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17 TH MILLER/SPOOLMAN LIVING IN THE ENVIRONMENT Chapter 21 Solid and Hazardous Waste.

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Presentation on theme: "17 TH MILLER/SPOOLMAN LIVING IN THE ENVIRONMENT Chapter 21 Solid and Hazardous Waste."— Presentation transcript:

1 17 TH MILLER/SPOOLMAN LIVING IN THE ENVIRONMENT Chapter 21 Solid and Hazardous Waste

2 21-1 What Are Solid Waste and Hazardous Waste, and Why Are They Problems? Concept 21-1 Solid waste contributes to pollution and represents the unnecessary consumption of resources; hazardous waste contributes to pollution as well as to natural capital degradation, health problems, and premature deaths.

3 We Throw Away Huge Amounts of Useful Things and Hazardous Materials (1) Solid waste Industrial solid waste Mines, farms, industries Municipal solid waste (MSW) “Trash” Hazardous waste (toxic waste) Threatens human health of the environment Organic compounds Toxic heavy metals Radioactive waste

4 Recovery = Recycling + Composting

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9 Municipal Solid Waste in the United States Leader in solid waste problem What is thrown away? Leader in trash production, by weight, per person Approximately 4.4 lbs. per person per day (recent NY Times article) Recycling is helping

10 Total and Per Capita Production of Municipal Solid Waste in the U.S. Fig. 21-4, p. 560

11 Hundreds of Millions of Discarded Tires in a Dump in Colorado Fig. 21-5, p. 561

12 Pay as you throw In communities with pay-as-you-throw programs (also known as unit pricing or variable-rate pricing), residents are charged for the collection of municipal solid waste—ordinary household trash—based on the amount they throw away. This creates a direct economic incentive to recycle more and to generate less waste. Traditionally, residents pay for waste collection through property taxes or a fixed fee, regardless of how much—or how little—trash they generate. Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) breaks with tradition by treating trash services just like electricity, gas, and other utilities. Households pay a variable rate depending on the amount of service they use. Fort Worth, TX, proportion of households recycling: 21% to 85%

13 21-2 How Should We Deal with Solid Waste? Concept 21-2 A sustainable approach to solid waste is first to reduce it, then to reuse or recycle it, and finally to safely dispose of what is left.

14 We Can Burn or Bury Solid Waste or Produce Less of It Waste Management Reduce harm, but not amounts Waste Reduction Use less and focus on reuse, recycle, compost Integrated waste management Uses a variety of strategies

15 Integrated Waste Management: Priorities for Dealing with Solid Waste Integrated waste management: The U.S. National Academy of Sciences suggests these priorities for dealing with solid waste. To date, these waste-reduction priorities have not been followed in the United States or in most other countries. Instead, most efforts re devoted to waste management through disposal (bury it, burn it, or send it somewhere else). Question: Why do you think most countries do not follow these priorities, even though they are based on reliable science?

16 NY Times article: The Side Effects of Consumerism

17 21-3 Why Are Reusing and Recycling Materials So Important? Concept 21-3 Reusing items decreases the consumption of matter and energy resources, and reduces pollution and natural capital degradation; recycling does so to a lesser degree.

18 Reuse: Important Way to Reduce Solid Waste, Pollution, and Save Money Reuse: clean and use materials over and over Downside of reuse in developing countries Salvaging poor exposed to toxins Flea markets, yard sales, Goodwill, eBay, Craigslist, freecycle.org Rechargeable batteries

19 There Are Two Types of Recycling (1) Primary, closed-loop recycling Materials recycled into similar products Secondary recycling Materials converted to other products: tires Types of wastes that can be recycled Preconsumer: internal waste Postconsumer: external waste

20 There Are Two Types of Recycling (2) Do items actually get recycled? What are the numbers?

21 Case Study: Recycling Paper 55% of world’s tree harvest used to make paper Pulp and paper industry 5 th largest energy consumer, and uses more water per unit weight of product produced than any industry. Recycled paper: 64% less energy 35% less water pollution 74% less air pollution Replacement of chlorine-based bleaching chemicals with H 2 O 2 or O 2 Total wastepaper recycling rates: United States: 50% Denmark: 97% South Korea: 77%

22 Case Study: Recycling Plastics Plastics: composed of resins created from oil and natural gas In U.S., only about 4% (by weight) of all plastic wastes is recycled. Litter: beaches, oceans Kills wildlife Gets into food chain and seafood

23 Trade-Offs: Recycling Fig , p. 569

24 We Can Encourage Reuse and Recycling (1) What hinders reuse and recycling? 1.Market prices don’t include harmful costs associated with production, use, discarding 2.Recycling industries get less favorable government treatment than large industries do 3.Prices for recycled materials fluctuate

25 We Can Encourage Reuse and Recycling (2) Encourage reuse and recycling Government Increase subsidies and tax breaks for using such products Decrease subsidies and tax breaks for making items from virgin resources Fee-per-bag collection New laws Citizen pressure

26 21-4 The Advantages and Disadvantages of Burning or Burying Solid Waste Concept 21-4 Technologies for burning and burying solid wastes are well developed, but burning contributes to air and water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and buried wastes eventually contribute to the pollution and degradation of land and water resources.

27 Solutions: A Waste-to-Energy Incinerator with Pollution Controls Fig , p. 571

28 Trade-Offs: Waste-to-Energy Incineration Fig , p. 571 Dioxins--Fact Sheet from W.H.O.

29 Burying Solid Waste Has Advantages and Disadvantages Open dumps Widely used in less-developed countries Rare in developed countries Sanitary landfills

30 Solutions: State-of-the-Art Sanitary Landfill Fig , p. 572 Leachate

31 Trade-Offs: Sanitary Landfills Fig , p. 572

32 21-5 How Should We Deal with Hazardous Waste? Concept 21-5 A sustainable approach to hazardous waste is first to produce less of it, then to reuse or recycle it, then to convert it to less hazardous materials, and finally, to safely store what is left.

33 Integrated Hazardous Waste Management Fig , p. 573

34 Core Case Study: E-waste— An Exploding Problem (1) Electronic waste, e-waste: fastest growing solid waste problem Most ends up in landfills and incinerators Composition includes High-quality plastics Valuable metals Toxic and hazardous pollutants Readings for Thursday

35 We Can Detoxify Hazardous Wastes Collect and then detoxify Physical methods Chemical methods Use nanomagnets Bioremediation Phytoremediation Incineration Using a plasma arc torch

36 Solutions: Phytoremediation Fig , p. 575

37 Trade-Offs: Plasma Arc Fig , p. 576

38 We Can Store Some Forms of Hazardous Waste (1) Burial on land or long-term storage Last resort only Deep-well disposal 64% of hazardous liquid wastes in the U.S.

39 Trade-Offs: Deep-Well Disposal Fig , p. 576

40 We Can Store Some Forms of Hazardous Waste (2) Surface impoundments Lined ponds or pits Secure hazardous landfills

41 Surface Impoundment in Niagara Falls, New York Fig , p. 577

42 Trade-Offs Surface Impoundments Fig , p. 577

43 Solutions: Secure Hazardous Waste Landfill Fig , p. 577

44 What Can You Do? Hazardous Waste Fig , p. 578

45 Case Study: Hazardous Waste Regulation in the United States (1) 1976: Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Congress enacted RCRA to address the increasing problems the nation faced from its growing volume of municipal and industrial waste. RCRA amended the Solid Waste Disposal Act of It set national goals for: Protecting human health and the natural environment from the potential hazards of waste disposal. Energy conservation and natural resources. Reducing the amount of waste generated, through source reduction and recycling Ensuring the management of waste in an environmentally sound manner. [2] It is now most widely known for the regulations promulgated under RCRA that set standards for the treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous waste in the United States. Cradle to grave Covers only 5% of hazardous wastes

46 Case Study: Hazardous Waste Regulation in the United States (2) 1980: Comprehensive Environmental, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) National Priorities List 2010: 1300 sites 340 sites cleaned so far Pace of cleanup has slowed Superfund is broke Brownfields properties whose expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties protects the environment, reduces blight, and takes development pressures off green spaces and working lands.

47 Love Canal Revisiting Love Canal

48 21-6 How Can We Make the Transition to a More Sustainable Low-Waste Society? Concept 21-6 Shifting to a low-waste society requires individuals and businesses to reduce resource use and to reuse and recycle wastes at local, national, and global levels.

49 Grassroots Action Has Led to Better Solid and Hazardous Waste Management “Not in my backyard” Produce less waste “Not in anyone’s backyard” “Not on planet Earth”

50 Providing Environmental Justice for Everyone Is an Important Goal Environmental Justice Everyone is entitled to protection from environmental hazards Which communities in the U.S. have the largest share of hazardous waste dumps? Environmental discrimination

51 International Treaties Have Reduced Hazardous Waste (1) Basel Convention 1992: in effect 1995 amendment: bans all transfers of hazardous wastes from industrialized countries to less- developed countries 2009: Ratified by 195 countries, but not the United States

52 International Treaties Have Reduced Hazardous Waste (2) In 2000, delegates from 122 countries completed a global treaty in Stockholm to phase out the “dirty dozen” Persistent Organic Compounds (POPS). EPA: “Though the United States is not yet a Party to the Stockholm Convention, the Convention has played a prominent role in the control of harmful chemicals on both a national and global level. For example, EPA and the states have significantly reduced the release of dioxins and furans to land, air, and water from U.S. sources. In addition to assessing dioxins, EPA has also been working diligently on the reduction of DDT from global sources.” Everyone on earth has POPs in blood

53 We Can Make the Transition to Low-Waste Societies Norway, Austria, and the Netherlands Committed to reduce resource waste by 75% East Hampton, NY, U.S. Reduced solid waste by 85% Follow guidelines to prevent pollution and reduce waste

54 Three Big Ideas 1.The order of priorities for dealing with solid waste should be to produce less of it, reuse and recycle as much of it as possible, and safely dispose of what is left. 2.The order of priorities for dealing with hazardous waste should be to produce less of it, reuse or recycle it, convert it to less hazardous material, and safely store what is left.

55 Three Big Ideas 3.We need to view solid wastes as wasted resources and hazardous wastes as materials that we should not be producing in the first place.


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