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APES Chapter 16

Waste Generation & Disposal

KaiLea Stiffler

on 27 February 2013

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Transcript of APES Chapter 16

Chapter 16:
Waste Generation & Disposal pp 437 - 444 pp. 445 - 449 pp. 450 - 456 KEY IDEAS Key Terms Key Terms Key Terms Define waste generation from an ecological and systems perspective.
From an ecological and systems perspective, waste is composed of the nonuseful products of a system. Much of the solid waste problem in the United States stems from the attitudes of the “throw-away society” adopted after World War II. While the United States may be a major generator of solid waste, the lifestyle and goods disseminated around the world have made solid waste a global problem.

Describe how each of the three Rs—Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle—as well as composting can avoid waste generation.
The three Rs—Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle—divert materials from the waste stream. Composting, source reduction, and reuse generally have lower energy and financial costs than recycling, but all are important ways to minimize solid waste production.

Explain the implications of landfills and incineration.
Currently, most solid waste in the United States is buried in landfills. Contemporary landfills entomb the garbage and keep water and air from entering and leachate from escaping. The potential for toxic leachate to contaminate surrounding waterways is one major problem in landfills; the generation of methane gas is another. Siting of landfills often raises issues of environmental justice. Incineration is an alternative to landfills. Its main benefit is that it reduces the waste material to roughly one-quarter its original volume. In addition, waste-to-energy incineration often uses the excess heat produced to generate electricity. However, incineration generates air pollution and ash, which can sometimes contain a high concentration of toxic substances and require disposal in a special ash landfill.

Understand the problems associated with the generation and disposal of hazardous waste.
Hazardous waste is a special category of material that is especially toxic to humans and the environment. It includes industrial by-products and some household items such as batteries and oil-based paints, all requiring special means of disposal. Though legislation has been passed to deal with hazardous waste, many problems remain.

Present a holistic approach to avoiding waste generation and to treating solid waste.
By using life-cycle analysis, which tracks material “from cradle to grave,” and integrated waste management, which draws on all the available treatment methods, we can make optimal decisions regarding our solid waste. The best solution is to design products with a strategy for their ultimate reuse or dismantling and recycling. KaiLea Stiffler
APES 2 waste: Material outputs from a system that are not useful or consumed.
municipal solid waste (MSW): Refuse collected by municipalities from households, small businesses, and institutions.
waste stream: The flow of solid waste that is recycled, incinerated, placed in a solid waste landfill, or disposed of in another way.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (three Rs): A popular phrase promoting the idea of diverting materials from the waste stream.
source reduction: The reduction of waste through minimizing the use of materials destined to become municipal solid waste (MSW) from the early stages of design and manufacture.
reuse: Using a product or material that was intended to be discarded.
recycling: The process by which materials destined to become municipal solid waste (MSW) are collected and converted into raw material that is then used to produce new objects.
closed-loop recycling: Recycling a product into the same product.
open-loop recycling: Recycling one product into a different product.
compost: organic matter that has decomposed under controlled conditions to produce an organic-rich material that enhances soil structure, cation exchange capacity, and fertility. Checkpoints 16-1:
What are the main sources of waste?
Animals, plants, and humans
What is the relationship between availability of and access to resources and the production of waste?
When a society is low-level, then it generates the little waste because every object whose original use is done becomes useful for another purpose.
How does the solid waste stream differ between a developed and a developing country?
A developed country is likely to have more variety in their solid waste while a developing country is likely to have less items in their solid waste in general.
What are the three Rs? What are the benefits and disadvantages of each?
Reduce- It minimizes and prevents waste and increases economic benefit. Unfortunately, it isn't always followed because most people don't realize the ways they can reduce.
Reuse - It allows an object to circulate for a longer period of time before becoming an output. People don't always think about how many things they could buy that can be reused repeatedly.
Recycle - It makes it possible for objects to become something different or the same in a different way. It takes a huge amount of energy compared to reducing and reusing.
What is the difference between open- and closed-loop recycling? Open-loop recycling allows for objects to be recycled into different items. Closed-loop keeps the object being recycled into the same product.
Why is composting an important activity in waste management? It keeps objects that could be thrown away and unused from being so. It gives back to the environment. leachate: Liquid that contains elevated levels of pollutants as a result of having passed through municipal solid waste (MSW) or contaminated soil.
sanitary landfill: An engineered ground facility designed to hold municipal solid waste (MSW) with as little contamination of the surrounding environment as possible
tipping fee: A fee charged for disposing of material in a landfill or incinerator.
siting: The designation of a landfill location, typically through a regulatory process involving studies, written reports, and public hearings.
incineration: The process of burning waste materials to reduce volume and mass, sometimes to generate electricity or heat.
ash: The residual nonorganic material that does not combust during incineration.
bottom ash: Residue collected at the bottom of the combustion chamber in a furnace.
fly ash: The residue collected from the chimney or exhaust pipe of a furnace.
waste-to-energy: A system in which heat generated by incineration is used as an energy source rather than released into the atmosphere. Checkpoints 16-3:
What are the features of a modern sanitary landfill? How does a modern landfill compare to the older practice of putting MSW in holes in the ground? Modern landfills have clay walls to prevent the leakage of leachate, which is collected by pipes at the bottom of the landfill. Compared to simply dumping MSW, modern times have MSW collected in a place that contains it and keeps it out of the surrounding environment.
When or why might incineration be used instead of a landfill? If the solid waste is mainly paper, plastic, food and yard waste, then incineration is a better option.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of landfills and incineration?
Landfills - They provide a location for waste that has no where to go and nothing to be. Leachate poses a threat to the human population through its possible travel through waterways.
Incineration - They provide a solution to the ultimate fate of organic, non-compostable items. They may contain toxic materials. hazardous waste: Waste material that is dangerous or potentially harmful to humans or ecosystems.
Superfund: The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), a 1980 U.S. federal act that imposes a tax on the chemical and petroleum industries, funds the cleanup of abandoned and nonoperating hazardous waste sites, and authorizes the federal government to respond directly to the release or threatened release of substances that may pose a threat to human health or the environment.
brownfields: contaminated industrial or commercial sites that may require environmental cleanup before they can be redeveloped or expanded.
cradle-to-grave analysis: A systems tool that looks at the materials used and released throughout the manufacturing, use, and disposal of a product; also known as life-cycle analysis.
integrated waste management: A waste management technique that employs several waste reduction, management, and disposal strategies to reduce the environmental impact of municipal solid waste (MSW). Checkpoints 16-4:
What is the definition of hazardous waste, and what are its main sources? Hazardous waste is waste material that is dangerous or potentially harmful to humans or ecosystems. The main sources are the by-products of industrial processes such as textile production, cleaning of machinery, and manufacturing of computer equipment.
Why is disposal of hazardous waste a challenge? It is more expensive and sometimes the items collected are unknown, thus more hazardous.
Which acts authorize which agencies to regulate and oversee hazardous waste? The U.S. Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)

What is a life-cycle analysis and how is it useful?
It is a systems tool that looks at the materials used and released throughout the manufacturing, use, and disposal of a product. It can determine if a community is better suited for a landfill or an incinerator.
How is holistic waste management different from other approaches to waste management? It is a waste management technique that employs several waste reduction, management, and disposal strategies to reduce the environmental impact of municipal solid waste (MSW).
What are some of the economic issues to consider when making waste disposal decisions? A community may not have funds sufficient to pay for waste disposal and citizens may choose to not properly dispose of their waste.
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