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Transcript of Waste
Concepts and Understandings
Waste and wastes are terms for unwanted materials.
There are many waste
defined by modern systems of waste management:
- Household waste, Commercial waste, and Demolition waste
- Industrial waste
Bio-medical Waste - Clinical waste
Special Hazardous Waste
- Radioactive waste, explosives waste, and Electronic waste (e-waste)
(because waste to one person is not necessarily waste to another) and sometimes objectively
(for example, to send scrap metals to a landfill is to inaccurately classify them as waste, because they are recyclable).
Litter refers to waste disposed of improperly.
Innappropriately managed waste can attract
rodents and insects
, which can harbour gastrointestinal
parasites, yellow fever, worms, the plague
and other deseases for humans.
Exposure to hazardous wastes, particularly when they are burned, can cause various other
Toxic waste materials can
contaminate surface water, groundwater, soil, and air
which causes more problems for humans, other species, and ecosystems.
Waste treatment and disposal produces significant
green house gas
emissions, notably methane, which are contributing significantly to global climate change.
Waste management is a significant
Many of the environmental burdens are more often borne by
, such as racial minorities, women, and residents of developing nations.
The need for expansion and siting of waste treatment and disposal facilities is increasing worldwide. There is now a growing market in the
trans boundary movement of waste
of managing waste are high, and are often paid for by municipal governments.
The location of waste treatment and disposal facilities often has an impact on
due to noise, dust, pollution, unsightliness, and negative stigma.
The informal waste sector consists mostly of
who scavenge for metals, glass, plastic, textiles, and other materials and then trade them for a profit. This sector can significantly alter or reduce waste in a particular system, but other negative economic effects come with the
disease, poverty, exploitation, and abuse
of its workers.
Degradation (polymer degradation) is the process by which items
change in properties
—tensile strength, color, shape, etc.— under the influence of one or more
such as heat, microorganisms, light or chemicals such as acids, alkalis and some salts.
These changes are usually
(cracking and chemical disintegration of products) or, more rarely,
(biodegradation, or deliberately lowering the molecular weight of a polymer for recycling).
Degradation is very
dependent on the environment
where the material is decomposing.
Paper towel: 2-4 weeks
Orange or banana peel : 2-5 weeks
Newspaper: 6 weeks
Apple core: 2 months
Waxed milk carton: 3 months
Plywood: 1-3 years
Wool sock: 1-5 years
Cigarette filter: 1-5 years
Plastic bag: 10-20 years (???)
Plastic film canister: 20-30 years
Nylon fabric: 30-40 years
Leather: 50 years
Tin can: 50 years
Styrofoam cup: 50 years
Boot sole: 50-80 years
Aluminum can: 80-200 years
Disposable diapers: 450 years
Plastic beverage bottles: 450 years
Monofilament fishing line: 600 years
Glass bottle: 1 million years
What is waste management?
Waste management is the
collection, transport, processing or disposal, managing and monitoring of all waste materials
(solid, liquid, gaseous or radioactive).
The process is generally undertaken to
reduce their effects or costs
on the environment, the society and the economy.
practices can differ
for developed and developing nations, for urban and rural areas, and for residential and industrial producers.
Humans are the only living being that has ever needed waste management!
Throughout most of human history, the
amount of waste
generated by humans was
due to low population density and low societal levels of the exploitation of natural resources.
Common waste produced during pre-modern times was mainly ashes and human biodegradable waste,
released back into the ground locally
, with minimum environmental impact. Tools made out of wood or metal were generally
reused or passed down
through the generations.
with waste arose in the
(animal-powered transport) encouraged
dumping chamber pots into streets
where night soil collection was impractical.
were designed to carry street runoff away from inhabited areas and into surface waterways
. Indoor plumbing was often drained to
through the 19th century.
With the industrialization,
urban streets became choked with filth
due to the lack of waste clearance regulations.
, the Nuisance Removal and Disease Prevention Act of
waste management in London
The Metropolitan Board of Works was the first city-wide authority that centralized sanitation regulation for the city and the Public Health Act of
made it compulsory for
every household to deposit their weekly waste
in "moveable receptacles: for disposal—the first concept for a dust-bin.
History of Waste Management
increase in waste for disposal
led to the creation of the first
in 1874, in Nottingham (UK).
convert waste materials into heat, gas, steam and ash
. This process reduces the volumes of solid waste to
20 to 30 percent of the original volume
. They are common in countries such as Japan where land is more scarce.
Some of the facilities burn the waste in a furnace or boiler to
generate heat, steam or electricity
However, combustion in an incinerator is not always perfect and there have been concerns about
in gaseous emissions from incinerator stacks.
Burying the waste
in most countries.
A properly designed and well-managed landfill
can be a hygienic and relatively inexpensive
method of disposing of waste materials.
Methods of Disposal
Older, poorly designed or poorly managed landfills can create a number of
adverse environmental impacts
Attraction of vermin (such as mice or rats)
Generation of liquid leachate.
And gas (mostly composed of methane and carbon dioxide)
A landfill compaction vehicle in action.
The Doñana Disaster, dangerous levels of several heavy metals were spilt into a river.
Recycling is a process to
into new products to prevent waste
of potentially useful materials,
reduce the consumption
of fresh raw materials, reduce
(from incineration) and
(from landfilling) by reducing the need for "conventional" waste disposal, and
lower greenhouse gas emissions
as compared to plastic production.
The most common consumer products recycled include
such as beverage cans,
such as wire,
from food and aerosol cans, old steel furnishings or equipment,
polyethylene and PET bottle
from bottles and jars,
board cartons, newspapers, magazines and light paper, and corrugated fiberboard boxes.
recycling of complex products
(such as computers and electronic equipment) is
, due to the additional dismantling and separation required.
Goodyear and rubber production
First fully synthetic plastic
1940's and 50's
Mass production started
Cheap, easy to make and lasts long
Last 7 years
More plastic was produced than all years before
A Short History
Plastic is more or less forever
All the plastic ever produced is still on this planet
Poisons all life
Most plastics are only used for seconds, hours or days
Recycling is not a perfect solution
Changing sex in unborn babies
Premature breast development
Releases toxics in the soil -> Groundwater -> drinking water / Oceans
Degradation of plastic releases Methane = Greenhouse Gas
Burned Plastic releases toxic particles in the air we breathe
Heavy toll on Wildlife
Fish consume up to 25,000 tons of plastic/year
Plastic is found in 90% of Sea Turtles' stomach
More than 2 million Sea Birds die each year because of plastic
More than 100,00 Marine Mammals each year get strangled or die from consuming plastic
Over 220 million Tons of plastic are produced every year
Plastic particles can be found on every beach in the world
Globally only 5% gets recycled
40% of plastic usage is in packaging
UN estimates a $7 trillion a year of Economic Risk from plastic pollution
Plastic counts for 8% of world’s Oil Production
Every hour Americans throw away 2,5 million plastic bottles
Every square mile of the Ocean contains 46,000 pieces of floating plastic
Every week the world goes through at least 10 Billion plastic bags
An estimated 80 Billion plastic Water bottles get thrown away per year
9 European countries recover 90% of plastic
70 kg per person per year in developed countries (5-10 in poor countries)
The area of increased plastic particles is located within the North Pacific Gyre
What can we do?
Avoid or Reduce
To buy less and use less
common sense ideas
like turning off the lights, rain barrels, and taking shorter showers, but also plays a part in composting (transportation energy is reduced), low-flow toilets, and programmable thermostats.
separated into materials
that may be incorporated into new products. This is different from Reuse in that
energy is used to change the physical properties of the material
Capturing useful material for waste to
. Includes Methane Collection, Gasification, and Digestion, and the term Recover.
Devastate is to
discard into the natural environment
, or to "trash" the planet. Includes Litter, Landfill, Burn Barrels, Unnecessary Vehicle Idling, and Dumping discards onto land or into water.
Incineration is the
high temperature destruction of material
. Differs from Gasification in that oxygen is used; differs from burning in that high temperatures consume material efficiently and emissions are controlled.
This strategy needs to be accounted for also by the
that produce and distribute the goods and services.
supress or change the materials
Bio-Plastic, degradable plastics and compostable plastics.
Elements of the discarded item are used again.
Initiatives include waste exchange, hand-me-downs, garage sales, quilting, travel mugs, and composting (nutrients), laundry, repair, re-gift, and up-cycle.
Don't wait for companies to do it, that might never happen.
You can also reduce waste!
Within recycling there is distinction between two types:
- converting low-value materials into high-value products (more desirable)
- converting valuable products into low-value raw materials (less desirable)
Education and awareness
in the area of waste and waste management is increasingly important from a global perspective of resource management.
People need to
learn and practice sustainability
. Air pollution; toxic wastes; destruction and depletion of forests, soil, and water; depletion of the ozone layer and emission of "green house" gases threaten the survival of humans and thousands of other living species, the integrity of the earth and its biodiversity, the security of nations, and the heritage of future generations.
such as pay as you throw can reduce the cost of management and reduce waste quantities. Waste recovery (that is, recycling, reuse) can curb economic costs because it avoids extracting raw materials and often cuts transportation costs.
Money can often be saved with
more efficiently designed
collection routes, modifying vehicles, and with public education.
A plastic item with thirty years of exposure to heat and cold, brake fluid, and sunlight. Notice the discoloration, swelling, and crazing of the material.