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Solid Waste Disposal & the 3R’s

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

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

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

12 Reduce, Reuse, Recycle 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

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


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
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: Compacted solid waste Topsoil Sand Clay Garbage
Synthetic liner Subsoil When landfill is full, layers of soil and clay seal in trash Methane storage and compressor building Electricity generator Leachate treatment system Methane gas recovery Pipe collect explosive methane gas used as fuel to generate electricity Compacted solid waste storage tanks monitoring well Groundwater 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


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


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

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 SO2 , acidic gases and particulate matter Filters or electrostatic precipitators progressive series of filters remove tiny particles Removes particulate matter

31 Incinerator Diagram:

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

33 Incineration Site selection often controversial Ash problems:
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


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

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 (1) Reduce 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

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

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

41 Recycling is increasing in US
Other Developed Countries:

42 2 Categories 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

43 (3) Recycle Recycle these: Every ton of recycled paper saves:
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

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

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

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. Polyethylene terephalate, High density polyethlene, Polyvinyl chloride, Low density polyethylene, Polypropylene, Polystyrene, Other polycarbonates Soft drink bottles Shampoo and fast food service items Yogurt containers, straws, and bottle caps Other various plastics Milk bottles and butter tubs Grocery & bread bags Styrofoam

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 Saves energy energy demand water pollution Recycling Reduces solid waste disposal mineral demand Protects species habitat destruction

49 Two Ways to Recycle (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 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

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


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


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

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 O2 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 The two largest classes of hazardous wastes are
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 Waste in the Environment
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 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

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 1st 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 What Harmful Chemicals Are in Your Home?
Cleaning Gardening • Disinfectants • Pesticides • Drain, toilet, and window cleaners • Weed killers • Ant and rodent killers • Spot removers • Septic tank cleaners • Flea powders Paint • Latex and oil-based paints • Paint thinners, solvents, and strippers Automotive • Stains, varnishes, and lacquers Figure 22.15 Science: harmful chemicals found in many U.S. homes. The U.S. Congress has exempted disposal of these materials from government regulation. QUESTION: Which of these chemicals are in your home? • Gasoline • Wood preservatives • Used motor oil • Antifreeze • Artist paints and inks • Battery acid General • Solvents • Dry-cell batteries (mercury and cadmium) • Brake and transmission fluid • Glues and cements • Rust inhibitor and rust remover Fig , p. 534

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 Superfund Sites

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 1st 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

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

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

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

82 Radioactive contaminants Inorganic metal contaminants
Organic contaminants Poplar tree Brake fern Sunflower Willow tree Indian mustard Landfill Polluted groundwater in Oil spill AD: Easy to establish, inexpensive, little air pollution and low energy use DIS: Slow, only effective where plant roots can reach, and some plants can become toxic Polluted leachate Decontaminated water out Soil Soil Groundwater Groundwater 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. 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. Phytostabilization Plants such as willow trees and poplars can absorb chemicals and keep them from reaching groundwater or nearby surface water.

83 Can reduce material dumped into landfills
Trade-Offs Phytoremediation Advantages Disadvantages Easy to establish Slow (can take several growing seasons) Inexpensive Effective only at depth plant roots can reach Can reduce material dumped into landfills Some toxic organic chemicals may evaporate from plant leaves Figure 22.18 Trade-offs: advantages and disadvantages of using phytoremediation to remove or detoxify hazardous waste. QUESTION: Which single advantage and which single disadvantage do you think are the most important? Produces little air pollution compared to incineration Some plants can become toxic to animals Low energy use Fig , p. 538

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 Mobile. Easy to move to different sites
Trade-Offs Plasma Arc Advantages Disadvantages Small High cost Produces CO2 and CO Mobile. Easy to move to different sites Can release particulates and chlorine gas Figure 22.19 Trade-offs: advantages and disadvantages of using a plasma arc torch to detoxify hazardous wastes. QUESTION: Which single advantage and which single disadvantage do you think are the most important? Can vaporize and release toxic metals and radioactive elements Produces no toxic ash Fig , p. 538

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 Deep Underground Wells
Trade-Offs Deep Underground Wells Advantages Disadvantages Safe method if sites are chosen carefully Leaks or spills at surface Leaks from corrosion of well casing Wastes can be retrieved if problems develop Existing fractures or earthquakes can allow wastes to escape into groundwater Figure 22.20 Trade-offs: advantages and disadvantages of injecting liquid hazardous wastes into deep underground wells. QUESTION: Which single advantage and which single disadvantage do you think are the most important? Easy to do Encourages waste production Low cost Fig , p. 539

88 Low construction costs
Trade-Offs Surface Impoundments Advantages Disadvantages Groundwater contamination from leaking liners (or no lining) Low construction costs Low operating costs Air pollution from volatile organic compounds Can be built quickly Overflow from flooding Figure 22.21 Trade-offs: advantages and disadvantages of storing liquid hazardous wastes in surface impoundments. QUESTION: Which single advantage and which single disadvantage do you think are the most important? Wastes can be retrieved if necessary Disruption and leakage from earthquakes Can store wastes indefinitely with secure double liners Promotes waste production Fig , p. 539

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
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 Integrated Waste Management
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

97 Optimized Management of MSW Waste Stream:

98 Integrated Waste Management Goal to reduce waste

99 E-Waste is Particularly Problematic!


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 ( ) 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
Consume less Redesign manufacturing processes and products to: use less material and energy create less pollution and waste Develop products that are easy to repair, reuse, recycle, or compost “cradle to cradle” Eliminate or reduce packaging material Charge fee-per-bag for trash collection, but free recycle collection 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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