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Waste Management

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Zoe Greene

on 6 June 2013

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Transcript of Waste Management

Waste Management What are the problems with current waste management practices, and what strategies may be implemented to mitigate the impact of waste on the environment? Question: Human Waste Management in 2010 Americans generated 250 million tons of trash

85 million tons recycled or composted

= 34% diversion rate Municipal Solid Waste Zoe Greene
Nick Rolin
Hayden Adler Outline: 1. Human Waste
2. E-Waste
3. Municipal Solid Waste SF ZERO WASTE Composting 2009 Mandatory Recycling & Composting Ordinance What are the problems with human waste management, how will the issue change with increasing civil development, and what are some possible solutions? Around 2.6 billion people lack access to basic sanitation (Jewitt, 2011)

Each year, over 200 million tons of human waste goes uncollected and untreated due to insufficient sanitation and unavailable sewage treatment methods (UNDP, 2008)

As population levels rise, the issue of what to do with our waste will become more challenging Waste Management in Developing Countries 95% of sewage in developing world cities is discharged untreated into rivers, lakes, and coastal areas (Esrey et al., 1998)
Lack of infrastructure
Open defecation is the norm Nitrogen Open defecation leads to an influx in nitrogen
Can limit plant growth due to high levels of ammonification
Can lead to feedback loop: Lack of plant growth ->
-> nitrogen reabsorbtion slows
-> soil health deteriorates
-> degradation of soil structure
and subsequent erosion
-> erosion exacerbates run-off and
leaching Waste Treatment in The Developed World Developed cities - waste treatment plants/facilities

Treatment via filtration and sedimentation

Advanced treatment may include chlorination and aeration to limit biological growth and remove dissolved metals Human Waste Management Sewage Sludge Sludge and effluent are the primary outputs of water treatment facilities

Varying levels of pathogens and microbiologically hazardous materials

Even after treatment, sludge often contains significant quantities of heavy metals, phenols, radioactive materials, nitrates, and phosphates (Jewitt, 2011 and Rockefeller, 1998)

Sludge is either incinerated, taken to a landfill, or used for agricultural purposes The dumping of sewage sludge in the oceans was banned in the 90s
Sewage sludge defined as a pollutant but used as agricultural fertilizer in many places (Bowler, 1999)
Additional treatments could possibly make sewage sludge safer: additional anaerobic and/or aerobic digestion, lagoon storage, immediate incorporation into subsoil (Ross, 1992) Modern methods of waste treatment are not adequate to deal with current levels of human waste Conclusions
- New York City discharges 4% of its sewage into its harbor and the EPA recorded 40,000 outflows in 2001 within the US alone (George, 2008).

- Only around 80 major cities in the EU have advanced sewage treatment systems (Rosemarin, 2008). Possible Solutions Refinement of sludge treatment process for use as fertilizer

Biological Secondary wastewater treatment with wetlands and mangrove forests -The electronic industry is rapidly growing

-High consumer demand

-Electronic devices are becoming obsolete at a quicker rate leading to mass storage of e-waste in the U.S. E-Waste A Global Concern International Strategies for e-waste management Japan
Netherlands Switzerland European Union The Current Status of E-waste in the U.S. -Surplus of e-waste
-Collection strategies for the U.S.
-Lack of infrastructure to facilitate proper recycling
-Majority of e-waste ends in landfill or is incinerated or exported
-Some is recycled or reused Environmental Justice -Basel Convention
-Bans exportation of e-waste to developing countries
-US did not sign

-United States Resource Conservation and Recovery Act(RCRA)
-exemptions for e-waste storage and dumping

-NGOs take over
-monitor exportation of e-waste to developing countries
-donate used or refurbished electronics to lower income individuals E-waste Recycling in the U.S. -12 states have various e-waste laws

-No e-waste plans = dumping into municipal waste stream

-Retail stores and collection sites Environmental and Health Problems -E-waste contains hazardous materials

-Lead, cadmium, chromium, mercury and other heavy metals
-Flame retardant chemicals are in the plastic cases and cables

-Can cause human health effects and environmental degradation

Problems with Exportation -Guiyu,China is an e-waste destination
-Crude dismantling techniques of e-waste are used in the recycling facilities
-Toxins from hazardous materials leach into groundwater and soil
-Elevated levels of lead in children's blood Strategies for the U.S. -Implementation of unique collection strategies in the U.S.
-Understanding the culture and specific needs of each community when implementing a strategy to mitigate the harm from e-waste Current MSW Management Techniques landfills composting recycling SAN FRANCISCO timeline:
1989 CA law AB 939
2000: San Francisco diverted only 46 percent from the landfill
2009: Mandatory Recycling and Composting Ordinance... SF achieves 78 percent diversion
2010: 80 percent diversion highest recycling/composting rate for any North American city goal: zero waste by 2020 Jepson Prairie Organics Restaurants and Retailers Food Service Waste Reduction Ordinance of San Francisco
requires recycling and composting
compostable or recyclable containers and utensils SF's Further Plans more than 1/2 of what is still sent to landfill can be recycled or composted innovative policies
financial incentives
education and outreach
Embarcadero water refill stations
pharmaceutical take-back program Future of Zero Waste behavioral changes
individual consciousness "if everyone simply used our current programs correctly, we could be diverting about 90% percent of our landfill waste" - Robert Haley Human Excreta and Disease Untreated excreta can facilitate the transmission of multiple diseases:
- cholera
- typhoid
- diarrhea
(Jewitt, 2001 and Esrey 1985)

Pathogen infected feces will rapidly contaminate food and spread disease when contact occurs incineration Sewage Sludge Possible Solutions Ecological Sanitation:
- Human waste as a resource
-Composting and urine diverting
- Biogas production 78% goes to landfills 2% goes to the incinerators
20% is recycled, 80% of the recycled e-waste is exported
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