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Let’s Talk Trash Abigail Dahlberg

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1 Let’s Talk Trash Abigail Dahlberg

2 The waste industry is a growth industry.
Three main drivers: Environmental concerns High (primary) commodity prices Increased regulation People are becoming aware of environmental impact. Demand for products manufactured with recycled goods has risen overall during the past five years due to shifts in consumer preference toward products that are perceived as environmentally friendly. Manufacturers of products made with recycled materials demanded more recycled commodities from wholesalers, in turn aiding industry demand. Considerable volatility in recycled commodity prices, which dropped during the recession in response to slumping consumption. IBIS World Report about US recycled commodities market forecasts that recycled commodity prices are set to rebound from 2011 to 2012, prompting an estimated 3.9% jump in revenue to $5.5 billion in US. The China factor. 3. New regulations include stricter recycling targets to promote shift away from landfilling and towards recycling, e.g. EU Waste Framework Directive mandates recycling of 50% of household waste and 70% of construction and demolition waste by 2020.

3 Let’s talk words… Waste Trash Garbage Rubbish Refuse Junk Litter
All of these words have a negative slant. Waste is the most neutral term, but all of these words suggest that waste is something unwanted and useless.

4 Let’s talk words… Secondary raw materials Recycled raw materials
Recycled resources Recyclables Alternative resources Recycled commodities These terms are more positive and now commonly found in texts referring to waste. A paradigm shift is under way from waste to resources management and from viewing waste as something valueless to something holding value. (e.g. in German Abfall vs. Wertstoffe)

5 Let’s talk concepts… What is waste?
Basel Convention: Wastes are materials (…) for which the initial user has no further use and of which he/she wants to dispose. Wastes may be generated during the extraction of raw materials, the processing of raw materials into intermediate and final products, the consumption of final products, and other human activities. The Basel Convention is a treaty that aims to reduce cross-border hazardous waste shipments and ultimately prevent hazardous waste from being exported from developed to less developed countries. Only three countries have yet to ratify the Convention: Afghanistan, Haiti and the USA. Disposal is highlighted because translators need to be very careful in using the term disposal, especially when translating texts for the recycling industry (see subsequent slides).

6 When does a product become waste?
European Union: The EU Waste Framework Directive defines waste as “an object the holder discards, intends to discard or is required to discard.” Demonstrate product -> trash

7 When does a waste become a product?
Moving from a linear to a circular economy Linear economy: Take, make and dump Circular economy: Closed-loop economy now becoming buzz phrase in EN after decades of being a concept in Germany, especially in the UK. In past years, the focus has been on defining when a product becomes waste. What happened after an object became waste was an afterthought. Now the focus is on developing criteria under which waste can become a product or raw material again.

8 End-of-waste criteria (Abfallendeverfahren)
End-of-waste criteria specify when certain waste ceases to be waste and obtains a status of a product (or a secondary raw material). EoW criteria already in place for iron, steel and aluminium scrap. In the pipeline: copper scrap metal, recovered paper, glass cullet, plastics and biodegradable waste / compost, aggregates and RDF. EU is spearheading the development of these criteria. Reports drawn up by the EU Joint Research Centre’s Institute for Prospective Technological Studies are a fabulous source of terminology. The IPTS also publishes summaries in different languages. The Center is also developing reference documents for the best available techniques for different waste management processes.

9 One example: Aluminium scrap
Scrap shall be graded according to a customer specification, a standard or an industry standard The aluminium scrap shall have been segregated at the source or while collecting and shall have been kept separate; or the input wastes shall have been treated to separate the aluminium scrap from the non-metal and undesired metal components All mechanical treatment (like cutting, shearing, shredding or granulating; sorting, separation, cleaning, de-polluting, emptying) needed to prepare the material for direct input into final use shall have been completed.

10 One example: EoW criteria for aluminium scrap
A limit on metal yield, metal content or the content of foreign materials (e.g. metals other than aluminium and aluminium alloys or non-metallic materials such as earth, dust, insulation and glass) Scrap must be free of visible oil, oily emulsion, grease or lubricants Scrap must have been checked for radioactivity When recovered material can be classified as a product it is no longer subject to waste management controls, thereby boosting market confidence and facilitating trade. e.g. waste shipment regulation requires prior written consent of certain waste exports.

11 Disposal vs. recovery... Waste management activities are classed as recovery or disposal, as defined in the 2008 Waste Framework Directive. Disposal (Beseitigung) is defined as any waste management operation serving or carrying out the final treatment and disposal of waste. It covers the following main operations: Incineration without energy recovery (on land; at sea) Landfill Let’s talk more concepts Very simplified view. Be careful about disposal, especially colleagues working in German “entsorgen” can be better translated as handle, process or manage, especially for texts destined for industry readership

12 Recovery (Verwertung) is “any operation in which waste serves a useful purpose by replacing materials which would otherwise have been used to fulfil a particular function.” Recovery mainly refers to the following operations: - material recovery, i.e. recycling; - energy recovery, i.e. re-use as a fuel; - biological recovery, e.g. composting; - re-use. Old Directive: Any waste management operation that diverts a waste material from the waste stream and which results in a certain product with a potential economic or ecological benefit. Distinction between recovery and recycling is important. E.g. EU End of Life Vehicle requires 85% recycling but 95% recovery by weight from 2015 onwards.

13 When to sort: at the source or at a plant?
Separating materials at the source (e.g. Germany) results in less contamination of recyclables than mixed or ‘commingled’ systems (US: single stream, single sort or single throw) Commingled - materials are mixed together in a lorry which compacts the materials. Recyclables are separated later, usually at a “materials recycling or recovery facility” (MRF) Co-mingled collections tend to achieve higher yields than source separation, co-mingled collections can be made fortnightly without reduction in performance. Separate collections need to be made weekly due to the difference in volumes between wheeled bins and boxes or bags. MRF is typically actually a sorting rather than a recycling plant.

14 When to sort: at the source or at a plant?
Advantages of commingled: Less sorting may mean more recyclables are placed at the kerb and more residents may participate in recycling; Reduced collection costs because single-compartment trucks are cheaper to buy and operate, collection routes can be serviced more efficiently; Drawbacks: High initial costs, high processing costs, possible lower quality due to contamination

15 The waste hierarchy Prevention - preventing and reducing waste generation, e.g. smart packaging. less focus, but most important. Reuse - giving the products a second life before they become waste. Clothing, appliances, cars Recycle - any recovery operation by which waste materials are reprocessed into products, materials or substances. includes composting and it does not include any form of incineration. Recovery – incineration at some plants meeting an energy-efficiency criteria. <This is new compared with old Waste Framework Directive Disposal - landfilling, incineration without energy generation or at less efficient plants, pyrolisis, gasification

16 Let’s talk technologies…
Generally speaking, the more complex a material is, the harder it is to recycle. Three categories of paper can be used as feedstock for making recycled paper: mill broke (paper trimmings and scrap from paper production), pre-consumer waste (material that left the mill but was discarded before use) and post-consumer waste (material discarded after consumer use)

17 Paper recycling Paper arrives at paper mill (after sorting).
Paper enters a pulper, which contains water and chemicals. The pulper chops paper into small pieces. The mixture is then heated, breaking it down into fibres and ultimately pulp. Pulp is screened to remove small contaminants, e.g. plastic and glue, then cleaned, de-inked, bleached and mixed with water. This pulp can then be used to make new paper. The same fibres can be recycled about seven times, but they become shorter each time and are eventually strained out by the screen. Savings known as the TOWEL effect: Trees Oil Water Energy Landfill

18 Paper recycling Each ton (2,000 pounds) of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4,000 kilowatts of energy, and 7,000 gallons of water. Terminology note: Industry does not like the term “waste paper”. The preferred term is “recovered paper”, even if the material in question is post-consumer paper.

19 Scrap metal recycling (aluminium and steel)
Metal recycling plant performs quality inspections for sorting purity and sometimes radiation. Smelter heats scrap metal in furnace until it melts. Different metals go to different smelters because each metal has a different melting point (e.g. aluminium melts at 1,200 degrees F, steel at 2,800 degrees F). Extremely hot liquid metal is poured into moulds and turns into ingots when cooled. Ingots sold to producers and remelted to make into different products Popular uses for recycled metals: aluminium cans, filing cabinets, storage racks, canned foods, even cars. Aluminium and steel and most commonly recycled metals. It is cheaper to recycle steel than to mine iron ore and manipulate it through the production process to form new steel. Steel does not lose any of its physical properties during recycling and requires much less energy and material to make.

20 Glass bottle recycling
Glass is taken to glass recycling plant. Glass is sorted by colour and washed to remove any impurities (e.g. corks, labels). Modern sorting technology use three sensors: Infrared to sort ceramics, minerals, porcelain and metals Line scan camera to separate mixed glass into different colours X-ray fluorescence to separate heat resistant and leaded glass 4. Glass is crushed and melted then moulded into new products. Recycled glass is known as cullet. Change from sorting at collection point by colour to sorting at plant. Do not put heat-resistant glass (e.g. Pyrex) in a traditional glass container. Clean and give to a charity for reuse ( Even one piece of this material will change the viscosity of the fluid in the furnace when remelted.

21 Glass bottle recycling
Glass bottles and jars are almost infinitely recyclable without any loss in purity or quality. Recycling just one glass bottle saves enough energy to light a 100-watt light bulb for four hours, power a computer for 30 minutes. Popular uses for recycled glass: bottles, jars, insulation products, aggregate in construction products. Glass NEVER breaks down in a landfill. Making glass from recycled material cuts related water pollution by 50%.

22 Composting Feedstock arrives at composting plant where large impurities are removed by hand and then shredders reduce its size. Drum screens then classify material before magnets and air-classifiers remove metals and plastics. Compost is placed in drums, tunnels or boxes, or placed in windrows for intensive decomposition phase. Most decomposition by mass typically takes place during the first two to three weeks at temperatures of up to 70 degrees Celsius. This phase must be enclosed to reduce emissions. The resulting product (fresh compost) can then undergo maturation to produce mature compost. Caution: Talking about industrial composting. Immature compost may contain substances damaging to plants, including acids and pathogens, so it's important that compost be thoroughly mature before it is applied to soil.

23 Waste-to-energy systems
Physical: RDF (waste is compressed into pellets) Biological: Anaerobic digestion (from combustion of biogas generated from digestion of biodegradable waste) Landfill (from combustion of landfill gas produced as biowaste decomposes) Thermal: Combustion Pyrolysis and gasification Plasma arc gasification combustion directly releases the energy in the waste, whereas pyrolysis and gasification thermally treat the waste to generate secondary products (gas, liquid and/or solid) from which energy can be generated. Refuse-derived fuel used in cement production as alternative fuel. RDF consists largely of high-calorific, combustible components of municipal waste, e.g. plastics and biowaste

24 Combustion Waste-to-energy, energy-from-waste, resource recovery facility (US) Toxic smokestacks, trash burners Top right: Spittelau MVA in Vienna. Bottom left: New waste incinerator designed by architect Bjarke Ingels in Copenhagen. Black-run ski slope along the side. The WTE plant will be lit up at night and the smokestack will emit a 30-metre-wide smoke ring into the sky every time a tonne of CO2 is released. At night, smoke rings will be lit up by lasers, which will project a pie-chart onto the smoke that displays a quota of fossil fuel CO2.

25 Cleaning up their act All new WtE plants in industrialised countries must meet strict emission standards, including those on nitrogen oxides (NO), sulphur dioxide (SO2), heavy metals and dioxins. Modern incineration plants are vastly different from the old types, some of which neither recovered energy nor materials. No longer the black sheep. Waste to energy no longer considered disposal operation if energy efficiency criteria are met.

26 Waste is incinerated in boiler at temps of up to 2,000 F
Waste is incinerated in boiler at temps of up to 2,000 F. The heat from the combustion process boils water. The steam from the boiling water is used directly, or more frequently, the steam drives a turbine that generates electricity. Ash from combustion is processed to extract metal for recycling. It is then combined with residue from the air pollution control process. All gases are collected, filtered and cleaned before being emitted into the atmosphere.

27 Pyrolysis Gasification
Waste is heated in an oxygen-free or low-oxygen environment to produce a gas, oils and ash. Gas is scrubbed to remove particulates, hydrocarbons and soluble matter Scrubbed gas is used to generate electricity and sometimes heat using a steam turbine or gas engine Gasification Ash, tar and volatile gas from pyrolysis are converted into a combustible gas (syngas) by a reaction with steam. Brand-new: Plasma technologies the waste is heated with a plasma arc (6,000º to 10,000º Celsius) to create gases and vitrified slag. In some cases the plasma stage may follow on from a gasification stage.

28 MBT: The way forward? Mechanical-biological treatment (MBT) facilities combine sorting techniques with composting or anaerobic digestion. MBT plants can process mixed household waste, commercial waste and industrial waste, and help to divert residual waste away from landfills Also known as BMT, when process is reversed and biological phase happens first. Mechanical element involves automated mechanical sorting, removing recyclables using conveyers,eddy current separators, shredders. Anaerobic digestion uses anaerobic microorganisms to break down the biodegradable part to generate digestate and biogas. The biogas can be used to generate both electricity and heat.

29 Landfill Waste is unloaded at tipping face, compacted by bulldozers then covered by layers of soil daily. Modern landfills typically must contain a liner to prevent release of leachate and protect groundwater. Also called tip/dump (colloquial). A landfill is referred to as a sanitised landfill in the US when it is covered by a layer of soil daily. Leachate is caused principally by rainwater percolating through waste in a landfill. Once in contact with decomposing solid waste, the percolating water becomes contaminated and becomes known as leachate. On-site leachate systems pump this liquid into treatment tanks where it can be mixed with chemicals to modify pH. Landfill gas is mainly carbon dioxide and methane. Landfills are the third-largest source of methane. Landfill gas can be captured and flared off or used to produce heat or electricity. Most of the methane produced in MSW landfills is derived from food waste, composite paper, and corrugated cardboard.

30 Country comparison Côte d'Ivoire USA Germany

31 Côte d'Ivoire

32 Côte d'Ivoire No national statistics available
Agence National de Salubrité Urbain estimates that Abidjan generated 893,330 tonnes of waste in 2009. IMF estimates current waste collection rate at 46.1%. Rapid urbanisation, lack of access for waste collection vehicles. Waste is dumped openly or taken to a landfill 6 miles outside the capital. Reported water, soil and air pollution in the surroundings. Informal waste pickers extract recyclables from the landfill at a huge risk to their own health. 2010 study estimates that there are 1.5 million waste pickers in India alone. Brazil, the country that collects the most robust official statistics on waste pickers, estimates that nearly a quarter million of its citizens engage in waste picking. Waste picker incomes vary vastly by location, form of work, and gender. Some waste pickers live in extreme poverty, but many others earn multiple times their country’s minimum wage. Oscar-nominated documentary Waste Land looks at situation for waste pickers in Brazil.

33 Trafigura scandal In 2006, Probo Koala ship allegedly offloaded 500 tonnes of hazardous waste in Abidjan. A local contractor then dumped this waste at 12 locations in and around the city. Trafigura claimed that this waste came from washing out Probo Koala’s tanks. A Dutch inquiry found that it was over 500 tonnes of fuel, caustic soda and hydrogen sulphide. Trafigura had allegedly chosen not to pay €1,000/m³ disposal charge in Amsterdam, with the ship turned away by several countries before arriving at Abidjan. Effects: The UN and the country’s government blames the gas caused by the release of these chemicals for 17 deaths and injuries to more than 30,000 Ivorians (ranging from mild headaches to severe skin burns). Almost 100,000 Ivorians sought medical treatment. The fall-out: lawsuits, arrests, collapse of the country’s transitional government.

34 United States of America

35 The market With the exception of the big two (WMI, Republic Services), the US waste management industry is fragmented. About 18,000 companies provide waste management services and have combined annual revenue of about $85 billion. The US is home to just under 100 waste-to-energy plants, mainly in north-east where land is limited and expensive. Number of MSW landfills fell from about 8,000 in 1988 to 1,858 in 2001, but their average size had grown and the number of waste transfer sites had increased. Tipping fees = as low as $21/t in Texas. State and federal government is not actively promoting efforts to divert waste from landfills so there is little economic incentive to recycle MSW. Tipping fees = gate fees in UK. Gate fees + landfill tax = £ or $ Waste increasingly being transported across state lines, as older landfills close. The solution to waste generation must start at the source, with better product design. Some UK/US differences: Waste management services – sanitation services Gate fees – tipping fees Residues – residuals Waste haulers – bin men

36 US statistics Average American will generate 102 tons of waste in lifetime = 7lbs per person, per day. EPA statistics suggest that the United States generated ca. 250 million tons of waste in 2010. In 2008, the US landfilled 54.2% of its waste, recycled or composted 34.1% and incinerated 11.7% to generate energy. Question marks remain about the veracity of the EPA figures. US has 5% of the world’s population but generates 25% of its waste. * Source: Garbology by Edward Humes Waste prevention known as source reduction. 1% recycling rate for plastic bags. Throw-away society. Lots of packaging.

37 Puente Hills Landfill is the largest operating landfill in the US
Puente Hills Landfill is the largest operating landfill in the US. Located in Los Angeles, it is 150 meters high, covers 700 acres and has accepted 120 million tons of waste since opening in 1970. Used to be Fresh Kills in New York, which closed in 2001, purportedly be seen from space.

38 Germany

39 Deposit on most beverage packaging
Highly developed technologies (German companies hold a 25% share of the international market for recycling and waste management technologies) Landfill numbers plummeted from 50,000 in 1972 to less than 2,000 in 2012 Germany banned the landfilling of non-treated municipal waste in 2005 and all above-ground landfills are to close by 2020 (Extended) producer responsibility AKA the “polluter pays” principle is a key element of German and EU waste policy. Producers and distributors are required to take back and recycle their packaging, batteries, WEEE etc. Deposit on most beverage packaging Landfills now only accept what is left after recyclable items have been removed and the rest has been subjected to various processes German Packaging Law led to Green Dot system. In 2004, the Federal Cartel Office ruled that Green Dot operator DSD was a monopoly, which led to the break-up of the packaging market. Germany now has ten collective compliance schemes. Producers pay these organisations to handle take-back and recycling obligations. Deposit: €0.25 for single-use beverage packaging 0.1 to 3 litres apart from juice, wine, sprits, milk and liquids sold in „ökologisch vorteilhaften“ (literal translation: environmentally beneficial) packaging. Take-back exemption for small stores and kiosks.

40 Breakdown of municipal solid waste

41 Let’s talk bins…. When translating about bins, it’s important to convey the contents rather than the colour. Germany has grey, blue, yellow, brown and many other colours. For instance, a blue bin in Germany is usually for recovered paper, but my blue bin is a single-sort bin for packaging, plastic, paper and metals. There is an ongoing debate about the new dry recyclables bin (Wertstofftonne) – who will be responsible for it? Private vs. public companies struggling over who will be in charge. For instance, Berlin residents have both a gelbe Tonne plus (Alba – lightweight packaging plus other non-packaging items made out of similar materials, e.g. toys, aluminium foil trays) and Orange Box ( available to them.

42 The Economics of Waste and Waste Policy
More links Youtube video on MRF sorting: (sorting starts at about 3.30) Waste Management and Climate Change The Economics of Waste and Waste Policy Two good books: Garbology by Edward Humes and Garbage Land by Elizabeth Royte

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