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WASTE MANAGEMENT Waste is any material that has no direct value to producers and must be disposed of.

Millions of tons of waste are produced each year. Much of it is harmful to humans, plants and animals. Dispensing of this waste in an environmentally safe manner is becoming increasingly difficult and expensive. Characteristics Can be solid, liquid or gaseous. Arises from a wide variety of sources including use and generation of energy, extraction of raw (virgin) materials; industrial processes; transport and agriculture. Also arises from construction; selling of goods or products, using products and waste disposal.

Solid waste waste that cannot be disposed of as a liquid

Types of solid waste Municipal solid waste consists of solid materials discarded by homes, offices, retail stores, restaurants, schools, hospitals and other commercial and institutional facilities. It accounts for only a small portion of all solid waste produced. Non-municipal solid waste includes waste from industry, agriculture and mining. It is produced in substantially larger amounts than municipal solid waste. Hazardous and toxic materials may be present in waste. Includes any discarded material containing substances known to be fatal to humans or animals in low doses. e.g cyanide Includes toxic waste polychlorinated byphenols (PCBs) used to produce insulators in electrical units.

Carcinogenic Waste causes cancer of the chest and abdominal lining. e.g. asbestos Mutagenic waste causes mutations; e.g. cadmium used in pigments and batteries Teratogenic foetal abnormalities to human and other organisms

Reasons for increase in volume of waste: 1. Increased consumption of raw materials 2. Increased manufacture, transport, sale and use of wide variety of products 3. Built in obsolescence products such as toys, electrical and sporting goods designed not to last very long. 4. Increase in the amount of packaging

5. Increase in the demand for convenience products i.e. disposable consumer goods e.g. pens, razors. Composition of Waste has changed considerably. There has been a decrease in the proportion of biodegradable waste and an increase in the proportion of inorganic non-biodegradable waste such as plastics, metals, alloys and chemicals. Jamaica and waste 650,000 tonnes of waste generated annually, approximately 1 tonne solid waste per household/day or 2 lb per person/day 2/3 of all solid waste is generated in urban areas.

Composition Food waste Paper Yard waste Plastics Cardboard Metals

<30% 15-20% <10% <10% <5% <5%

Disposal/Management of waste Open dumps considered to be unsanitary. Methane gas is released into air as microorganisms decompose solid waste. This poses a fire hazard. Liquid from these dumps may contaminate the ground water. Landfills Solid waste is placed in a hole, compacted and covered with a thin layer of soil every day. This reduces the danger of fires and the amount of odour. Advantage It is convenient, initial costs are low, basic requirements are land for the site and transport arrangement. Idea that waste will degrade and decompose hence more space will become available. However, when too much waste is being produced, very little oxygen gets to the bottom and the waste does not decompose. Considered best method for hazardous waste disposal by on site burial schemes.

Disadvantages 1. 2. Suitable land near urban areas becoming scarce and expensive/has to compete with other land uses. Cost of transportation to site increasing


4. 5.

Produces hazardous gases, solids, liquids from burial waste. Rain percolating down through site may drain out as polluted leachate contaminating soil and local ground and surface water supplies. Build up of combustible gases may cause the problem of rubbish fires. Act as a significant producer of greenhouse methane contributing to global warming.

Modern landfills (sanitary) have improved designs to regulate and control pollution, smells, litter, insects and rodents. They have a clay/plastic liner at bottom of landfill to prevent leaching and methane is vented to prevent fire. Incineration two positive things accomplished: o Volume of solid waste reduced by up to 90% o Process produces heat which if properly channeled, can produce steam to warm buildings or generate electricity. o Glass and food wastes should be removed. Best materials for incineration are paper, plastics and rubber. o 50% of all used tyres in the US were incinerated in 1995. This is one of the best uses for old tyres because burning rubber produces much heat. o Possible production of toxic air pollutants is the major disadvantage. Composting converting organic wastes such as kitchen waste, grass clippings, branches, and leaves into soil conditioners such as compost and mulch. This is the best disposal method for organic waste.

WASTE PREVENTION Three goals are: Reduce the amount of waste source reduction is the most under-utilised aspect of waste management. Industries design and manufacture products to decrease the amount of solid waste or hazardous waste used. Reuse products using a product more than once, either for the same purpose or for an alternate purpose eg. refillable glass bottles. Recycle products collect and reprocess many materials found in solid waste into new products of the same or different type.

Benefits of recycling Conserves resources for future generations by reducing demand. Recycling one tonne of aluminium saves four tonnes of bauxite (aluminium ore) and 700 kg of petroleum coke which has to be extracted from the ground. Reduces energy consumption and emissions of many greenhouse gases. Recycling plastic bottles can save 50% to 60% of the energy needed to make new bottles; similarly making new steel from scrap is an estimated 75% of energy savings. Recycling results in reduction of pollution from extraction industries, production processes and waste disposal. Recycling one tonne of aluminium reduces aluminium fluoride emissions into the air by 35 kg. It has been estimated that by doubling aluminium recovery worldwide, one million tonnes of air pollutants would be eliminated annually. Creates jobs in recycling, repairing and renovating industries. Recycling may result in reduced waste disposal costs and the need for new waste disposal sites. This is important as land space for landfills is scarce. Reduces pollution. Discarded paper, glass etc produces an unsightly litter problem which requires expensive collection and cleaning. Participation in recycling helps to raise our awareness of the environment. This means that we have an increasing awareness and responsibility towards waste production.

Special Case of Plastics ~ 2.5% plastics are recycled Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), the plastic used in soda bottles, is recycled more than any other plastic. It is the form of plastic collected for recycling in Jamaica. Polystyrene (one form of Styrofoam) is an example of a plastic with great recycling potential. There are many different types of plastic 46 different plastics are commonly used e.g. A plastic ketchup bottle may have up to six layers of different plastics bonded together.