2Statistics Solid waste produced by one person Each day…about poundsEach year… 1,825 poundsIn a 70 year lifespan…127,750 pounds180 million metric tons of solid waste is disposed of per year in the U.S.
3Solid Waste 98.5% is from 1.5% is municipal solid waste (MSW) 1. Mining2. Oil and gas production3. Agriculture4. Sewage treatment5. Industry1.5% is municipal solid waste (MSW)
4Waste StreamThe steady flow of varied waste from domestic garbage and yard wastes to industrial, commercial and construction refuse.Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) is domestic waste & is composed of…
5Most refuse is mixed… Makes separation an expensive process Mixes hazardous waste with normal waste, making disposal or burning dangerous
6History of Garbage Disposal Hunters & gathersultimate compostersNo packagingAll biodegradable
7Open Dumps 1st created in 500 B.C. in Athens, Greece Outlawed in U.S. & many other MDC. Some illegal dumping still occursStill in use by most developing countries.Mexico city produces 10,000 tons of trash each day.Many poor families work these dumps to get food or recyclables for $Garbage is simply dumped anywhere.Cons:Attracts vermin & insectsSmellsMethane causes spontaneous fires (Smokey Mtn in Phillipines)Aesthetic degredation
8Ocean Dumping55 million lbs of bottles, cans, plastic are dumped at sea330 million lbs of fishing gear- lines, nets, etc. lost each yearNew York did not stop dumping sewage until 1992!
9Sanitary Landfills #1 disposal method for majority of MSW in U.S. Located on geologically stable areas- solid bedrock with impermeable soilNow try to avoid areas near rivers, lakes, floodplains & aquifer recharge zonesDig a large pitLayers of clay and/or plastic form base of landfillPrevents hazardous chemicals (oil, chemicals, metals, etc.) from leaching into soilDrainage pipes may be added to remove leachateTrash is added, compacted, then covered with soilThis deters vermin & reduces odorMethane pipes & vents may be added to prevent methane build up that might result in explosionsWhen landfill is full, final layers of dirt are added, trees & plants are planted on mound.Groundwater is monitored over time to check for leaking landfills
11Sanitary Landfills Cons: NIMBY: Not In My Back Yard Aesthetic degradationRising land prices & shipping costsRunning out of landfill spaceMany places having to pay large sums to ship garbage to other communitiesDemanding maintenance requirements/lawsBecoming more expensive
12Garbage ImperialismSending waste to LDC or poor neighborhoods for disposalMany communities try to sell waste to Indian reservations b/c they are not under same fed. regulationsMost MDC have agreed to stop shipping hazardous & toxic waste to LDC, but still occurs.EX: 1999, Bel Trang, Cambodia received 3000 tons of incinerated plastic waste. Happy residents used packaging from waste for rice storage, bedding, roofing. Ended up with mercury poisoning. Plastic company paid a $3 million bribe to Cambodian officials to dispose of their waste. Went back to pick it up, but damage already done.“Recycle” toxic material into something else.Ex: toxic waste recycled into asphalt or concrete filler for building highways; phosphogypsum from phosphate mining is sold as soil amendment (fertilizer) which does help plants grow but is radioacitve
13Incineration Garbage is burned Also used as energy recovery (waste to energy) when garbage burned to boil water, produce steam & create energyPros:Reduce landfill spaceOnly bury ashExtends life of a landfillCons:ExpensiveAir pollutionMay be toxic ash residue- dioxin, furans, lead, cadmiumIf used to create energy must have consistent stream of garbage so doesn’t work well in communities that recycle heavily.
14Types of Incinerators Refuse-derived fuel Mass burn Unburnable or recyclables are removed before burningMore time consuming & expensiveCreates less harmful emissionsMass burnDump everything smaller than a sofa into burn pitLess expensive, easierCauses more air pollution & maintenance on chimneys
15REDUCE! REUSE! RECYCLE! In that order… How can we shrink the waste stream so we don’t have to rely on disposal methods?REDUCE!REUSE!RECYCLE!In that order…
16Reduce the amt of waste you generate- preferred method of waste reduction Buy foods with less packagingBring your own bags for carrying groceries- no paper OR plasticBring your own bottles/cupsLook for products that use fewer toxinsIf choosing between glass, metal or plastic- choose glass or metalPreferred Hierarchy:No packagingMinimal packagingReusable packagingRecyclable packagingCompost your yard waste & kitchen scrapsIf using plastic use photodegradable or biodegradable plasticCons:Don’t go away completelyMay add toxins to soilNever decompose in sanitary landfillPeople may think littering is OKREDUCE
17REDUCESince 1977, the weight of 2-liter plastic soft drink bottles has been reduced from 68 grams each to 51 gramsThat means that 250 million pounds of plastic per year has been kept out of the waste stream
18REUSE Reuse/resell things that are still good Auto parts sold thru junkyards- demanufacturingSalvage parts (doors, stained glass) from old buildingsSome areas provide money to return bottles for refillingDonate clothing/toys to charities that will sell them for moneyPreferred over recycling because material doesn’t have to be reprocessed
19RECYCLE Reprocessing of discarded materials into new, useful products. Recycle glass into other glass productsRecycle tires into rubberized road surfacingProblems:Plastic recyclables can be contaminated by one PVC bottle in a truckloadPlastic recycling is down 50% b/c so many people consume these bottles on the go.Benefits:Saves water, energy, raw materials, land spaceLowers demand for raw resources- less deforestation, miningProducing aluminum from scrap instead of bauxite ore cuts energy need by 95%Reduces pollutionMakes one think about waste they produceCut waste volumes & reduce pressure on landfillsReduces litter problemsRECYCLE
20COMPOSTING Breakdown of organic cmpds with aerobic bacteria Can be used as organic fertilizerCan include anything except meat or dairyBenefits:Keeps organic wastes out of landfillsProvides nutrients to the soilIncreases beneficial soil organisms (e.g., worms and centipedes)Suppresses certain plant diseasesReduces the need for fertilizers and pesticidesProtects soils from erosion
21Energy from Waste“Every year we throw away the energy equivalent of 80 million barrels of oil in organic waste in the U.S.”Trap methane from landfill to use like natural gasBurn garbage to create steam to create energyOrganic material can be digested in digester with bacteria that produce methane which can be used like natural gas (farms may use this with animal manure)
23Hazardous wasteAny discarded material, liquid or solid that contains substances known to be…Fatal to humans or lab animals in low dosesToxic, carcinogenic, mutagenic, or teratogenic to humans or other life-formsIgnitable with a flash point less than 60°CCorrosiveExplosive or highly reactiveBiggest source of toxins are chemical & petroleum industries
24Household Hazardous Waste Common household items such as paints, cleaners, oils, batteries, and pesticides contain hazardous componentsLabels – danger, warning, caution, toxic, corrosive, flammable, or poison identify products that might contain hazardous materialsLeftover portions of these products are called household hazardous waste (HHW)These products, if mishandled, can be dangerous to your health and the environment
25Proper Handling of HHWThe best way to handle HHW is to reduce the amount initially generated by giving leftover products to someone else to useMany communities have set up collection programs to prevent HHW from being disposed of in MSW landfills and combustorsThese programs ensure the safe disposal of HHW in facilities designed to treat or dispose of hazardous wasteMore than 3,000 HHW collection programs exist in the United States
26Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) (all about prevention) The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) was enacted by Congress in 1976 and amended in 1984.Primary goal- to protect human health and the environment from the potential hazards of waste disposal.In addition, RCRA calls forconservation of energy and natural resourcesreduction in waste generatedenvironmentally sound waste management practices.Cradle to grave law- must keep record of hazardous waste from time created to time disposed of.
27About SuperfundYears ago, people were less aware of how dumping chemical wastes might affect public health and the environmentOn thousands of properties where such practices were intensive or continuous, the result was uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites, such as abandoned warehouses and landfills
28About SuperfundCitizen concern over the extent of this problem led Congress to establish the Superfund Program in 1980 to locate, investigate, and clean up the worst sites nationwideThe EPA administers the Superfund program in cooperation with individual states and tribal governmentsThe office that oversees management of the program is the Office of Emergency and Remedial Response (OERR)
29Superfund Legislation (all about the clean up) Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liabilities Act (CERCLA); 1980“Superfund” to clean up abandoned sitesHazard Ranking System (HRS)National Priority List (NPL)Qualifications…Leaking or have potential for leaking toxinsSite contains: lead, trichloroethylene, toluene, benzene, PCB’s, chloroform, phenol, arsenic, cadmium, chromiumReauthorized in 1986 (SARA)Toxic Release Inventory- requires 20,000 manufacturing facilities to report annually on releases of more than 300 toxic materials.
30Intended as a solution to those previously contaminated sites with no one to pay for clean up Two levelsEmergency responseimmediate threat to human health or environmentLong term remediationif Hazard Ranking System (HRS) shows a score over 27.5, it is added to the National Priorities List (NPL) for Superfund cleanup1300 sites on NPL in 1990, more to come
32Examples of Hazardous Waste Sites Old industrial plants- smelters, mills, oil refineries (esp. around Great Lakes & Gulf Coast)Mining districts, railyards, abandoned filling stationsOld dumps- indiscriminate dumping of many itemsLove Canal in Niagara Falls, NY- community built on old dump holding 20,000 tons of toxinsHardeman, TN- 250,000 barrels of chemical waste buried in shallow pits, leaked into water
33Cleaning up Hazardous Waste Sites Brownfields- areas of land that are not being used to potential b/c do have or may have pollutants in soil or water.Columbia, Mississippi81 acres contaminated w/turpentine & pine tarConcentrations of phenols above federal standardsAdded to Superfund NPL siteSome experts recommended covering w/soil & enclosing w/fenceInstead, EPA made Reichhold Chemical (last owner of property) to pay $4 million to remove 12,500 tons of soil and replace with clean soil so may be used for homesTook contaminated soil to a hazardous waste dump in Louisiana
34Hazardous Waste Management & Disposal Source reduction- don’t buy it or buy items that include toxic chemicalsRecycling reduces need for harmful chemicalsWaste exchange- one company gets rid of waste which is a raw material for another; both win- generator doesn’t pay disposal cost, recipient pays little for raw materialConvert to Less Hazardous SubstancePhysical Treatment- charcoal or resin filters absorb toxins, metals & radioactive substances can be fused with silica to make stable, impermeable glassIncineration- heating over 1000C for a period of time leads to complete destruction; ash is safer to store or uses less spaceChemical Processing- makes toxic material non-toxic; neutralization, oxidation, removal of metalsBioremediation- microorganisms absorb, accumulate & detoxify; activated sludge basins, oil spills; better to keep in reaction vessels instead of releasing to env.Stored PermanentlyRetrievable Storage- secure building, salt mine, bedrock cavern (Yucca Mtn) so can accessed, checked on, removed If necessary; more expensive, must be guarded & monitoredSecure Landfills- similar to regular landfill but may be located on industry property