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Waste Management: Past, Present, and Future
Transcript of Waste Management: Past, Present, and Future
Past, Present, and Future
Waste Management: A Brief History
Early solid waste consisted mostly of ash from fires, wood, bone, vegetable waste.
Cities such as Athens, Rome and Crete has early waste management systems.
Rome had waste collection teams who gathered waste in wagons and took it to pits outside of the city to dispose of it.
Athens had a municipal dump where it was required that waste be dumped at least one mile outside the city
During times of sickness (such as the Black Plague), waste management was turned to as a possible solution to the spread of disease.
In 1842, a report linking filthy environmental conditions to disease sets off what was known as the "age of sanitation".
The early 1900s brought incinerators and landfills as authorities begin to recognize the problem of waste management.
Urban Population: 511 million
Pounds/person/day: 2.25 lbs
49% of waste is organic
Large majority of waste is sent to landfills
Very efficient recyclers, they have junkyard laborers who sort through waste for recyclables
Waste to Energy plans in place: By 2030 30% of waste will be treated by Waste to Energy or Thermal Recycling
Only 366 active landfills as of 2007 gives them a very low people to landfill ratio. Also 66 incineration plans and 17 composting plants
Running out of room for landfills and facilities; a cemetery was even destroyed for a landfill!
Minimization, recycling and public awareness programs are in place in some cities and communities
Urban Population: 54 million
Pounds/person/day: 3.95 lbs
Since 2000, England has reduced waste sent to landfills by 60%, Business recycling is up 52%, and household recycling/composting increased 43%
They have a landfill tax to deter people from creating unnecessary waste; tax per the ton
Their end goal is a Zero Waste Economy
Nottingham: In 1874, the first incinerators were built, but they were called "destructors".
1875 - moveable garbage receptacle
Urban Population: 144.5 million
Pounds/person/day: 2.27 lbs
Have a fairly steady population growth, unlike China. Makes dealing with waste slightly less urgent, but problems are still inevitable.
Municipalities are in charge of protecting their environment, limiting pollution and preservation of resources
When starting a project that will use resources , they must appy for an environmental license
65% of waste is organic matter!
ONLY 3% plastic
Waste pickers - earn a living by sorting through and finding recylables
Incinerators are too expensive for most cities in Brazil, so dumps and landfills are used most
2005 - Brazil recycled 96% of aluminum can sold that year (that came to about 9.4 million cans)
Currently establishing Green and Healthy Environmental Programs as part of United Nations Evironmental Programme
New Solid Waste Policies put in place in 2010
Urban Population: 84.3 million
Pounds/person/day: 3.77 lbs
"If it's mixed, it's waste. If it's sorted, it's a resource."
In most cities/towns in Japan, citizens are expected to sort their trash.
One town has as many as 44 categories into which trash must be sorted! Kamikatsu is a town of about 2200 that plans to eliminate garbage by 2020
1990 - Japan established recycling laws
Many places are moving to a 10 category system.
Despite all their efforts, as of 2012, their recycling rate was only 20.8%.
Due to lack of space, they incinerate 80% of their waste (which is close to what we put in landfills!)
They have 1243 incineration facilities
They are one of the most advanced countries in the world when it comes to dealing with waste.
Urban Population: 107.3 million
Pounds/person/day: 2.05 lbs
Have quite inefficient MSW managing systems
If they would implement new policies and utilize modern technology, they could significantly improve their systems
Estimated that 75-96% of waste is not recycled or reused
All goes to landfills or illegal dumps
There is a Waste to Electricity plant in Moscow
Experts think that they were to focused on oil, gas, defenses and heavy industry in the past; they put off the issue of waste management for future generations
Officials have claimed that they plan to invest more money in waste management
Urban Population: 26.7 million
Pounds/person/day: 4.41 lbs
73% of urban population reports no recycling at all
Legislation is in line with global legislation but enforcement and montoring of policies and laws is difficult
Have a growing industry for E-waste.
38% growth in glass recycling since 2006 due to demand for glass
Much of their waste still goes to landfills because of the low cost
A great deal of financial support will be necessary to get other technologies in place
Many landfills have a less than 10 year lifespan remaining
Urban Population: 321.6 million
Pounds/person/day: .75 lbs
Current figures show 188,500 ton/day
80% of waste ends up in landfills, but they are running out of landfill space
20% of discarded waste is recovered as recyclables by informal recyclers (pickers)
Approx. 51% of waste could be composted, but they are only composting about 6-7%
Population growth of 30% a year by 2015 makes waste management a rapidly growing issue (literally!)
“India is so over-populated that many people make their homes in landfills and set up shanties using other people’s trash. It’s very sad,” says Lotwala. “One minute, you could be driving in front of a huge high-rise building … and the next you could be driving in front of a landfill turned [into] shanties for homeless people.”
The Future of Waste Management?
For some countries the future of waste management is upon us, for others it is still financially and politically far out of reach.
Some technologies in place for new age of waste management:
Waste to Energy Plants
Waste to Electricity Plants
Subsidized Raw waste to compost disposals in homes (Japan)
Recology - Company working to make San Francisco the first zero waste city in just 7 years (by 2020)
Some look into turning waste into building blocks for construction (3D printing)
As of 2009, the urban populations of 161 Countries produce 3,532,255 tons of waste per day
It is estimated that by the year 2025 those same countries will produce approximately 6,069,705 tons/day!
Sadly, some countries are already overwhelmed with garbage and waste
The Grassroots Recycling Network makes the following suggestions in one of their articles titled "Beyond Recycling: The Future of Waste":
Don’t buy things that don’t enhance your life.
Creatively reuse items you no longer need.
Buy from thrift stores and yard sales and borrow from libraries instead of buying new.
Choose products with less packaging. Supermarket bulk bins, for example, save on packaging and money.
Instead of giving "things" as gifts, give consumables (such as food, soap or candles) and gifts of time (like massages or babysitting services), or "re-gift" nice items of your own that you no longer want.
Filter (or simply drink) tap water instead of buying bottled or canned beverages
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs have already started in Europe and British Columbia. The GRRN suggests that similar programs must become the norm.
They say "As long as communities continue to pick up after producers of disposable products, producers will never learn how to pick up after themselves."
Urban Population: 241.9 million
Pounds/person/day: 5.6 lbs
Currently the most wasteful country in the world
55% of our waste is residential garbage
We have approximately a 34.5% recycling rate
3.2 million tons of electronic waste is being put in landfills yearly
We have 3091 active landfills
Much of our recycling goes to China, where they sort the scraps and turn it into materials they need
Events are held to collect hazardous waste materials