ESC110 Chapter ThirteenSolid and Hazardous Waste
Chapter Thirteen Readings & Objectives Required Readings Cunningham & Cunningham Chapter 13: Solid & Hazardous WasteAt the end of this lesson, you should be able to: identify the major components of the waste stream, and describe how wastes have been - and are being - deposited in North America and around the world. explain the differences between dumps, sanitary landfills, and modern, secure landfills. summarize the benefits, problems, and potential of recycling and reusing wastes. analyze some alternatives for reducing the waste we generate. understand what hazardous and toxic wastes are and how we dispose of them. evaluate the options for hazardous-waste management. outline some ways we can destroy or permanently store hazardous wastes.
Chapter Thirteen Key Terms biodegradable plastics page 310 of text bioremediation 315 brownfields 314 composting 308 demanufacturing 308 energy recovery 305 hazardous waste 311 mass burn 305 permanent retrievable storage 315 photodegradable plastics 310 recycling 306 refuse-derived fuel 305 sanitary landfills 302 secure landfills 316 Superfund 313 Toxic Release Inventory 312 waste stream 301
Chapter Thirteen TopicsWasteWaste-Disposal MethodsShrinking the Waste StreamHazardous and Toxic Wastes
PART 1: WASTEAgricultural waste (50%) Residues produced by mining and primary metal processing (30%)Industrial waste - 400 million metric tons/year (3.6%) with a large toxic/hazardous part!Municipal waste - 200 million metric tons/year (1.8%) or 2 kg/person/day.The United States produces 11 billion tons of solid waste each year.
Composition of U.S. Domestic Waste
The Waste StreamWaste stream is the steady flow of varied wastes we all produce.In spite of recent progress in recycling, many recyclable materials end up in the trash. A major problem is refuse mixing where recyclable and nonrecyclable materials, hazardous and nonhazardous materials are mixed and crushed together is the collection process.
PART 2: WASTE DISPOSAL METHODSLow to High Preferences of Waste Disposal Are:Open DumpsOcean DumpingLandfillsExporting WasteIncineration
Open DumpsOpen dumping is a predominant method of waste disposal in developing countries.Illegal dumping classifies as a type of open dumping.Groundwater contamination is one of the many problems with open dumping.
Sanitary LandfillsLandfills control and regulate solid waste disposal with less smell, litter and verminRefuse compacted and covered everyday with a layer of dirt. Dirt takes up as much as 20% of landfill space.Since 1994, all operating landfills in the US have been required to control hazardous substances.More than 1,200 of the 1,500 existing landfills in the U.S. have closed, and many major cities must export their trash.
Exporting Waste and Garbage ImperialismAlthough most industrialized nations in the world have agreed to stop shipping hazardous and toxic waste to less developed countries, the practice still continues.Within rich nations, poor neighborhoods and minority populations are more likely to be the recipients of Locally Unwanted Land Use (LULUs).Toxic wastes are sometimes recycled as building materials, fertilizer or soil amendments.
Incineration and Resource RecoveryIncineration is burning refuse to reduce disposal volume by 80-90%.Energy recovery is possible through heat derived from incineration. Steam from this process can be used for heating buildings or generating electricity.Refuse-derived fuel is when waste is sorted to remove recyclable and unburnable materials. This yields refuse with a higher energy content than raw trash.Mass burn means everything smaller than major furniture and appliances is loaded into furnace. It results in greater problems with air pollution.Residual ash has toxic components including dioxins.High construction costs and environmental regulations have resulted in closures and waste exportation.
Mass-Burn Garbage IncineratorInitial construction costs are usually between $100 and $300 million for a typical municipal facility. Tipping fess are often much higher at incinerators than tipping fees at landfills.
PART 3: SHRINKING THE WASTE STREAMReduce, Reuse and Recycle (the 3 R's)Reusing is a wash & refill process unlike recycling.Recycling success stars are aluminum & auto batteries.Problems include fluctuating market prices & contamination.Recycling is better than dumping or burning.
Recycling is the reprocessing of discarded material into new, useful products.
Recycling BenefitsSaves money, raw materials, and land.Encourages individual responsibility.Reduces pressure on disposal systems. Japan (an island nation short on land) recycles about half of all household and commercial wastes.Lowers demand for raw resources.Reduces energy consumption and air pollution.Benefits ExampleRecycling 1 ton of aluminum saves 4 tons of bauxite, 700 kg of coke and pitch, and keeps 35 kg of aluminum fluoride out of the air.Producing aluminum from scrap instead of bauxite ore cuts energy use by 95%.
Municipal Waste, 1995
Source Separation in the Kitchen
U.S. Recycling Rates
U.S. Recycled Materials - 1994
Ways Other Than Recycling to Shrink the Waste StreamComposting is the biological degradation of organic material under aerobic conditions.Energy can be obtained from waste.Demanufacturing is the disassembly and recycling of obsolete consumer products such as computers & household appliances.Reuse is exemplified each time you clean a bottle and drink from it again. A reusable glass container makes an average of 15 round-trips between factory and customer before it has to be recycled.Generating less waste by not consuming originally or using more compostable and degradable packaging.
Shrinking the Waste StreamExcess packaging of food and consumer products is one of our greatest sources of unnecessary waste.Paper, plastic, glass, and metal packaging material make up 50% of domestic trash by volume.
Producing less wasteSome environmentalists think that society currently places too much emphasis on recycling, thus ignoring better solutions such as reduced consumption and reuse.
DemanufacturingDemanufacturing is the disassembly and recycling of obsolete consumer productsRefrigerators and air conditioners produce CFC's. The CFC's can be recycled, thus avoiding their release too the environment.Computers and other electronics produce both toxic and valuable metalsA problem is that electronics that are turned in for recycling in the U.S. are sometimes dumped in developing countries where their components end up as environmental toxins.
ReuseBetter than recycling or composting.Salvage from old houses is an increasingly popular trend in construction.Glass and plastic bottle potential for reuse is poorly realized.Large national companies favor recycling over reuse.
Producing Less WasteReduction in consumption is the best way to reduce our waste stream.Excess packaging of food and consumer products is one of our greatest sources of unnecessary waste.Photodegradable plastics break down when exposed to UV rays.Biodegradable plastics can be decomposed by microorganisms. There are problems with photodegradable and biodegradable plastics.
PART 4: HAZARDOUS AND TOXIC WASTESHazardous wastes are discarded solids or liquids with substances that are fatal in low concentrations, toxic, carcinogenic, mutagenic or teratogenic. This includes corrosive, explosive, reactive and flammable materials.U.S. industries generate about about 265 million metric tons of officially classified toxic wastes each year.Chemical and petroleum industries are the biggest sources of toxins
U.S. Hazardous Waste Producers
Hazardous Waste Disposal LegislationResource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Comprehensive program requiring rigorous testing and management of toxic and hazardous substances with cradle to grave accounting.Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund Act)Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) created a Toxic Release Inventory. The act requires manufacturing facilities to report annually on releases of hundreds of types of toxins.
Tracking Toxic and Hazardous Wastes
Superfund SitesEPA estimates 36,000 seriously contaminated sites in the U.S. and by 2000, 1,551 sites were placed on the National Priority List for cleanup with with Superfund financing. Superfund is a revolving pool designed to:Provide immediate response to emergency situations posing imminent hazards.Clean-up abandoned or inactive sites.
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA).Modified in 1984 by Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act.Aimed at rapid containment, cleanup, or remediation of abandoned toxic waste sites.Toxic Release Inventory - Requires >20,000 manufacturing facilities to report annually on releases of more than 300 toxic materials.In order to act the government does not have to prove anyone violated a law, or what role they played in a superfund site.Liability under CERCLA is strict, joint, and several, meaning anyone associated with a site can be held responsible for the entire clean-up cost.
National Priority List (NPL) & BrownfieldsEPA estimate: 36,000 seriously contaminated sites in the U.S.General Accounting Office (GAO) estimates that there are > 400,000 seriously contaminated sitesNPL sites are waste sites that are especially hazardous to human h