23 Ways Municipal Waste is Handled The waste materials produced in homes, businesses, schools, and other places in a community.3 Ways Municipal Waste is HandledBury it (Landfills)Burn it (Incineration)Recycle it
3LandfillsConsRain falling on the waste’s dissolved chemicals would form a polluted liquid called leachate. This could run into streams or trickle in the groundwater under the dump.Well designed landfills still pose a risk for polluting groundwaterProsNow much solid waste is buried in landfills that are constructed to hold the wastes more safely. Sanitary landfills holds municipal solid waste, construction debris, and some types of agricultural and industrial waste. Once it is full it is covered with a clay cap.Capped landfills can be reused in certain ways, like parks, sports arenas, and other sites.
5Incineration Pros Cons The burning of solid waste is called incineration.ProsBurning facilities do not take up as much space.They do not pose a risk of polluting groundwater.The heat produced by burning solid waste can be used to generate electricity.Reduce the volume of waste up to 90%.ConsRelease pollution into the air.The remaining waste needs to go somewhere.More expensive to build than sanitary landfills.Many communities can’t afford to replace the landfill with an incinerator.
74 Major Categories of Recycling The process of reclaiming raw materials and reusing them is called recycling. It reduces the volume of solid waste. Recycling enables people to use the materials in waste again, rather than discarding it. A substance that can be broken down and recycled by bacteria and other decomposers is biodegradable. Many products people use are not biodegradable, like plastic bottles, metal cans, rubber tires, and glass jars.4 Major Categories of RecyclingMetalGlassPaperPlastic
8MetalMetals such as iron and aluminum can be melted and reused. Recycling metals saves money and causes less pollution. No ore needs to be mined, transported to factories, or processed. This helps metals to conserve these nonrenewable resources.GlassGlass is one of the easiest products to recycle because glass pieces can be melted down over and over to make bricks, tiles, and the reflective paints on road signs. Recycling glass is less expensive than making glass from raw materials because the recycled pieces melt to a lower temperature, less energy is required, and it reduces the environment damage caused by mining for sand, soda, and limestone.
9PaperPaper mills turn wood into thick liquid called pulp. Pulp is spread out and dried to produce paper. Pulp can also be made from used paper. The paper must be washed to remove the inks and dyes. The paper is than mixed with more water and other chemicals. Most paper products can only be recycled a few times. Recycled paper is not smooth or strong as paper made from wood pulp. Each time it is recycled the paper is rougher, weaker, and dryer.PlasticWhen oil is refined to make gasoline and other petroleum products, solid materials called resins are left over. Resins can be heated, stretched, and molded into plastic products. The number in the symbol on plastic products indicates what type of plastic it is made of. If it is labeled with 1 or 2 are made from plastics that are often recycled. Some products that are made with these types of plastics are milk jugs and soda bottles. When they are recycled they take on different forms, like carpet, park benches, shower stalls, floor tiles, and trash cans.
10Recycling Pros Cons Saves energy. Conserves resources. Many materials can be recycled.ConsScientist haven’t found good ways to recycle other materials, such as plastic-coated paper or plastic foam.There are not enough uses for some recycled products.All recycling processes require energy.Recycling processes created some pollution.
11Solid Waste Management Many communities now collect recyclable items along with other house items.Many supermarkets recycle paper and plastic grocery bags.Many states charge deposit fees on certain glass, metal, and plastic containers.There are recycling bins for metal and glass in movie theater, parks, and other public areas.Consumers can choose to buy products made with recyclable materials.* As a result, the amount of municipal solid waste that is recycled has increased, but most solid waste still goes to landfills.
12What you can doTo help control the solid waste problem use the 3 R’s – reduce, reuse, and recycle. Reduce refers to creating less waste in the first place. Example: use a cloth shopping bag rather than a disposable paper or plastic bags. Reuse refers to finding another use for and object rather than discarding it. Example: refill plastic drink bottles with water instead of buying a new one. Recycle refers to reclaiming raw materials to create new products. One way to reduce the amount of solid waste is to start a compost pile. Composting is the process of helping the natural decomposition process break down many forms of waste.
13Interesting FactsThe average person produces about 2 kilograms of trash daily.Every hour, people throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles.Every year, people throw away enough white paper to build a wall 4 meters high that stretches from coast to coast.Every year, people throw away 1.6 billion pens, 2.9 million tons of paper towels, and 220 million automobile tires.In 1976, the government banned open dumpsGlass is made from sand, soda ash, and limestone mixed together and heated.It takes about 17 trees to make one metric ton of paper.