Presentation on theme: "Solid and Hazardous Waste Chapter 13. Outline: Solid Waste Waste Disposal Methods Shrinking the Waste Stream –Recycling Hazardous and Toxic Wastes –Federal."— Presentation transcript:
Solid and Hazardous Waste Chapter 13
Outline: Solid Waste Waste Disposal Methods Shrinking the Waste Stream –Recycling Hazardous and Toxic Wastes –Federal Legislation Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (Superfund Act) –Management Options
HIGH WASTE SOCIETY Enough aluminum to rebuild the country’s commercial airline fleet every 3 mounths Enough tires each year to encircle planet Earth almost 3 times 18 billion disposable diapers 2 billion disposable razors 19 million computers 8 million television sets 17 billion pounds of polystyrene peanuts
3,000 square miles of used carpet 13,200 pounds of construction wastes per person trillion pounds 2.5 million non-returnable plastic bottles per hour 1.5 billion pounds of edible food per year 186 billion pieces of junk mail per year This is only part of the 1.5% of all solid municipal waste
WASTE According to EPA, US produces 11 billion tons of solid waste annually. –About half is agricultural waste. –More than one-third is mining related. –Industrial Waste million metric tons. Hazardous/Toxic - 60 million metric tons. –Municipal Waste million metric tons. Two kg per person / per day. –Waste Stream
US Domestic Waste
WASTE - DISPOSAL METHODS Open Dumps –Open, unregulated dumps are still the predominant method of waste disposal in developing countries. Most developed countries forbid open dumping. –Estimated 200 million liters of motor oil are poured into the sewers or soak into the ground each year in the US. »Five times volume of Exxon Valdez.
Waste Disposal Methods Landfills –Sanitary Landfills Refuse compacted and covered everyday with a layer of dirt. –Dirt takes up as much as 20% of landfill space. »Since 1994, all operating landfills in the US have been required to control hazardous substances.
Landfills Historically, landfills have been a convenient, inexpensive waste-disposal option. –Increasing land and shipping fees, and demanding construction and maintenance requirements are increasing costs. Suitable landfill sites are become scarce. –Increasingly, communities are rejecting new landfills. »Old landfills are quickly reaching capacity and closing.
Waste Disposal Methods Exporting Waste –Although most industrialized nations have agreed to stop shipping hazardous and toxic waste to less- developed countries, the practice still continues. Garbage imperialism also operates in wealthier countries. Indian reservations increasingly being approached to store wastes on reservations.
Waste Disposal Methods Incineration and Resource Recovery –Energy Recovery - Heat derived from incinerated refuse is a useful resource. Steam used for heating buildings or generating electricity.
Incinerator Types Refuse-Derived Fuel - Refuse is sorted to remove recyclable and unburnable materials. Higher energy content than raw trash. Mass Burn - Everything smaller than major furniture and appliances loaded into furnace. Creates air pollution problems. Reduces disposal volume by 80-90%. –Residual ash usually contains toxic material.
Mass-Burn Garbage Incinerator
Burning Wastes Mass burn incineration Air pollution Waste to energy Advantages Reduced trash volume Less need for landfills Low water pollution Disadvantages High cost Air pollution (especially toxic dioxins) Produces a highly toxic ash Encourages waste production
Incinerator Cost and Safety Initial construction costs are usually between $100 and $300 million for a typical municipal facility. –Tipping fees are often much higher than tipping fees at landfills. EPA has found alarmingly high toxin levels in incinerator ash. –Concentrated in fly ash. Pollution control methods are not guaranteed to be 100% effective.
Recycling Potential Problems –Market prices fluctuate wildly. –Contamination Most of 24 billion plastic soft drink bottles sold annually in the US are PET, which can be melted and remanufactured into many items. –But a single PVC bottle can ruin an entire truckload of PET if melted together.
U.S. Recycling Rates
Recycling Benefits –Saves money, raw materials, and land. –Encourages individual responsibility. –Reduces pressure on disposal systems. Japan recycles about half of all household and commercial wastes. –Lowers demand for raw resources. –Reduces energy consumption and air pollution.
Recycling Benefits Example –Recycling 1 ton of aluminum saves 4 tons of bauxite, 700 kg of coke and pitch, and keeps 35 kg of aluminum fluoride out of the air. Producing aluminum from scrap instead of bauxite ore cuts energy use by 95%. –Yet still throw away more than a million tons of aluminum annually.
Shrinking the Waste Stream Composting –Biological degradation of organic material under aerobic conditions. Demanufacturing –Disassembly and recycling of obsolete consumer products. Reuse –Reusable glass container makes an average of 15 round-trips between factory and customer before it has to be recycled.
Shrinking the Waste Stream Producing Less Waste –Excess packaging of food and consumer products is one of our greatest sources of unnecessary waste. Paper, plastic, glass, and metal packaging material make up 50% of domestic trash by volume. –Increase use of photodegradable and biodegradable plastics. –Too much emphasis on recycling ?
Hazardous Waste Legally, hazardous waste is any discarded liquid or solid that contains substances known to be: –Fatal to humans or laboratory animals in low doses. –Toxic, carcinogenic, mutagenic, or teratogenic to humans or other life-forms. –Ignitable with a flash point less than 60 o C. –Explosive or highly reactive.
Hazardous Waste Disposal Federal Legislation –Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Comprehensive program requiring rigorous testing and management of toxic and hazardous substances. –Cradle to grave accounting.
Hazardous Wastes Contains one or more of 39 identified compounds Catches fire easily Reactive or explosive Corrodes metal containers
Not Hazardous Wastes Radioactive wastes Household wastes Mining wastes Oil and gas drilling wastes Liquids containing organic hydrocarbons Cement kiln dust <100 kg (220 lb) per month
HAZARDOUS AND TOXIC WASTES EPA estimates US industries generate 265 million metric tons of officially classified hazardous wastes annually. –At least 40 million metric tons of toxic and hazardous wastes are released into the environment each year.
Cradle to Grave
Federal Legislation Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). –Modified in 1984 by Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act. Aimed at rapid containment, cleanup, or remediation of abandoned toxic waste sites. –Toxic Release Inventory - Requires 20,000 manufacturing facilities to report annually on releases of more than 300 toxic materials.
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (Superfund Act) Government does not have to prove anyone violated a law, or what role they played in a superfund site. –Liability under CERCLA is “strict, joint, and several”, meaning anyone associated with a site can be held responsible for the entire clean-up cost.
Superfund Sites EPA estimates 36,000 seriously contaminated sites in the US. –By 2000, 1,551 sites had been placed on the National Priority List for cleanup with with Superfund financing. Superfund is a revolving pool designed to: –Provide immediate response to emergency situations posing imminent hazards. –Clean-up abandoned or inactive sites.
Superfund Sites Total costs for hazardous waste cleanup in the US are estimated between $370 billion and $1.7 trillion. –For years, most of the funding has gone to legal fees, but this situation has improved over past several years. Studies of Superfund sites reveal minorities tend to be over-represented in these neighborhoods.
How Clean is Clean Brownfields - Contaminated properties that have been abandoned or are not being used up to potential because of pollution concerns. –Up to one-third of all commercial industrial sites in urban core of many big cities fall into this category. In many cases, property owners complain that unreasonably high purity levels are demanded in remediation programs.
THE LOVE CANAL TRAGEDY “THERE IS NO AWAY” Between 1942 and 1953 Hooker Chemicals and Plastics sealed chemical wastes containing at least 200 different chemicals into steel drums and dumped them into an old canal excavation near Niagra Falls, New York. Hooker Chemicals covered over and sold the landfill to the Niagra Falls School board for $1. There was a disclaimer denying legal responsibility for injury caused by toxic chemicals Hooker warned the School Board not to disturb the topsoil because of possible danger from toxic wastes. By 1959 an elementary school and 949 homes were built in the 10 square block area of Love Canal
Love Canal continued Roads and sewers crisscrossed the dump site. An expressway built at one end of the dump blocked ground water from reaching the Niagra River creating a “bath tub” effect allowing ground water and rainwater to build up and come to the surface residents began complaining about chemical smells and chemical burns their children received playing in the canal area. Complaints were ignored!! In 1977 chemicals begin leaking into storm sewers, gardens, and basements of homes.
“An Individual Matters” In 1978 after considerable citizen pressure led by Lois Gibbs and considerable media publicity the state acted. Her children began experiencing “unexplained illnesses.” She formed the Love Canal Home Owners Association. This grass roots organization brought hazardous waste issues to national prominence and spurred th federal Superfund legislation to clean up toxic waste sites.
What has happened since? The state closed the school and arranged for the 2239 homes nearest the landfill evacuated, purchased and destroyed. Two years later President Jimmy Carter declared Love Canal a federal disaster area. The Federal Government had the remaining 564 relocated and provided funding to buy 564 new homes elsewhere. Residents of all but 72 of the homes moved out.
The dump site was covered with a new clay cap and surrounded by a drainage systems that pumps leaking wastes to a new treatment plant. After 15 years of court battles OxyChem parent company of Hooker agreed to a $98 million settlement and agreed to pay New York state $7.1 million for site clean up. Because of the difficulty of linking exposure of specific chemicals to specific health threats, the long term health effects on Love Canal remain remain unknown and contoversial.
In June 1990 the EPA declared the “Black Creek Village” safe and allowed state officials to begin selling the remaining 234 homes at a 10-20% discount. The dump has not been cleaned up only fitted with a drainage system. EPA acknowledges that the dump will leak again. Buyers must sign an agreement that New York State and the Federal Governmentmake no guarantees about the safety of living in these homes.
Love Canal is a vivid reminder that we can never really throw anything away, that wastes don”t stay put, and that preventing pollution is much safer and cheaper than trying to clean it up.
Hazardous Waste Management Options Produce Less Waste –Avoid creating wastes in the first place –Recycle and Reuse Convert to Less Hazardous Substances –Physical Treatment (Isolation) –Incineration –Chemical Processing (Transformation) –Bioremediation (Microorganisms)
Hazardous Waste Management Options Store Permanently –Retrievable Storage Can be inspected and periodically retrieved. –Secure Landfills Modern, complex landfills with multiple liners and other impervious layers and monitoring systems.
Producing Less Waste and Pollution Waste management (high waste approach) Burying, burning, shipping Waste prevention (low waste approach) Reduce, reuse, recycle Chemical or biological treatment Burial
Dealing with Materials Use and Wastes 1st Priority 2nd Priority Last Priority Primary Pollution and Waste Prevention Change industrial process to eliminate use of harmful chemicals Purchase different products Use less of a harmful product Reduce packaging and materials in products Make products that last longer and are recyclable, reusable or easy to repair Secondary Pollution and Waste Prevention Reduce products Repair products Recycle Compost Buy reusable and recyclable products Waste Management Treat waste to reduce toxicity Incinerate waste Bury waste in landfill Release waste into environment for dispersal or dilution Fig. 21.4, p. 521
Dealing with Hazardous Wastes Produce Less Waste Convert to Less Hazardous or Nonhazardous Substances Put in Perpetual Storage Manipulate processes to eliminate or reduce production Recycle and reuse Land treatment Incineration Thermal treatment Chemical physical, and biological treatment Ocean and atmospheric assimilation Landfill Underground injection Waste piles Surface impoundments Salt formations Arid region unsaturated zone
Reuse Extends resource supplies Maintains high-quality matter Reduces energy use Refillable beverage containers Reusable shipping containers and grocery bags
Characteristics of Recyclable Materials Easily isolated from other waste Available in large quantities Valuable Pay-as-you-throw garbage collection
Benefits of Recycling Reduces global warming Reduces acid deposition Reduces urban air pollution Make fuel supplies last longer Reduces air pollution Saves energy Reduces energy demand Reduces water pollution Recycling Reduces solid waste disposal Reduces mineral demand Protects species Reduces habitat destruction Fig. 21.7, p. 530
INDIVIDUALS MATTER Ray Anderson CEO of Interface Atlanta based company that makes carpet Lease carpet - Install clean & inspect carpet on monthly basis Repair carpet overnight recycle carpet into new carpet using renewable energy Developed new polymer Solenium Can be recycled, cleaned with water, will not mildew
Burying Wastes Sanitary landfill Leachate collection Monitoring wells Emit greenhouse gases (CO 2 and methane) Space near where waste is produced
Sanitary Landfill Topsoil Sand Clay Garbage Sand Synthetic liner Sand Clay Subsoil When landfill is full, layers of soil and clay seal in trash Methane storage and compressor building Electricity generator building Leachate treatment system Methane gas recovery Pipe collect explosive methane gas used as fuel to generate electricity Compacted solid waste Leachate storage tanks Leachate monitoring well Leachate monitoring well Groundwater monitoring well Groundwater monitoring well Leachate pipes Leachate pumped up to storage tanks for safe disposal Leachate pumped up to storage tanks for safe disposal Clay and plastic lining to prevent leaks; pipes collect leachate from bottom of landfill
Deep-well Disposal Advantages Safe method if sites are chosen carefully Wastes can be retrieved if problems develop Low cost Disadvantages Leaks or spills at surface Leaks from corrosion of well casing Existing fractures or earth quakes can allow wastes to escape into groundwater Encourages waste production Fig , p. 538
Hazardous Waste Landfill Bulk waste Imperviousclay Earth Water table Groundwater Clay cap Gas vent Topsoil Earth Sand Plastic cover Impervious clay cap Leakdetectionsystem Reactionwastes in dreams Double leachate collection system Plastic double liner Groundwatermonitoringwell
Above Ground Hazardous Waste Disposal Waste transporter Hazardous waste Support column Inspector Elevator shaft Fig , p. 540
Exporting Wastes Shipping to developing countries Potentially huge profits for exporters Basel Convention on Hazardous Waste Many developing countries refusing wastes
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 plastics Lead in plumbing Progress is being made in reducing lead
Hazardous Waste Regulation in the United States Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act Superfund National Priority List Polluter-pays principle Brownfields
Solutions: Achieving a Low-Waste Society Local grassroots action International ban on 12 persistent organic pollutants (the dirty dozen) Cleaner production Improved resource productivity Service flow economies