Municipal Solid Waste Characterization

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<ul><li><p>8/7/2019 Municipal Solid Waste Characterization</p><p> 1/10</p><p> 1</p><p>Comparison of Municipal Solid Waste Characterization and Generationrates in selected Caribbean territories and their implications.</p><p>By Ana Solis-Ortega Treasure</p><p>Introduction</p><p>For the past ten years Caribbean territories have been gradually changing from aculture of dealing with the garbage to the one of managing solid wastes.</p><p>Decisions in the past were not necessarily evidence based as very little technicalapproaches were utilized. It was common to switch personnel from the water orthe environmental health sectors to the garbage collection departments as itwas believed that only common sense was required.</p><p>Today, the Caribbean nations are fully aware of the importance of providingtechnically sound approaches to the management of solid wastes.</p><p>It has been recognized that no rational decisions on solid wastes systems arepossible until data on waste characterization and generation rates are available.</p><p>The method and capacity of storage, the correct type of collection vehicle, theoptimum size crew and the frequency of collection depend mainly on this data.The disposal method may be conditioned by the proportions of saleable materialsthat could be recycled or the vegetable content which might be compostable.</p><p>This paper analyses solid wastes characterization data for 5 Caribbean territoriesand compares it with US data, looking at the trends and predict the implicationsfor sector.</p></li><li><p>8/7/2019 Municipal Solid Waste Characterization</p><p> 2/10</p><p> 2</p><p>Solid Waste Characterization Data (SWCD)</p><p>Table 1 shows Municipal SWCD for 5 Caribbean Territories.</p><p>Table 1</p><p>Waste Characterization in Selected Caribbean Territories</p><p>Category</p><p>St. Vincent andtheGrenadines</p><p>1Jamaica</p><p>2Barbados</p><p>3BVI</p><p>4Trinidad</p><p>5</p><p>Organics 49.6 53.96 59 6.5 46</p><p>Paper and Paperboard 22.1 17.34 20 33.5 13</p><p>Plastic 8.4 11.77 9 6.3 12</p><p>C&amp;D Materials 5.8 7</p><p>Glass 5.6 4.27 18.1 6</p><p>Textiles 4 2.88 4.8 4</p><p>Metal 3.8 5.29 8.6 7Special Care Wastes 0.4</p><p>Wood and Board 1.34 22.2</p><p>Other Wastes 0.3 3.15 12 5</p><p>Total 100 100 100 100 100</p><p>The SWCD for Barbados, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad isvery consistent with the data in most developing countries. Municipal SolidWaste is mainly organic showing significant consumption of agricultural and foodproducts in the daily diet. A significant percentage of the organic component is</p><p>associated to yard trimmings. This component is highly related to low densityurban areas not considered in the low income bracket of the society.</p><p>Packaging material, being paper, cardboard or plastic represent the secondhighest type of wastes found in the municipal solid waste stream.</p><p>The British Virgin Islands (BVI) SWCD is not consistent with the data of themajority of the Caribbean territories. The high consumption of packagingmaterials (including glass) as well as the disposal in high quantities of wood andboard shows the existence of a throw away culture motivated by high level of</p><p>imports and wealth.</p></li><li><p>8/7/2019 Municipal Solid Waste Characterization</p><p> 3/10</p><p> 3</p><p>SWCD for the United States of America (See table 2) is used to provide acomparison on the type of wastes generated in an industrialized nation. The useof the US data was decided on the basis of the proximity to the Region and theinfluence of its market on the Regional consumption patterns. The figures showthat while the organic component of Municipal Solid Waste had a decrease of7.6% between 1990 and 2000, the disposal of plastic had an increase of 4.5%.</p><p>It is interesting to note that the consumption of plastics in St. Vincent and theGrenadines, Barbados and BVI are below the average household disposal ofplastics in the US for the year 1990. Jamaica and Trinidad, however, presentfigures which are close to generation data for the year 1995.</p><p>Generation rates</p><p>Table 3</p><p>Wastes Generation rate for selected</p><p>Caribbean Territories (kg/person/day)</p><p>St. Vincent andtheGrenadines</p><p>1</p><p>2002</p><p>Jamaica2</p><p>2002</p><p>Barbados3</p><p>2000</p><p>BVI4</p><p>2000</p><p>0.73 1 0.9 2.8</p><p>Table 2</p><p>Waste Characterization in Selected Caribbean Territories</p><p>United States</p><p>Category</p><p>St. Vincentand theGrenadines</p><p>2002Jamaica</p><p>2002Barbados</p><p>2000BVI2000</p><p>Trinidad1999 1990 1995 200</p><p>Organics 49.6 53.96 59 6.5 46 27.1 23 19.</p><p>Paper and Paperboard 22.1 17.34 20 33.5 13 32.3 33.4 32.</p><p>Plastic 8.4 11.77 9 6.3 12 9.8 12.2 14.</p><p>C&amp;D Materials 5.8 7</p><p>Glass 5.6 4.27 18.1 6 6.5 6.2 5.</p><p>Textiles 4 2.88 4.8 4 3.3 3.5 3.</p><p>Metal 3.8 5.29 8.6 7 7.7 7.1 6.</p><p>Special Care Wastes 0.4</p><p>Wood and Board 1.34 22.2 7.3 8.1 9.</p><p>Other Wastes 0.3 3.15 12 5 6 6.5 7.</p><p>Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 10</p></li><li><p>8/7/2019 Municipal Solid Waste Characterization</p><p> 4/10</p></li><li><p>8/7/2019 Municipal Solid Waste Characterization</p><p> 5/10</p><p> 5</p><p>Implications</p><p>Type of Wastes Storage and Collection Disposal</p><p>Organics</p><p> Require impermeable</p><p>containers Require 2 times per week</p><p>collection (fly cycle) Require seal trucks to</p><p>prevent littering byleachate</p><p> High density occupational health andsafety issues to be takeninto consideration</p><p> Subject to spontaneouscombustion in communalcontainers potential firein the trucks</p><p> Equipment with highcompaction rate is notnecessary Tipper truckscan be utilized</p><p> Corrosion Problems intrucks and storagecontainers</p><p> High density waste does</p><p>not require majorcompaction</p><p> Low calorific value notvery good for incinerationor energy production</p><p> Subject to spontaneouscombustion placesdemands on daily cover</p><p> Rapid decomposition production of odours places demands on dailycover</p><p> Production of leachate soil and watercontamination</p><p> Recyclable - Compost</p><p>Paper and Cardboard Low density wastes highcompaction required</p><p> High volumes difficult tostore</p><p> Does not affect collectionfrequency due to PublicHealth reasons</p><p> Litter required coveredtrucks</p><p> Good calorific value Problems with</p><p>spontaneous combustionor vandalism</p><p> Litter in Landfills Re-use and Recycle</p><p>Plastics Low density wastes highcompaction required</p><p> Does not affect collectionfrequency due to PublicHealth reasons</p><p> Non-biodegradable reduce landfill airspaceconsiderably</p><p> Special considerations forincineration</p><p> Re-use and Recycle</p><p>Derelict Vehicles (metals) High volumes requirespecialize equipment for</p><p>lifting and transportation Storage in communities</p><p>bring Public Healthproblems (mosquitoes androdents)</p><p> Mosquito breeding sites Shelter for rodents Decrease airspace at</p><p>landfills Recycle</p><p>Tyres (rubber other wastes) Storage in communitiesbring Public Healthproblems (mosquitoes androdents)</p><p> Cannot be landfilled Potential fire risk at</p><p>landfills Reuse and Recycle</p></li><li><p>8/7/2019 Municipal Solid Waste Characterization</p><p> 6/10</p><p> 6</p><p>Disposable income</p><p>It is believed that the decrease in generation of organic wastes in the US as wellas in the BVI is not only related to the use of packaged food but also to the useof grinders which triturate the waste and dispose of it in the sewage system.</p><p>While this paper presents average figures for organic waste, it was noted that inhigh income urban settings for most countries, the biodegradable component ofthe waste was significantly lower than for low income communities. There is aculture of eating out which shifts the organics from the Municipal waste streamto the commercial waste stream.</p><p>It is obvious that the increase in the total wastes generation is directlyproportional to the increase in disposable income at the community level.</p><p>Globalisation</p><p>This powerful multifaceted trend and the various policy initiatives associated withit are bound to touch every single individual in the Region, and present thesocieties with promising opportunities as well as formidable and dauntingchallenges.</p><p>Globalisation expands choices and with its enormous machinery foradvertisement through the now available world-wide media encourages thesocieties to consume more imported products and therefore produce more solid</p><p>waste.</p><p>It is expected that as in the industrialized nations the wastes will gradually movetowards higher generation of packaging materials and a reduction of organicsparticularly food.</p><p>Producers from the industrialised nations have benefited from the amplepressure exerted by their governments to open foreign markets for them. As aresult of this pressure one would expect accelerated growth in the quantities ofwaste at a much faster rate than the experienced by the same industrialisednations during their development.</p><p>Globalisation has significantly reduced the cost of transactions and transportationcost. According to Jiyad (2000), freight costs and cargo costs for example, havedeclined by 15% and 58% respectively between 1950 and 1990. Communicationand information technologies have made even more substantial cuts intransactions cost. A three minutes phone call, for example between London andNew York which cost on average US$53.20 in 1950, was down to $31.50 in 1970</p></li><li><p>8/7/2019 Municipal Solid Waste Characterization</p><p> 7/10</p><p> 7</p><p>and to only $3.22 in 1990. The reduction in the price of communication hasseen the emerging of new type of wastes never encountered in significantquantities. Discarded computers, cellular phones and batteries, printers andtoners constitute the e-waste now found in our regional landfills.</p><p>Prices for cooked/frozen food as well as non-perishable foods are now very oftencheaper than the fresh products; eliminating the waste associated with peelings.However, increasing the amount of plastics and metals used for packaging.There is also the culture of the barrel (container with food and other provisionssent to the islands by relatives living in the USA or the UK) which containsconsiderable amount of non-perishable food and packaging material.</p><p>A look at the current figures and a prediction of the years to come place seriouspressure on the SW professionals in the Caribbean.</p><p>Globalisation which has been very responsible for the rapid increase of packagingmaterials in our Region; has also allowed for the introduction of materials whichare not biodegradable (e.g. Styrofoam and tetrapacks) and which seriouslycompromised the lifespan of landfills. Globalisation has also allowed for theproducers of machinery to take advantages of the new instruments for financingmade available to our people and prolong both the life-cycle of their machinesand products by launching new products in the rich world first and selling us theused or reconditioned products.</p><p>The Region is now flooded with reconditioned vehicles from Japan appropriatelycalled in Jamaica deportees, as they are units which are no longer wanted in</p><p>the Japanese territory. These old but reconditioned vehicles in our Region havereplaced our old fleet which have accumulated in open lots, drains and landfillsas our derelict units do not have re-entry in the industrialised world. Derelictvehicles significantly reduce the air space in landfills and posses a Public Healththreat acting as breeding ground and shelter for disease transmitting organisms.They also contribute to flooding when disposed of in storm water drains orrivers.</p><p>Ensuring environmental sustainability</p><p>It is important that we respond to the new challenges and realities, reconcilingobjectives of economic development, environmental protection, and povertyreduction, and inserting the solid waste dimension in priority actions that seek togive impetus to competitiveness, social development, modernization of the state,and regional integration.</p></li><li><p>8/7/2019 Municipal Solid Waste Characterization</p><p> 8/10</p><p> 8</p><p>The UN Millennium Development Goal #7 is to ensure environmentalsustainability. The current trends in characterization: high volumes of non-biodegradable materials with their significant consequences for airspace inlandfills; compromise the achievement of this goal in the Regions solid wastesector.</p><p>The natural wealth and relative abundance of the regions different ecosystems isthe main basis for the regions economic development and internationalcompetitiveness.</p><p>The long-term sustainability of our fragile environment depends greatly in thefuture decisions and actions in the solid waste sector.</p><p>The sector has to work hard developing capacities in the public, private, andsocial realms to guarantee the quality and availability of services provided.</p><p>Throughout the last decade, the societies in the countries of the region haveestablished institutions, laws, policies, and programs to this end. The decision-making processes behind these initiatives point to arrangements that provide forgreater integration of the solid waste dimension within the productive sectors,boost technical capacities, and provide for more community participation, in bothurban and rural areas. In addition, significant financial resources have beenchanneled, mainly from non-reimbursable grants and loans from multilateralbanks to specific solid waste programs in the region. The sustainability offunding remains a significant challenge.</p><p>One of the great gaps in evidence is the scant capacity of the Regional solidwaste institutions to step into the dialogue on fiscal and economic policy, and tobe constructive participants in discussions on integration, foreign trade, andother significant topics in development. All this limits the possibility ofinternalizing the solid waste dimension in development processes, and ofimplementing economic and financial instruments for solid waste management,which could be more effective in complementing and/or taking the place oftraditional command-and-control instruments. Furthermore, solid wastemanagement suffers from a series of factors that have a cross-cutting impact onthe quality and efficiency of public management and governance in the context</p><p>of the process of state modernization. These factors include respect for andcompliance with the laws, citizen participation, transparency, the processes ofdecentralization, prevention of politicization of issues along party lines, andprofessional stability, among others.</p><p>Negative environmental trends have yet to be turned around. The problem withsolid waste management is not resolved solely by passing laws and creating</p></li><li><p>8/7/2019 Municipal Solid Waste Characterization</p><p> 9/10</p></li><li><p>8/7/2019 Municipal Solid Waste Characterization</p><p> 10/10</p><p> 10</p><p>References</p><p>1. Richards, Esther (2002). Understanding the Solid Waste Stream - Resultsof a Waste Characterisation Study in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.</p><p>Solid Waste Management Unit, St. Vincent and the Grenadines</p><p>2. NSWMA (2002). Waste Characterisation Study. Planning and ResearchDepartment. Jamaica</p><p>3. NSWMA (2000) A guide to the Integration of Solid Wastes Managementinto the School Curriculum</p><p>4. SWD (2000). Annual report. BVI</p><p>5. SWMCOL (1999). Summary of waste data for Beetham, Forres Park andGuanapo. Trinidad</p><p>6. Jiyad, Ahmed (2000) Human Development Paradigm under globalisationenvironment. Oslo Conference proceedings</p><p>7. Planning Institute of Jamaica (2003). Millennium development Goals.Jamaica</p><p>8. PAHO (2002). Framework of Action in Environmental Health 2003-2007</p><p>9. IDB (2002). Environment Strategy</p></li></ul>

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