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Solid Waste. Solid Waste. Unwanted/discarded material, not liquid or gas Sources: Sludge from water treatment, industry Commercial & Industrial byproducts Construction Municipal garbage An underutilized resource A mirror of society Cradle to Grave production philosophy. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Solid Waste

  • Solid WasteUnwanted/discarded material, not liquid or gasSources:Sludge from water treatment, industryCommercial & Industrial byproductsConstructionMunicipal garbageAn underutilized resourceA mirror of societyCradle to Grave production philosophy

  • Natural Capital DegradationU.S. produces 1/3 of worlds solid waste12 billion tons of solid waste produced in the United States each year from:75% Mining, oil, and gas production13% Agriculture9.5% Industry1.5% Municipal (MSW)1% Sewage Sludge

  • Where does it come from?Paper is about 38% of MSWYard waste 12%Food waste 11%Plastics - 10%Fastest growing problem is e-waste or from electronic devices

  • P2 Pollution PreventionOption - Waste ManagementAccept high-waste society as unavoidable because of economic growthReduce environmental harm; bury, burn or compress itTransfer from one environment to another

  • Exporting WastesBetween CountriesBetween States New York (3,774,000 tons) ->PA, VA, OH, CT IN, WI NV, WA

  • Problem: Rise of Interstate Garbage Commerce1993: 14.45 million tons of municipal solid waste crossed state lines2003: 39 million tonsCauses:Increased generationGeographic distribution of landfill Capacity limitsConsolidation of waste management industry

  • Interstate Commerce - Garbage Stakeholders Biggest Garbage Exporters New York, New Jersey, Missouri, Maryland, Massachusetts Biggest Garbage Importers:Pennsylvania, Virginia, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana Waste Management Companies:Three companies gross 67% of the revenue earned for U.S. municipal solid waste management

  • Environmental ConcernsDiesel exhaust air pollutionHuman health concernsEnvironmental impactsCO2 emissions global warmingHighway congestionIncrease in accidentsIncrease in spillsInter-coastal transport water pollution, spills

  • P2 cont.Option - Waste Reduction Low waste approachReduce consumptionRedesign productsEliminate or reduce packagingRecycle, Reduce View waste as a resourceEncourage reduction and prevention (economically & legislatively)Conserves matter (resources) and energyReduces pollution, ecological benefitsCan be economically beneficial

  • SOLUTIONS - SustainabilityConsume lessRedesign manufacturing processes and products to use lessRedesign industrial processes to produce less waste and pollutionDevelop products that are easy to repair, reuse, remanufacture, compost or recycleDesign products that last longerEliminate or reduce unnecessary packagingCradle to Cradle philosophy

  • Ecoindustrial RevolutionBiomimicry mimic natural environment matter is recycledResource Exchange between industriesRedevelop brown fieldsSuccess stories 3M: reduced waste by 30%Redesigned equipment and processesUsed fewer hazardous chemicalsRecycled more hazardous pollutants

  • Service-flow EconomyCompare to material-flow economyEco-leasing: XeroxAir conditioningCarpets & tilecameras

  • Reuse or Throw-away Society?Reuse AdvantagesUsed in developing countries saves $E-Products used in developed countries dismantled and re-used where labor is cheapDrinks in reusable containers cost less (PET plastics); saves energyCloth shopping bags instead of plasticIndustrial packaging DisadvantagesPotential health risks when reusing food or water containersPollution and health risks from Pb, Hg, Cd, dioxinCompanies make more money selling disposable containersLess convenientNeed economic incentives and redesign

  • RecyclingPreconsumer vs. postconsumerMunicipal PossibilitiesPaperGlassAluminumSteelPlasticsUS MSW recyclingCurrently - 30%Future - up to 60-80%

  • RecylcingPrimary or closed LoopSecondary recycling or down cycling (tires to surfacing materials)

  • Recycling BenefitsReduce solid waste Reduce pollution: air, water, soilSaves energy (harvesting virgin resources)Reduce habitat destruction Species protectionSaves money

    (tire disposal site on fire)

  • Recycling DisadvantagesSource separationTechnology Cost?Space

  • CompostingReduce paper, yard, and vegetable wasteCurrently, composting 5% in the USPotential 35%Useful as fertilizer, topsoil, or landfill cover

  • Why is the US behind in reuse and recycling?Market price of products do not include environmental costs Resource-extracting industries receive more tax breaks and subsidies than recycling and reuse industriesStill cheaper here to use landfills.Demand and prices for recycled materials fluctuates

  • How can we encourage recycling and reuse?Increase subsidies and tax breaks for industries choosing recycled resources over virgin resourcesPAUT: pay as you throwProduct stewardship industry responsibility for take back of products (e-waste)Phase out use of hazardous materials when possible

  • Sanitary LandfillsAdvantagesLittle odorwater pollutionQuick and easy to buildLow operating costsDisadvantagesNoise and trafficDustAir pollutionGreehouse gases (methane and CO2)Water pollution

  • IncinerationAdvantagesReduce trash volumeLowers need for landfillsLower water pollutionEasyDisadvantagesHigh costAir pollution (dioxins)Produces toxic ashDiscourages recycling

  • Hazardous WasteRCRA Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, regulates 5% of hazardous wasteNot regulated by RCRA:Radioactive wasteHousehold wasteMining wastesOil and gas drilling Liquid wasteSmall business

  • Detoxifying Hazardous WasteHow?Physical methodsChemical reactionsBioremediationPhytoremediationPlasmaWhere do they go?IncinerationDeep well injectionSurface impoundmentsSecure landfillsNIMBY

  • BrownfieldsAbandoned industrial sites or other hazardous waste sites that are cleaned up and put to useInclude: old landfills, munitions dumps, shooting ranges, ode factoriesRequire: remediation, soil reclamation

  • Chemical Toxins Heavy MetalsLeadChildren inhale or ingestBanned leaded gasStill found in paint chips from homes build prior to 1960MercuryInhale or ingest in fishFrom burning coal and incinerationBioaccumulation and maginification

  • Chemical Toxins - DioxinsChlorinated hydrocarbonsSources:70% from incineration of MSW & medical wasteSmelting, refiningForest firesToxicity:PersistentCarcinogenic TCDDHAASHuman exposure from food

  • Hazardous Waste RegulationRCRA Resource Conservation and Recovery ActEPA identify hazardous waste and set standardsIndustry permits for managingDevelop cradle to grave system, generation to disposalCERCLA SuperfundIdentify abandoned sitesProtect and/or clean up ground waterIdentify sites for NPL National Priorities List for remediationWho pays? Polluter or Taxpayer


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