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Solid Waste Disposal & the 3R’s. Big Ideas Problem: We live in a single use, throw-away society that encourages the consumption There is no “away” – Trash.

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Presentation on theme: "Solid Waste Disposal & the 3R’s. Big Ideas Problem: We live in a single use, throw-away society that encourages the consumption There is no “away” – Trash."— Presentation transcript:

1 Solid Waste Disposal & the 3R’s

2 Big Ideas Problem: We live in a single use, throw-away society that encourages the consumption There is no “away” – Trash often does not stay put Trash represents waste: – wasted resources, wasted energy, wasted land, wasted hours, wasted productivity The best solution is prevention: – Preventing pollution is much safer & cheaper than trying to clean it up

3 Focus should be: Source Reduction Source reduction (waste prevention) means consuming and throwing away less You can: – Purchase durable, long-lasting goods – Seek products and packaging that are as free of toxins as possible – Avoid single use items Saves resources Saves money Reduces pollution

4 Throw-a-way society Only Humans produce waste other organisms can’t use Until a society becomes relatively wealthy – Very little waste – 1900’s most material reused/recycled junk/scrap dealers After WWII – Cultural/Social changes – Disposable products became the norm – Planned Obsolescence Products designed to be replaced Increases consumption & waste

5 Material Flow Human Economy: Mostly linear Nature: Closed loop

6 Solid waste: any unwanted or discarded material we produce that is not a liquid or gas. – Municipal solid waste (MSW): produced directly from homes & cities. (Mostly paper) – Industrial solid waste: produced indirectly by industries that supply people with goods and services. Manufacturing Agriculture Mining/Drilling/Raw material extraction Hazardous (toxic) waste: threatens human health or the environment because it is toxic, chemically active, corrosive or flammable. 2% 98% 50% 15% 35% focus on MSW, even though majority is industrial

7 Waste collected by municipalities from – households, – small businesses, – institutions such as schools, prisons, municipal buildings hospitals. Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)

8 US leads the world in trash production – The US has 4.5% of world’s population, but produces 1/3 of the world’s trash. – 4.5 pounds per person – 2 times as much as other industrialized nations – 5 – 10 times as much as developing countries Two reasons to be concerned – ¾ represents unnecessary waste of earth’s finite resources – In producing the products we use and discard, we are creating huge amounts of Air pollution Water pollution Land degradation Solid and hazardous waste

9 Wasting Resources What we throw away in our high waste economy – Enough aluminum to rebuild country’s commercial airline fleet every 3 months – Discarded carpet each year would cover Delaware – 27 million tons of edible food each year – Enough paper to build a wall 11 feet high across the entire country every year Americans spend more money on trash bags than 90 other countries spend on everything they buy.

10 What Makes Up The Solid Waste Stream? 31% - paper 33%- organic materials (yard waste, food scraps, wood) 12%- plastic 18%- durable goods (appliances, tires) 80% – 90% could be recycle, or composted Biggest single category: Paper MSW

11 What Makes Up The Solid Waste Stream? Another way to look at MSW: By Source Biggest source: Containers & packaging

12 Reduce- waste minimization or prevention – Source reduction Reuse- reusing something like a disposable cup more than once Recycle- materials are collected and converted into raw materials and then used to produce new objects Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

13 (Landfills) Where does MSW go? What we should be doing What we actually do Landfills

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15 Dump versus a Landfill Dump – an open site where waste was dumped in a pile. – Problems: attract pests of all kinds, create hazardous leachate, noxious smells – Dumps are illegal in the US Landfill – an engineered system designed to dispose of waste in manner that protects public health and natural resources – Require extensive engineering systems to protect groundwater, prevent pest infestations and contain dust, odor and blowing trash.

16 Constructing a Landfill constr/constr.html constr/constr.html Basics: – Build Landfill: Dig big hole, line it, install leachate collection system – Add trash (daily load is called a cell), cover each day with layers of dirt and clay to minimize smell and rodents – Close Landfill: Install methane collection system, cap the landfill, install storm water runoff system and groundwater monitoring system – Designate for other uses: Park, nature reserve, golf course. No buildings: ground is unstable and methane can build up in structures

17 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 Groundwater monitoring well Leachate pipes Leachate pumped up to storage tanks for safe disposal Clay and plastic lining to prevent leaks; pipes collect leachate from bottom of landfill

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19 Federal Landfill Standards set by RCRA Location restrictions – Away from faults, wetlands, flood plains, or other restricted areas. Composite liners requirements – Geomembrane (plastic) liner over 2 feet of compacted clay soil lining the bottom and sides Leachate collection systems – On top of the liner (usually with sand for drainage) and removes leachate from the landfill for treatment and disposal. Operating practices – Compacting and covering waste frequently with several inches of soil (daily cover) – Benefits: reduce odor, control litter, insects, and rodents and protect public health. Closure and post-closure care – Include covering landfills and providing long-term care and monitoring of closed landfills. – Methane collection & monitoring – Groundwater monitoring Requires testing groundwater to determine whether leachate has escaped from the landfill.

20 Sanitary Landfill

21 Problems With Landfills Most MSW is buried in landfills that eventually are expected to leak toxic liquids into the soil and underlying aquifers Siting issues (“Not In My Backyard!”) Leachate contamination – adjacent waterways & aquifers – human toxicity Methane gas release  greenhouse gas – From anaerobic decomposition of organic matter – Benefit: collect methane and use it for energy Incomplete decomposition of waste

22 Methane Collection System Collects valuable methane that results from anaerobic decomposition inside the landfill Safety feature and energy source! Methane = Natural gas Can be a form of Waste to Energy

23 Choosing a Location (“Siting”) a Landfill Controversial Political Soils with clay Away from water sources Above the water table On the outskirts of populous centers – How far away: balance between transportation costs and proximity causing nuisance and eyesore NIMBY resistance Environmental justice

24 Benefits of Landfills Can accept large amounts of trash Most convenient method of disposal Regulated to make safer – Even though most expected to eventually leak Accepts most MSW – Including paper, plastic, metal, organic material,etc – Exception: no hazardous waste Including batteries, paints, solvents, pesticides, etc

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26 Case Study: What Should We Do with Used Tires? We face a dilemma in deciding what to so with hundreds of millions of discarded tires.

27 What Should We Do with Used Tires? They can burn for years producing large amounts of toxic air pollutants... Very hard to put out

28 Tires Are allowed in landfill if they are shredded otherwise they are recycled.

29 (Landfills) Where does MSW go? What we should be doing What we actually do Incineration

30 Incinerators Burning MSW can be used to generate electricity – Burn trash  create heat  boil water to make steam  steam turns a turbine  electricity! – Called Waste-to-energy Incinerators must have: – Scrubbers devices that use a liquid spray to neutralize acidic gases. Removes SO 2, acidic gases and particulate matter – Filters or electrostatic precipitators progressive series of filters remove tiny particles Removes particulate matter

31 Incinerator Diagram:

32 Volume of solid waste reduced by 90% after incineration Produces heat that can make steam to generate electricity Incinerators

33 Incineration Site selection often controversial –Smelly; ugly; truck traffic (toxic) ash disposal siting: NIMBY Air pollution – Hg & Dioxins Discourages recycling Expensive to build Ash problems: fly ash (PM) bottom ash Can be toxic

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35 (Landfills) Where does MSW go? What we should be doing What we actually do Reuse/recycle

36 Solving the MSW Problem The only TRUE solution to our MSW problem is the 3 R’s (in order of preference): – Reduce – Reuse – Recycle

37 Source reduction – MOST EFFECTIVE!!! – Design & manufacture products in ways that decrease the volume of solid waste created Redesign packaging Companies moving to Zero-Waste Manufacturing – Subaru » Reuses materials, reclaims solvents & paints, recycle materials, remaining 1% is burned for energy – Technological development can constantly decrease the size and weight of a product – Reduce consumption (1) Reduce

38 (2) Reuse Extends resource supplies and requires less energy than mining raw materials & manufacturing Increases residence time before disposal Examples – Refillable beverage containers – Reusable grocery bags Many cities have banned plastic bags Dallas stores must charge 5¢ per bag – Repair – Repurpose: newspaper for animal bedding – Ebay, flea markets, garage sales – Borrow books from library

39 (2) Reuse Developed Countries – Reusing products is an important way to reduce resource use, waste, and pollution Developing Countries – Reusing can be hazardous for poor who scavenge in open dumps. – They can be exposed to toxins or infectious diseases.

40 (3) Recycling Conservation of resources by converting material into new product.

41 Recycling is increasing in US Other Developed Countries:

42 Closed-loop Becomes the same item Needs no/few new inputs old carpet → new carpet Open-loop Becomes a different item Needs additional inputs plastic bottle → fleece jacket 2 Categories

43 Recycle these: –Glass bottles, newspapers, steel cans, plastic bottles, cardboard, office paper Every ton of recycled paper saves: –17 trees –7000 gallons of water –4100 kwatt-hrs of energy –3 cubic yards of landfill space (3) Recycle

44 Recycling Paper –US recycles 50% –Denmark recycles 97% Recycling Glass –US recycles 25% –Costs less than new glass –Can be used to make glassphalt (3) Recycle

45  50% of aluminum recycled in US  World avg = 70%  Recycled aluminum uses 90% fewer resources  50% of aluminum recycled in US  World avg = 70%  Recycled aluminum uses 90% fewer resources (3) Recycle

46 Plastic Recycling Recycling some plastics is chemically and economically difficult to recycle. Plastics are often recycled into other forms of plastic and those plastics are often not recyclable. Many plastics are hard to isolate from other wastes. Recovering individual plastic resins does not yield much material. The cost of virgin plastic resins is lower than recycled resins due to low subsidized fossil fuel costs. There are new technologies that are making plastics biodegradable Plastics must be sorted according to their resin identification code which indicates the type of material they were made from. Styrofoam Grocery & bread bags Shampoo and fast food service items Milk bottles and butter tubs Soft drink bottles Yogurt containers, straws, and bottle caps Other various plastics

47 Characteristics of Recyclable Materials  *Easily isolated from other waste  *Available in large quantities  *Valuable – there is a market

48 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

49 Two Ways to Recycle Source separation – Consumers separate their trash into different bins – Pros: cheaper, can be less energy intensive, lower start- up costs – Cons: not everyone does it, relies on consumers – Concern: May waste resources if it requires two separate trucks to visit each house, better to have single truck with dual collection capabilities (MRF) Materials Recovery Facilities – Single Stream – Machines and workers separate trash at a facility – Pros: can increase the amount of recycled materials, provides high paying jobs – Cons: expensive to build and operate, can produce air pollution, only economically feasible when scrap prices are high – Concerns: removes responsibility and awareness from the consumer

50 Recycling – trying to achieve Zero-Waste San Francisco – goal to minimize the amount of waste that ends up in a landfill – – IBM & Recology on video library page

51 Nike: Reuse-A-Sneaker Poor unsafe working conditions Inadequate wages Toxic solvents, adhesives, and rubber manufacturing VOC’s Imposed a Cradle to Grave Analysis “Nike Considered”: likert scale of sustainability at each step in the process Friendlier adhesives/rubber Organic Exchange Cotton Reuse-A-Shoe Nike Grind – to make playground & other athletic surfaces

52 Why is recycling not the whole answer to our waste problem

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54 Composting – Recycling Nutrients Composting is the controlled decomposition of organic matter, such as food and yard wastes, into humus, a soil- like material

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56 Organic Matter: –Food scraps –Yard waste –Agricultural manure –Sewage Sludge Can also include –Wood –Paper (usually better to recycle, unless soiled) Composting : Recycling Nutrients

57 Composting - Pros Reduces volume in landfills –Organic matter in landfills decompose anaerobically → produce methane Produces humus –Fertilizer –Enhances soil texture –Retains moisture Anyone can do it –Large or small scale Can be sold or distributed to community

58 Composting - Cons Takes time and space Can be inconvenient –Need to monitor C:N ratio 30:1 for best microbial action Add moisture Aerate/Agitate to add O 2 If not properly maintained –Can smell bad –Attract flies, rats, etc

59 City Compost Pile: Large scale Composting

60 Hazardous Materials & Integrated Waste Management

61 Hazardous waste: is any discarded solid or liquid material that is toxic, ignitable, corrosive, or reactive enough to explode or release toxic fumes. The two largest classes of hazardous wastes are – toxic heavy metals (lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, chromium). – synthetic organic compounds or Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP) (e.g. pesticides, PCBs, dioxins, DDT)

62 Hazardous Wastes in the environment are harmful when absorbed in high concentrations. Heavy metals POPs Can easily leach into groundwater. Chemicals and toxins can be released at safe levels but may react or combine with other chemicals, from synergism, to create dangerous mixtures. They can be taken up by organisms via food or water or simply absorbed from the surroundings. – Will bioaccumulate and biomagnify in the food chain Are Persistent – Stay in environment a long time Hazardous Waste in the Environment Spraying apples with insecticide, Japan

63 Hazardous Waste & Health Heavy metals - Neurotoxins Damage Brain & nerve function Metal retardation Hyperactivity, Shortened attention span, Behavior disorder Kidney & Skeleton damage Death POP – – Disrupt systems Endocrine – Gender benders – Thyroid disorders Reproductive – Birth defects – Reduced fertility Immune – Cancer – Death

64 Hazardous Waste Harmful to humans/ecosystems The majority is byproduct of industrial processes – 36 million ton/year Households generate 1.5 million ton/year Only 5% recycled Expensive & difficult to treat & dispose of No truly good way of disposal - 2 options: – 1) source reduction: don’t create it in the 1 st place – 2) Use a less toxic alternative

65 Hazardous Waste Sources Cleaning machinery Manufacturing processes Mining and drilling Agriculture Dry cleaners Auto service stations Households: over cleaners, batteries Fuels, solvents, lubricants, pesticides

66 Fig , p. 534 What Harmful Chemicals Are in Your Home? Glues and cements Dry-cell batteries (mercury and cadmium) Rust inhibitor and rust remover Brake and transmission fluid General Cleaning Battery acid Wood preservatives Stains, varnishes, and lacquers Automotive Gasoline Used motor oil Paint Latex and oil-based paints Paint thinners, solvents, and strippers Gardening Pesticides Weed killers Ant and rodent killers Antifreeze Flea powders Disinfectants Septic tank cleaners Spot removers Drain, toilet, and window cleaners Artist paints and inks Solvents

67 Household Hazardous Waste Common household items such as – paints, cleaners, oils, batteries and pesticides Look for Labels – danger, warning, caution, toxic, corrosive, flammable or poison Disposal – Deliver to your local HHW collection facility for proper disposal – Better: Share these materials with neighbors to reduce waste

68 Hazardous Waste Regulations (US) Two major federal laws regulate the management and disposal of hazardous waste in the U.S.: – RCRA - Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Tracks waste progress Cradle-to-the-grave system to keep track of waste. – CERCLA - Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act Commonly known as Superfund program. Clean up abandoned waste sites

69 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Regulates hazardous waste from “cradle to grave” – EPA regulates the generation, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste Regulates disposal of solid waste in landfills – sets standards Regulates handling of household hazardous waste Regulates storage of materials in underground storage tanks (i.e. gas tanks) Works to minimize the generation of hazardous waste

70 Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) (Superfund Act) Clean up abandoned hazardous waste sites. Most severe sites on NPL – National Priorities List – NJ has 9,000 contaminated sites, but only 114 have final NPL status Cleanup is very expensive, so who pays? – If a responsible party is located and financially able, they are required to pay for the cleanup. – If no party can be found, the government pays to clean up the site Superfund was funded by a tax on oil and chemical companies until 1995, now it is funded by the general tax fund Passed in 1980 In response to the Love Canal incident

71 Superfund Sites 2014 – 1,332 sites NJ – 114 CA – 97 PA – 95 NY – 85 TX – 50

72 Love Canal, NY - There Is No “Away” Between , Hooker Chemical sealed multiple chemical wastes into steel drums and dumped them into an old canal excavation (Love Canal). In 1953, the canal was filled and sold to Niagara Falls school board In 1957, Hooker Chemical warned the school not to disturb the site because of the toxic waste. In 1959 an elementary school, playing fields and homes were built disrupting the clay cap covering the wastes. In 1976, residents complained of chemical smells and chemical burns from the site, increased rates of illness, birth defects

73 Love Canal President Jimmy Carter declared Love Canal a federal disaster area. – The area was abandoned in 1980 In 1983, Love Canal became the 1 st superfund site – Took 20 years & 400 million to clean up It still is a controversy as to how much the chemicals at Love Canal injured or caused disease to the residents. – difficult to link long-term health effects – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEdt6f_fAFo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEdt6f_fAFo

74 How many other Love Canals are there around the world Chemical time bombs Leaking chemical storage tanks and drums Pesticides dumps Piles of mining wastes

75 Brownfield Abandoned industrial and commercial sites contaminated with hazardous wastes – Less contaminated than superfund sites – Factories, junkyards, older landfills, gas stations Problems – Lots of sites: 450,000 in US – No uniform Federal Standards Clean up is managed by city/state gov Varies widely by region – No legal liability enforcement Can’t compel polluter to clean up Success – Can revitalize/rehabilitate for public good – Parks, athletic fields, nature preserves, etc

76 Brownfields Pros to remediation: – Can be done as part of urban redevelopment projects – Allows urban areas to return to profitable uses: parks, athletic field, preserves – Remove threat from hazardous wastes for both human and nature Cons: – Expensive – Older sites may be difficult to clean to new standards. – Have to dispose of contaminated material – Have to disturb soil and habitat – Could contaminate another area

77 Management of the Waste we are Producing –(1) source reduction –(2) conversion to less hazardous materials –(3) long-term storage HAZARDOUS WASTES

78 Disposal of Hazardous Waste Best - reduce – Stop production of products that contain hazardous wastes – find substitutes / alternative substances – Recycle and/or reuse Better - mitigate – Convert into less hazardous substances by incineration, biological treatment or thermal treatment Worst - store – Haz. Waste landfill, surface impoundments, underground injection wells,

79 Conversion to Less Hazardous Substances Physical Methods: using charcoal or resins to separate out harmful chemicals. Chemical Methods: using chemical reactions that can convert hazardous chemicals to less harmful or harmless chemicals, usually by incineration. Biological Methods: – Bioremediation: bacteria or enzymes help destroy toxic and hazardous waste or convert them to more benign substances. – Phytoremediation: involves using natural or genetically engineered plants to absorb, filter and remove contaminants from polluted soil and water. – Mycoremediation : fungi mycelium absorbs contaminants from soil

80 DEALING WITH HAZARDOUS WASTE We can produce less hazardous waste and recycle, reuse, detoxify, burn, and bury what we continue to produce.

81 Biological: Detoxifying Wastes  - Bioremediation  Uses organisms to break down wastes  Bacteria & microbes  -Phytoremediation uses plants to remove wastes from soil  -Mycoremediation uses fungi mycelium  Very good at absorbing heavy metal  - Bioremediation  Uses organisms to break down wastes  Bacteria & microbes  -Phytoremediation uses plants to remove wastes from soil  -Mycoremediation uses fungi mycelium  Very good at absorbing heavy metal

82 Phytostabilization Plants such as willow trees and poplars can absorb chemicals and keep them from reaching groundwater or nearby surface water. Rhizofiltration Roots of plants such as sunflowers with dangling roots on ponds or in green- houses can absorb pollutants such as radioactive strontium -90 and cesium-137 and various organic chemicals. Phytodegradation Plants such as poplars can absorb toxic organic chemicals and break them down into less harmful compounds which they store or release slowly into the air. Inorganic metal contaminants Organic contaminants Radioactive contaminants Brake fern Poplar tree Indian mustard Willow tree Sunflower Oil spill Landfill Groundwater Soil Polluted leachate Decontaminated water out Polluted groundwater in Groundwater Soil Phytoextraction Roots of plants such as Indian mustard and brake ferns can absorb toxic metals such as lead, arsenic, and others and store them in their leaves. Plants can then be recycled or harvested and incinerated.

83 Fig , p. 538 Inexpensive Low energy use Easy to establish Trade-Offs Phytoremediation AdvantagesDisadvantages Some plants can become toxic to animals Some toxic organic chemicals may evaporate from plant leaves Produces little air pollution compared to incineration Can reduce material dumped into landfills Slow (can take several growing seasons) Effective only at depth plant roots can reach

84 Conversion to Less Hazardous Substances Incineration: heating many types of hazardous waste to high temperatures – up to 2000 °C – in an incinerator can break them down and convert them to less harmful or harmless chemicals. Plasma Torch: passing electrical current through gas to generate an electric arc and very high temperatures can create plasma. – The plasma process can be carried out in a torch which can decompose liquid or solid hazardous organic material.

85 Fig , p. 538 Advantages Trade-Offs Plasma Arc Small High cost Produces no toxic ash Can vaporize and release toxic metals and radioactive elements Can release particulates and chlorine gas Mobile. Easy to move to different sites Produces CO2 and CO Disadvantages

86 Long-Term Storage: Hazardous Waste Hazardous waste can be disposed of on or underneath the earth’s surface, but without proper design and care this can pollute the air and water. – Deep-well disposal: liquid hazardous wastes are pumped under pressure into dry porous rock far beneath aquifers. – Surface impoundments: excavated depressions such as ponds, pits, or lagoons into which liners are placed and liquid hazardous wastes are stored.

87 Fig , p. 539 Safe method if sites are chosen carefully Trade-Offs Deep Underground Wells AdvantagesDisadvantages Encourages waste production Existing fractures or earthquakes can allow wastes to escape into groundwater Leaks from corrosion of well casing Leaks or spills at surface Low cost Easy to do Wastes can be retrieved if problems develop

88 Fig , p. 539 Low construction costs Can store wastes indefinitely with secure double liners Groundwater contamination from leaking liners (or no lining) Trade-Offs Surface Impoundments Advantages Promotes waste production Disruption and leakage from earthquakes Overflow from flooding Air pollution from volatile organic compounds Wastes can be retrieved if necessary Can be built quickly Low operating costs Disadvantages

89 Long-Term Storage of Hazardous Waste Long-Term Retrievable Storage: Some highly toxic materials cannot be detoxified or destroyed. Metal drums are used to stored them in areas that can be inspected and retrieved. Secure Landfills: Sometimes hazardous waste are put into drums and buried in carefully designed and monitored sites.

90 Secure Hazardous Waste Landfill In the U.S. there are only 21 commercial hazardous waste landfills.

91 Above Ground Hazardous Waste Disposal Waste transporter Hazardous waste Support column Inspector Elevator shaft Fig , p. 540

92 International Waste Management =Toxic colonialism – Developed countries sometimes send their waste to developing countries Less expensive than following laws within the country Controversial aspect of waste management Environmental Justice issue

93 Integrated Waste Management Life Cycle Analysis

94 Life-Cycle Analysis (Cradle to Grave) Important tool to make good decisions Maps the materials/energy/pollution used and released throughout the lifetime of the product – Mining raw material – Manufacturing – Shipping – Use – Disposal Impacts quantified – Environmental – Economic – Social Limitations – A lot must be estimated

95 Integrated Waste Management Holistic approach (“from all angles”) W. McDonough’s book Cradle to Cradle – New approach to manufacturing – Develop products for disassembly – Recycled easily: with little material put in waste stream – Ex: Volkswagen Cars designed to be easily taken apart for repair/recycling – Ex: carpeting

96 A method that seeks to develop as many options as possible, to reduce environmental harm and cost. Reduction, recycling, composting, landfills, and incineration are some ways IWM is utilized. Move from linear to circular material flow Integrated Waste Management

97 Optimized Management of MSW Waste Stream:

98 Integrated Waste Management Goal to reduce waste

99 E-Waste is Particularly Problematic!

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101 E-waste Electronic waste including televisions, cell phones, computers, DVD players and other electronic devices – Hazardous waste! Contains POPS: PVCs (polyvinylchloride), PBBs (polybrominated flame retardants), Heavy metals: lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium, etc – If disposed in landfill, these hazardous chemicals are released in air, water and soil – E-waste must be collected so the hazardous materials can be removed and recycled: US recycles 20% Switzerland recycles 80% – US produces half world’s e-waste

102 How to dispose of E-Waste What we are currently doing: – The Electronic Waste Recycling Act mandates and funds a program to ensure the collection and proper disposal of e- waste – Most of the US’s e-waste is shipped to developing countries (China, India, Pakistan) to be recycled. – Less than 20% of e-waste is actually collected for recycling What we SHOULD be doing: – Manufacture products that do not contain toxic materials – Design products that have interchangeable parts so that broken parts can be repaired and then re-used (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDAw7v W7H0c )http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDAw7v W7H0c – Require companies to take back products at the end of the life cycle so that the company has to consider how manage the waste in their design process. – Charge consumers a recycling fee when they purchase the product and require the trade-in of the old product when a new one is purchased

103 Achieving a Low-Waste Society In the U.S., citizens have kept large numbers of incinerators, landfills, and hazardous waste treatment plants from being built in their local areas. (NIMBY) Environmental justice means that everyone is entitled to protection from environmental hazards without discrimination. – NIABY – Not In Anyone’s Backyard – NOPE – Not On Planet Earth –

104 Global Outlook: International Action to Reduce Hazardous Waste An international treaty, The Stockholm Convention 2001, calls for phasing out the use of harmful persistent organic pollutants (POPs), the dirty dozen. – POPs are insoluble in water and soluble in fat. – Nearly every person on earth has detectable levels of POPs in their blood. – The U.S has not ratified this treaty. – Dirty dozen: DDT, dioxin, PCB’s (polychlorinated biphenyls), HCB (hexachlorobenzene)

105 Solutions: mimic nature 1.Consume less 2.Redesign manufacturing processes and products to: use less material and energy create less pollution and waste 3.Develop products that are easy to repair, reuse, recycle, or compost “cradle to cradle” 4.Eliminate or reduce packaging material 5.Charge fee-per-bag for trash collection, but free recycle collection 6.Establish cradle to grave responsibility laws

106 Making the Transition to a Low- Waste Society: A New Vision Everything is connected. There is no “away” for the wastes we produce. Dilution is not always the solution to pollution. The best and cheapest way to deal with wastes are reduction and pollution prevention.


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