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  • This article was downloaded by: [Tanmoy Karak]On: 19 June 2012, At: 14:49Publisher: Taylor & FrancisInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registeredoffice: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK

    Critical Reviews in EnvironmentalScience and TechnologyPublication details, including instructions for authors andsubscription information:http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/best20

    Municipal Solid Waste Generation,Composition, and Management: TheWorld ScenarioTanmoy Karak a , R. M. Bhagat a & Pradip Bhattacharyya ba Tocklai Experimental Station, Tea Research Association, Assam,Indiab Department of Renewable Resources, University of Wyoming,Laramie, Wyoming, USA

    Available online: 30 Aug 2011

    To cite this article: Tanmoy Karak, R. M. Bhagat & Pradip Bhattacharyya (2012): Municipal Solid WasteGeneration, Composition, and Management: The World Scenario, Critical Reviews in EnvironmentalScience and Technology, 42:15, 1509-1630

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  • Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology, 42:15091630, 2012Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLCISSN: 1064-3389 print / 1547-6537 onlineDOI: 10.1080/10643389.2011.569871

    Municipal Solid Waste Generation,Composition, and Management:

    The World Scenario

    TANMOY KARAK,1 R. M. BHAGAT,1

    and PRADIP BHATTACHARYYA21Tocklai Experimental Station, Tea Research Association, Assam, India

    2Department of Renewable Resources, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, USA

    Municipal solid waste (MSW) is the abridgment of the waste gen-erated from domestic, commercial, and construction activities bynatural persons that is collected and treated by municipalities. Ex-ponential growth of population and urbanization, and the devel-opment of social economy, coupled with the improvement of livingstandard, have resulted in an increase in the amount of MSW gen-eration throughout the world. On average the developed countriestypically generate 521.95759.2 kg per person per year (kpc) and109.5525.6 kpc typically by developing countries. Recent estimatessuggest that the MSW generation globally exceeds 2 billion tons peryear, which is a potential threat to environmental dilapidation.Therefore, MSW management (MSWM) seems to be one of the keytopics for environmental protection in present days and also in thefuture. The authors have illustrated MSW generation and composi-tion analysis and have provided a comprehensive review of MSWMin different countries throughout the world based on the availableliteratures. Some of the important aspects of waste management,such as composting, landfilling, and incineration, are illustrated.

    KEY WORDS: landfilling, composting, incineration, MSW, MSWcomposition, MSW generation rate, MSW management, recycling

    Address correspondence to Tanmoy Karak, Tocklai Experimental Station, Tea ResearchAssociation, Jorhat-8, Assam, India. E-mail: tanmay.karak@gmail.com

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    INTRODUCTION

    It is well documented that humans are the principal factor for breaking theecological diversity in the environment and that subsequently comes as anend of environmental pollution. Population growth and increasing consumerchoices have resulted in a large production showing worldwide. Most pro-duction facilitates lack environmental control in industrial processes, and alsoinadequate or insufficient facilities for waste management and treatment. In-crease in urban growth has further resulted in an increase in the generationof waste from residential sites, private and public service facilities, and con-struction and demolition activities as new subdivisions are established. Asthe population density in urban areas is generally very high throughout theworld, therefore the daily consumption pattern is also high. Besides this,the quantity of municipal solid waste (MSW) generation is also associatedwith the economic status of a society (Shekdar, 2009). A large percentageof trash that is generated now is the result of the products that are used orbrought, which become wastes after use. This is considered as municipalsolid waste or prevalently MSW and its final disposal is the last phase of theurban sanitation system of any city. It is closely related to the preservation ofthe environment as well as of the public health. Therefore, the control andtreatment of MSW must be done through an intelligent system that minimizesits negative impacts on the ecosystem. Increased generation of householdwaste, which surpasses the assimilation capacity of the ecosystem and theinsufficient installed capacity of disposed yards for its handling, promotesthe proliferation of open air dumps, with an increased threat to the publichealth, ecosystem, and quality of life. Based on the population estimatesby the Population Division of the United Nations and the gross domesticproduct (GDP) predicted by the World Bank, it is likely to be expected thattotal solid waste will be increased to 27 billion tons in 2050 from 13 billiontons in the year 1990 (Beede and Bloom, 1995). At present, the annual to-tal solid waste generation is approximately 17 billion tons (Chattopadhyayet al., 2009). Global generation of MSW in 1997 was 0.49 billion tons with anestimated annual growth rate of 3.24.5% in developed nations and 23% indeveloping nations (Suocheng et al., 2001).

    Quantification and characterization of MSW is one of the vital formula-tions of its management strategy. In the developed economies, reliable dataon MSW generation and management are updated and are available in theliterature. These data are normally collected on a daily basis, which providesa rational basis for planning and executing waste management operations.On the other hand, in developing economies the data on MSW generationhave a short history and insufficient national data or data of a large urban orperiurban population center (Shekdar, 2009). However, anthology of MSWstudy throughout the world is scant. Therefore, in the present article weassess worldwide situation of MSW generation and composition to identify

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    issues relevant to MSW management (MSWM), and formulate a strategy forimproving sustainable management of MSW.

    GENERATION AND COMPOSITION OF MSW THROUGHOUTTHE WORLD

    Generally, in European countries and Organization for Economic Coopera-tion and Development (OECD) countries, MSW covers waste from house-holds (82% of total MSW) including bulky waste, waste from commerceand trade, office buildings, institutions and small businesses, yard and gar-den waste, street sweepings, the contents of litter containers, and marketcleansing waste (Eurostat, 2003). The definition of MSW excludes wastefrom municipal sewage networks and treatment, as well as municipal con-struction and demolition waste. However, national definitions of MSW maydiffer (OECD, 2007a). In a developing economy, MSW is generally definedas the waste produced in a municipality. Most of the MSWs generated indeveloping countries are nonsegregated and, therefore, it may be either haz-ardous or nonhazardous. In general, whatsoever be the source of MSW, itsimpact on environment and quality of life is mainly related to air, water,and soil contaminations. It is also related to space consumption, odors, andesthetic prejudice.

    Generation of MSW in 15 Countries of the European Union (EU-15)

    The 15 countries of the European Union (EU-15) are Austria, Belgium, Den-mark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Luxembourg, Nether-lands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The total MSWgeneration in million tons and the generation rate in kilograms per personper year (or kpc) for EU-15 from 1998 to 2008 are depicted in Figure 1.Within this reference period, on average MSW generation increased in theEU-15 by 4.6% from 540 to 565 kpc. Among the EU-15 countries, Denmarkreported considerably higher amounts of MSW generation rate (i.e., 802 kpc[equivalent to 3.77 million tons]) for the year 2008 (Eurostat, 2009). On theother hand, Greece continued to be somewhat lower generation rate (i.e.,453 kpc) among the EU-15 countries in the year 2008 (Erkut et al., 2008;Eurostat, 2009).

    Composition of MSW in 15 Countries of the European Union (EU-15)

    Physical composition is important to characterize and classify the MSW forits proper management. Nationwide MSW composition pattern in some se-lected cities among the countries of EU-15 are tabulate

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