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Chris Newman Environmental Scientist USEPA Solid Waste and Recycling.

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Presentation on theme: "Chris Newman Environmental Scientist USEPA Solid Waste and Recycling."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chris Newman Environmental Scientist USEPA Solid Waste and Recycling

2 Overview Overview of Waste in America Waste and Recycling 101 Relating Waste to Climate Change Consequences of Landfill

3 Overview of Waste in America

4 Solid Waste Generation 2009 MSW figures –243 million tons of waste generated 135 million tons disposed in a landfill 82 million tons recycled 29 million tons combusted –4.5 lbs/person/day generated –33.2% national recovery rate 40% generated outside home –Parks, sports arenas, transportation systems, shopping centers If every American recycled just one plastic beverage bottle while ‘on the go,’ we could prevent the disposal of more than 8,000 tons of recyclable material This is equivalent to 608 Sears Towers (by weight)!!

5 Generation (1960 – 2009)

6 Recycling (1960 – 2009)

7 Cook and Surrounding Counties Counties 9 Area (square miles) 5,109 Population (est.) 8,827,903 Percent of Total Illinois Population 67.8% 8 Active Landfills as of 2008 9 Years of Landfill life expectancy

8 Recycling: Northeast Region Cook County: –Generated: 15 million Tons –Recycled: 6 million tons (42.5 % rate) Recycling can include: Traditional recyclables, Construction & Demolition Debris The Northeast Counties landfilled the equivalent of 171 Nimitz class aircraft carriers in 2009

9 Waste and Recycling 101

10 How Waste Flows Transfer Stations Landfills Recycling –Traditional Recyclables –Compost –E-waste

11 Flow Diagram Landfill GeneratorGarbage/Recycling Truck Transfer Station Long-Haul Garbage Truck Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) Manufacturing Facility

12 Landfill Operation


14 Composting

15 Electronic Waste

16 Relating Waste to Climate Change

17 Climate Change Overview Climate Change Background Connecting Waste to Climate Change

18 Climate Change is More than Just Warming.


20 CO 2 Concentrations: Unprecedented in 650,000 years

21 Sector-Based View of U.S. GHG Emissions (2006) This figure reflects data from the Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2006 (U.S. EPA, 2008), Table 2-12. This figure excludes emissions from U.S. territories, which are not allocated to economic sectors. GHGs and Climate Change: Sector-based Approach

22 The Materials – Climate Connection U.S. GHG Emissions (2006) Source: Opportunities to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions through Materials and Land Management Practices, U.S. EPA, September 2009, 22

23 Connecting Waste to Climate Change

24 Recycling Saves Energy!

25 Current Benefits of Recycling Energy Benefits: 1.3 quadrillion BTU –Equivalent to 224 million barrels of oil Climate Benefits: 178 million MTCO2e –Equivalent to emissions from 33 million cars

26 Environmental Impacts of Landfills

27 Consequences of Landfill Leachate Gas and Odors Groundwater Reactive Wastes

28 Leachate Leachate Seeps

29 Gas and Odors Offsite Monitoring

30 Groundwater Groundwater Remediation

31 The garbage patch is located in a remote area of the North Pacific Tropical Gyre The clockwise motion of the ocean’s currents brings sea debris/garbage to this area from all over the ocean, most of which is plastic. The garbage patch is roughly two times the size of Texas. Pacific Garbage Patch



34 There are Others! Indian Ocean PatchAtlantic Ocean Patch

35 What is Being Done? EPA is working with NOAA to develop coastal Debris Management Plans –identifying sources of marine debris –developing recommendations to mitigate sources of Marine Debris Private and non-profit organizations are researching possible clean-up options –i.e. Project Kaisei

36 Questions??

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