

44 Recycling Methods Centralized recycling of mixed waste (Materials-Recovery Facilities, MRFs) Pros/Cons of MRFs Source separation: separate waste at home Pay-as-you-throw (PAUT): pay for waste, not recycling

45 MRFs: Need large volume and energy


47 Wastepaper Recycling Easy to recycle
Removing ink, glue coating and reconverting into pulp 42% of world tree harvest is for paper Currently U.S. recycles 49% of waste paper Making paper has big enviro impact

48 How plastics are made Recycling plastic is difficult chemically and economically 10% in U.S. recycled Different resins Low cost of oil Biodegradable plastics (bioplatics) offer hope

49 Types of Plastic

50 Economics of Recycling
Paper, aluminum, steel are easy to recycle and make easy economic sense CRITICS: 1) plenty of landfill space, 2) Glass and plastic expensive to recycle Employs 1.1 million people

51 Why we don’t recycle more
Enviro Costs not included (externalities) Too few government subsidies Tipping fees at landfills cheap Price fluctuations for goods Often don’t PAUT Life cycle costs often not factored in



54 Section 6: Burning and Burying
What are advantages and disadvantages of burning solid waste? What are the advantages and disadvantages of burying solid waste?

55 Typical Waste to Energy Plant (incinerator)

56 Dioxins refers to a group of toxic chemical compounds that share certain chemical structures and biological characteristics can be released into the environment through forest fires, backyard burning of trash, certain industrial activities, and residue from past commercial burning of waste break down very slowly and past releases of dioxins from both man-made and natural sources still exist in the environment cause a number of adverse health effects, including cancer

57 Burning Wastes Mass burn incineration Air pollution Waste to energy
Fig p. 546

58 Burning Waste Japan and Switzerland over 50%, U.S. about 16%
More than 280 project canceled in U.S. due to high costs, concern among citizens, air pollution etc.

59 Burying Wastes Open dumps Sanitary landfills Leachate collection
Monitoring wells Emit greenhouse gases (CO2 and methane)

60 Sanitary Landfill Fig p. 547


62 Sanitary Landfills: Trade-offs
And what about all of the older landfills around U.S. and the rest of the world???

63 NIMBY Not In My Back Yard common with landfills and incinerators


65 Section 7: Hazardous Waste
What is hazardous waste? What can we do with hazardous waste? How can we detoxify waste? What are advantages and disadvantages of burying hazardous wastes? What are Brownfields?

66 What is Hazardous Waste?
Any discarded solid or liquid that is toxic, ignitable, corrosive or reactive enough to explode or release toxic fumes. 80-90% from developed countries 72% from Petro-Chem 22% mining

67 Hazardous Wastes: Types
Contains at least one toxic compound Catches fire easily Reactive or explosive Corrodes metal containers


69 Not Hazardous Wastes under RCRA
Radioactive wastes Household wastes Mining wastes Oil and gas drilling wastes Liquids containing organic hydrocarbons Cement kiln dust <100 kg (220 lb) per month

70 Case Study: Bhopal India
1984 World’s worst industrial accident Union Carbide pesticide plant explosion Toxic cloud settled over region killing 23,000 120,000 to 150,000 suffer chronic illnesses related to accident

71 Dealing with Hazardous Wastes
Fig p. 550

72 Detoxifying and Removing Wastes
Physical methods Chemical methods Bioremediation Phytoremediation Plasma incineration

73 Deep-well Disposal Fig p. 553

74 Hazardous Waste Landfill
Fig p. 554

75 Surface Impoundments: Trade-offs
Fig p. 553

76 Brownfields Abandoned industrial and other hazardous waste site
Factories, junk yards, gas stations Usually older urban areas like Camden are full of them

77 Brownfields Can be cleaned up and reborn as parks, industrial parks, etc. First need to be cleaned Some developers weary of taking risks and costs

78 Brownfields

79 One example of many in Camden: http://www. state. nj

80 Case Studies: Lead Lead poisoning major problem in children
Primary Sources of Lead Leaded gasoline (phased out by 1986) Lead paint (banned in 1970) Lead in plumbing Progress is being made in reducing lead


82 Case Studies: Mercury Vaporized elemental Mercury
Fish contaminated with methylmercury Natural inputs Emission control Prevention of contamination



85 Case Studies: Dioxins Potentially highly toxic chlorinated hydrocarbons Sources of Dioxins Waste incineration Fireplaces Coal-fired power plants Paper production Sewage sludge

86 Section 9: Hazardous Waste Regulation in the U.S.
What is RCRA? What is Superfund?

87 Hazardous Waste Regulation in the United States
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (Superfund) National Priority List Polluter-pays principle

88 RCRA 1976 Passed By Congress: amended 1984
ID Hazardous Waste and set standards Companies that deal with Haz. Waste over 220 lbs. must get permits Cradle to Grave tracking and submit proof to EPA

89 CERCLA Commonly called Superfund
Passed in 1980 (NJ Congressman leaders) Established tax on on chemicals to 1) ID abandoned dumps sites 2) Clean up groundwater 3) Establish NPL list for cleanups


91 CERCLA Responsible parties must pay
If no party can be found clean ups down using $ from tax on oil and chemical companies (tax expired 1995) 1,250 NPL sites…113 in NJ About 72% clean up underway avg. $20 million per site

92 CERCLA Some estimates 10,000 sites could cost $1 trillion…pollution prevention cheaper? Toxic Release Inventory

93 Polluter Pays Principle
Who should pay for cleanup when responsible parties can not be found? Currently tax payers 1 in 4 Americans live within 4 miles of Superfund NPL site

94 Solutions: Achieving a Low-Waste Society
Local grassroots action International ban on 12 persistent organic pollutants (the dirty dozen) POPs Treaty Precautionary Principle

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