Solid waste

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					Solid and Hazardous Waste

        Chapter 21
Core Case Study: E-waste—An
Exploding Problem (1)

 Electronic waste, e-waste: fastest growing
  solid waste problem

 Composition includes
  • High-quality plastics
  • Valuable metals: aluminum, copper, platinum,
    silver, gold
  • Toxic and hazardous pollutants
     • PVC, brominated flame retardants, lead, mercury
Core Case Study: E-waste—An
Exploding Problem (2)
 Shipped to other countries
   • What happens in China?
            • They dismantle the products to recover valuable &
              reusable parts
            • They are exposed to toxic metals & other harmful
            • Scrap is dumped in waterways & fields or burned
 International Basel Convention
   • Bans transferring hazardous wastes from developed countries to
      developing countries
   • E-waste is not classified as hazardous waste or it is illegally
 European Union
   • Cradle-to-grave approach: take back electronic products at the
      end of their useful lives for repair, manufacturing and recycling
Core Case Study: E-waste—An
Exploding Problem (3)

 What should be done?
  • Recycle: electronic manufacturers will pick up or
    pay for shipping costs
  • E-cycle
  • Reuse
  • Prevention approach: remove the toxic materials
Rapidly Growing E-Waste from Discarded
Computers and Other Electronics
Discussion Question 1

 Did you dispose of an electronic device lately? If
  so, how did you dispose of it?
21-1 What Are Solid Waste and Hazardous
Waste, and Why Are They Problems?
 Concept 21-1 Solid waste represents pollution
  and unnecessary waste of resources, and
  hazardous waste contributes to pollution, natural
  capital degradation, health problems, and
  premature deaths.
We Throw Away Huge Amounts of Useful
Things and Hazardous Materials (1)

 Solid waste: any unwanted or discarded material we
  product that is not a liquid or a gas
   • Industrial solid: produced by mines, agriculture, &
   • Municipal solid waste (MSW): garbage from homes
     & workplaces
   • Hazardous, toxic, waste: threatens human health or
     the environment because it is poisonous, chemically
     reactive, corrosive, flammable
 Hazardous wastes
   • Organic compounds: solvents, pesticides, PCB’s, dioxins
   • Toxic heavy metals: lead, mercury, arsenic
   • Radioactive waste: nuclear power plant & weapon facilities
We Throw Away Huge Amounts of Useful
Things and Hazardous Materials (2)

 80–90% of hazardous wastes produced by
  developed countries

 Why reduce solid wastes?
  • ¾ of the materials are an unnecessary waste of
    the earth's resources
  • Huge amounts of air pollution, greenhouse gases,
    and water pollution
What Harmful Chemicals Are in
Your Home?
Natural Capital Degradation: Solid
Wastes Polluting a River in Indonesia
Solid Waste in the United States

 Leader in solid waste problem
  • What is thrown away?

 Leader in trash production, by weight, per
     • ~4.5lbs/day

 Recycling is helping
Hundreds of Millions of Discarded Tires
in a Dump in Colorado, U.S.
Case Study: Trash Production, Recycling
in NYC: Past, Present, and Future

 1920–1940: Highest trash due to coal ash
 1962 and 1963: Lowest trash, coal burning
  phased out, paper was the largest component
 1964 and 1974: Rise in trash due to throwaway
 1999: Mandatory recycling
 2001: Fresh Kills landfill closed, trash hauling
     • Now being transformed into recreational facilities,
       restored wetlands, and a large public parkland
Discussion Question 2

 What are two lessons that we can learn from this
  analysis of data on New Your City’s trash?
21-2 How Should We Deal with
Solid Waste?

 Concept 21-2 A sustainable approach to solid
  waste is first to reduce it, then to reuse or
  recycle it, and finally to safely dispose of what is
We Can Burn or Bury Solid Waste or
Produce Less of It

 Waste Management: attempt to reduce the
  environmental impact without trying to reduce
  the amount of waste produced
  • Mixing wastes together & transferring them from
    one part of the environment to another
 Waste Reduction: potential resources to be
  reused, recycled or composted
 Integrated waste management
  • Uses a variety of strategies, with greater
    emphasis on waste reduction
Integrated Waste Management
Integrated Waste Management: Priorities
for Dealing with Solid Waste
Discussion Question 3

 Referring to figure 21-6 pg 565: Why do you
  think most countries do not follow these
  priorities, even though they are based on
  reliable science?
Science Focus: Garbology

 William Rathje: analyzes garbage in landfills

 Landfills and trash decomposition
We Can Cut Solid Wastes by Reducing,
Reusing, and Recycling (1)

 Waste reduction is based on
  • Reduce: consume less & live a simpler lifestyle
  • Reuse: rely on items that can be used repeatedly
  • Recycle : separate & recycle paper, glass, cans,
    plastics, metals
  • 3R's Jack Johnson
 Seven strategies:
  (1) Redesign manufacturing processes and
    products to use less material and energy
  (2) Redesign manufacturing processes to produce
    less waste and pollution
We Can Cut Solid Wastes by Reducing,
Reusing, and Recycling (2)

 Seven strategies cont…
  (3) Develop products that are easy to repair,
    reuse, remanufacture, compost, or recycle
  (4) Eliminate or reduce unnecessary packaging
  (5) Use fee-per-bag waste collection systems
     (Free pick up of recyclable & reusable items)
  (6) Establish cradle-to grave responsibility
  (7) Restructure urban transportation systems
What Can You Do? Solid Waste
21-3 Why Is Reusing and Recycling
Materials So Important?

 Concept 21-3 Reusing items decreases the use
  of matter and energy resources and reduces
  pollution and natural capital degradation;
  recycling does so to a lesser degree.
Reuse: Important Way to Reduce Solid
Waste, Pollution and to Save Money

 Reuse: clean and use materials over and over

 Downside of reuse in developing countries: poor
  who scavenge in open dumps are exposed to
  toxins & infectious diseases

 Salvaging automobiles parts
  • 2015 EU Require that 95% of any discarded car
    must be reused or recycled
 Rechargeable batteries
Case Study: Use of Refillable Containers

 Reuse and recycle
  • Refillable glass beverage bottles
  • Refillable soft drink bottles made of polyethylene
    terephthalate (PET) plastic

 Paper, plastic, or reusable cloth bags
  • Pros
  • Cons
Energy Consumption Involved with Using
Different Types of 350 ml Containers
What Can You Do? Reuse
Discussion Question 4

 Which three of these actions do you think are
  the most important? Why?
There Are Two Types of Recycling (1)

 Recycling: reprocessing discarded solid
  materials into new useful products
 Primary, closed-loop recycling: recycled into
  new products of the same type
 Secondary recycling: converted into different
 Types of wastes that can be recycled
  • Preconsumer: internal waste: generated in
    manufacturing process
  • Postconsumer: external waste: consumer use of
    the product
CNBC “The Secret Life of Garbage”

 The Secret Life of Garbage 45 mins
There Are Two Types of Recycling (2)

 Do items actually get recycled?

 What are the numbers?

 Will the consumer buy recycled goods?
We Can Mix or Separate Household Solid
Wastes for Recycling

 Materials-recovery facilities (MRFs)
  • They separate mixed waste to recover valuable
 Source separation
  • Pay-as-you-throw
  • Fee-per-bag

 Which program is more cost effective?

 Which is friendlier to the environment?
We Can Copy Nature and Recycle
Biodegradable Solid Wastes

 Composting: mimics nature’s recycling of
  • Individual
  • Municipal

 Benefits

 Successful program in Edmonton, Alberta,
     • Indoor composting program 50% of cities organic
Backyard Composter Drum: Bacteria
Convert Kitchen Waste into Compost
Case Study: Recycling Paper

 Production of paper versus recycled paper
  •   Energy use: 5th largest user of energy
  •   Water use: More than any other product
  •   Pollution: 3rd largest in industry
  •   Dominate material in MSW
 Countries that are recycling
       • Leaders: Denmark, South Korea, Germany
 Replacement of chlorine-based bleaching
  chemicals with H2O2 or O2
Case Study: Recycling Plastics (1)

 Plastics: composed of resins
     • Organic molecules made by chemically linking
       monomer molecules produced mostly from oil &
       natural gas

 Most containers discarded: 4% recycled

 Litter: beaches, water
  • Significance?
        • Progress is being made
Case Study: Recycling Plastics (2)

 Low plastic recycling rate
  • Hard to isolate one type of plastic
  • Low yields of plastic
  • Cheaper to make it new
Discarded Solid Waste Litters Beaches
Individuals Matter: Mike Biddle’s
Contribution to Recycling Plastics

 Mike Biddle and Trip Allen: MBA Polymers, Inc.

 Leaders in plastic recycling
  • 21 step process that separates plastics from
    nonplastics & converts them to pellets

 Plants in
  • U.S.
  • China
  • Austria
Science Focus: Bioplastics (1)

 Plastics from soybeans: not a new concept (first
  around in 1913)

 Key to bioplastics: catalysts (accelerate
  reactions that form polymers from biologically
  based chemicals without having to use high
 Sources
  • Corn
  • Soy
  • Sugarcane
Science Focus: Bioplastics (2)

 Sources cont…
  •   Switchgrass
  •   Chicken feathers
  •   Some garbage
  •   CO2 from coal-burning plant emissions

 Benefits: lighter, stronger, cheaper, and
Discussion Question 5

 What might be some disadvantages of more
  rapidly degradable bioplastics? Do you think
  they outweigh the advantages?
Trade-Offs: Recycling, Advantages and
We Can Encourage Reuse and
Recycling (1)

 What hinders reuse and recycling?
  • 1. Market price of the product does not include harmful
    environmental & health costs with the product during its life cycle
  • 2. Uneven economic playing field, resource extracting industries
    receive more tax breaks & subsidies than recycling & reuse
  • 3. Demand: price paid for recycling material fluctuates
 Encourage reuse and recycling
  • Government
      • Increase subsidies and tax breaks for using such
      • Decrease subsidies and tax breaks for making
        items from virgin resources
We Can Encourage Reuse and
Recycling (2)

  • Fee-per-bag collection: increase use
  • New laws: requiring companies to take back &
    recycle/reuse packing & electronic wastes
  • Citizen pressure
21-4 The Advantages and Disadvantages
of Burning or Burying Solid Waste

 Concept 21-4 Technologies for burning and
  burying solid wastes are well developed, but
  burning contributes to pollution and greenhouse
  gas emissions, and buried wastes eventually
  contribute to pollution and land degradation.
Burning Solid Waste Has Advantages
and Disadvantages

 Waste-to-energy incinerators

 600 Globally
  • Most in Great Britain

 Advantages

 Disadvantages
Solutions: A Waste-to-Energy Incinerator
with Pollution Controls
Trade-Offs: Incineration, Advantages and
Burying Solid Waste Has Advantages
and Disadvantages

 Open dumps: fields or holes where garbage is
  deposited & sometimes burned

 Sanitary landfills: wastes are spread out in thin
  layers, compacted, & covered daily with clay or
  plastic foam
Solutions: State-of-the-Art Sanitary
Trade-Offs: Sanitary Landfills,
Advantages and Disadvantages
21-5 How Should We Deal with
Hazardous Waste?

 Concept 21-5 A sustainable approach to
  hazardous waste is first to produce less of it,
  then to reuse or recycle it, then to convert it to
  less hazardous materials, and finally, to safely
  store what is left.
We Can Use Integrated Management of
Hazardous Waste

 Integrated management of hazardous wastes
  • Produce less
  • Convert to less hazardous substances
  • Rest in long-term safe storage

 Increased use for postconsumer hazardous
  waste: not managed well globally
Integrated Hazardous Waste
Discussion Question 6

 Why do you think that most countries do not
  follow these priorities?
Case Study: Recycling E-Waste

 70% goes to China
  • Hazardous working conditions

 Reduce toxic components in electronics
  • Hewlett Packard & Dell Inc & take them back

 2008: Basal Action Network: states that most
  business are international waste distributors
  • Instituted e-Stewards Initiative
        • Helping people find responsible recyclers
Discussion Question 7

 Would you pay more for a computer if you knew
  the higher price would keep the computer out of
  recycling shops such as those described above?
  If so, what percentage increase in the price
  would you accept?
We Can Detoxify Hazardous Wastes

 Collect and then detoxify
   • Physical methods: charcoal or resins to filter
   • Chemical methods: convert hazardous chemicals to harmless or
      less harmful through chemical reactions
   • Use nanomagnets: magnetic nanoparticles coated with
      certaincompounds that can remove various pollutants from water
   • Bioremediation: bacteria & enzymes destroy toxic substance
   • Phytoremediation: natural or genetically engineered plants to
      absorb, filter, & remove contaminants
 Incineration: hazardous wastes broken down into less hazardous
 Using a plasma arc torch: pass electrical current through a gas to
  generate an electric arc & high temps, creates a plasma, an ionized
  gas made up of electrically conductive ions & electrons
Solutions: Phytoremediation
Trade-Offs: Phytoremediation,
Advantages and Disadvantages
Trade-Offs: Plasma Arc, Advantages
and Disadvantages
We Can Store Some Forms of
Hazardous Waste

 Burial on land or long-term storage
 Deep-well disposal: injected past the confining
  layer of groundwater
 Surface impoundments: ponds, pits, or
  lagoons with liners where liquid hazardous
  wastes are stored
 Secure hazardous landfills: put in drums or
  other containers & buried
Trade-Offs: Deep-Well Disposal,
Advantages and Disadvantages
Surface Impoundment in Niagara Falls,
New York, U.S.
Trade-Offs Surface Impoundments,
Advantages and Disadvantages
Solutions: Secure Hazardous
Waste Landfill
What Can You Do? Hazardous Waste
Case Study: Hazardous Waste
Regulation in the United States

 1976: Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
  (RCRA) Regulates ~5% of hazardous wastes produced in U.S.
 1980: Comprehensive Environmental,
  Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), or
  Superfund: identify sites of hazardous wastes
  contamination & clean them up on a priority
   • Pace of cleanup has slowed
   • Superfund is broke
 Laws encouraging the cleanup of brownfields:
  abandoned industrial & commercial sites
Leaking Barrels of Toxic Waste at a
Superfund Site in the United States
21-6 How Can We Make the Transition to
a More Sustainable Low-Waste Society?

 Concept 21-6 Shifting to a low-waste society
  requires individuals and businesses to reduce
  resource use and to reuse and recycle wastes at
  local, national, and global levels.
Grassroots Action Has Led to Better
Solid and Hazardous Waste Management

 “Not in my backyard”

 Produce less waste
  • “Not in anyone’s backyard”
  • “Not on planet Earth”
     • Emphasize pollution prevention & use
       precautionary principle
Providing Environmental Justice for
Everyone Is an Important Goal

 Environmental Justice: every person is entitled
  to protection from environmental hazards
  regardless of race, gender, age, national origin,
  income, social class, or any political factor
 Which communities in the U.S. have the largest
  share of hazardous waster dumps?
     •   African American
     •   Asian American
     •   Latinos
     •   Native Americans
     •   Working poor
Countries Have Developed International
Treaties to Reduce Hazardous Waste (1)

 1989 Basel Convention
  • 1995: Amended
  • 2008: Ratified by 192 countries, but not
     • The United States
     • Afghanistan
     • Haiti
Countries Have Developed International
Treaties to Reduce Hazardous Waste (2)

 2000: Delegates from 122 countries completed a
  global treaty
  • Control 12 persistent organic pollutants

 2000: Swedish Parliament Law
  • By 2020 ban all chemicals that are persistent and
    can accumulate in living tissue
We Can Make the Transition to
Low-Waste Societies

 Norway, Austria, and the Netherlands
  • Committed to reduce resource waste by 75%

 East Hampton, NY, U.S.
  • Reduced solid waste by 85%

 Follow guidelines to prevent pollution and
  reduce waste
Prevent Pollution & Reduce Waste
Follow these key principles:

 Everything is connected
 There is no away, as in throw away, for the wastes we
 Dilution is not always the solution to pollution
 Polluters & Producers should pay for the wastes they
 Different categories of hazardous waste & recyclable
  wastes should not be mixed
 We should mimic nature by reusing, recycling, or
  composting at least 75% of the solid wastes we produce
 The best & cheapest ways to deal with solid and
  hazardous wastes are waste reduction & pollution

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