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solid waste mgt notes

Solid Waste Management
Did you know??
• One ton of recycled paper uses
•64% less energy
•50% less water
•Causes 74% less air pollution
•Saves 17 trees
•Creates 5 times more jobs
than one ton of paper
product made from virgin
wood pulp.
Did you know??
• New York City alone throw out
enough garbage each DAY to fill
the Empire State Building.
• In one day, Americans get rid of
20,000 cars and 4,000 trucks.
In the U.S.
• Industry, people and institutions
produced 230 million pounds of
waste in 1999.
• This amount of trash equals
almost 4.5 pounds of waste per
person per day.
Four Main Categories of Waste
• Municipal solid waste
• Industrial waste
• Hazardous waste
• Wastewater
• Municipal solid waste is waste
that consists of paper, yard
waste, food and plastic. Solid
waste management can be
handled in several ways.
• Industrial waste comes from the
production of consumer goods,
mining, agriculture & petroleum
extraction & refining.
• Hazardous waste is solid or
liquid waste that is toxic,
chemically reactive, flammable or
or corrosive. This includes paint,
batteries, household cleaners to
medical waste.
• Wastewater is another type of
waste that includes the water
that is used in our households,
business, industries, or public
facilitates. All the water that
goes down the DRAINS!!
Waste Management
• How we deal w/any unwanted
material or substance
• Sanitary landfills - A landfill is a
regulated area where wastes are
placed in the land.
• Landfills are constructed in
several layers to prevent
contamination of the soil and
water around them and to
handle odor, gases and waste
• Examples:
• Municipal Waste Landfill,
• Construction and Demolition
• Resource Recovery (Waste-toenergy facilities)
Steps in creating a sanitary landfill
1. Landfill is lined with a plastic
liner and several feet of clay on
the bottom and sides of the hole.
• This lining prevents most
substances from leaking out of
the landfill into the ground and
2. Wastes are compacted and
covered with several inches of
soil on a daily basis to help
reduce odor, and to control litter,
insects and rodents.
3. Landfills must be monitored in
order to prevent the
contamination of groundwater
and other areas around the
4. Newer landfills have leachate
collection systems. Collects
water that has percolated
through the landfill and contains
contaminate substances
5. Methane collection system.
Landfill gas (LFG) forms when
trash begins to decompose in an
anaerobic environment. Landfill
gas consists of 50 % methane and
and 50% carbon dioxide. Some
landfills collect the gases and
convert them to electricity.
6. The primary decomposers of
garbage are bacteria and fungi.
Decomposers – organisms that
break down dead organic wastes.
7. The amount of moisture and
air, temperature, light and the
decomposing material all affect
the rate at which microbes can
digest the garbage.
8. According to the EPA, 25% of
all monitored landfills in the US
are leaking their contents into
the groundwater.
Capturing Energy from Landfills
• Deep inside the landfills,
bacteria decompose waste in an
oxygen-deficient (anaerobic)
• This decomposition produces
landfill gas called methane. We
collect this methane thru a
network of pipes by vacuum
• The collected gas can provide
energy for 25,000 homes.
Landfill Construction Simulation
• http://polaris.umuc.edu/mts/EN
• Largest landfill in US – Fresh
Kills, Staten Island, NY
• One way in which we try and
reduce the amount of waste is
by combustion. Combustion is
disposing of trash by controlled
• These stations are sometimes
called WTE facilities because as
the wastes burn energy is
1. Combustion of trash reduces
the volume of the wastes by
90% and the mass by 75%.
2. Burning at such high
temperatures destroys harmful
compounds and kills diseasecausing bacteria.
3. Burning trash also creates
energy and it can convert
into steam to generate
4.Combustion also pollutes the air.
A scrubber uses a liquid spray to
neutralize acidic gases in
combustion smoke. Filters are
also used to remove ash particles
from the smoke.
5. Facilities are called Waste to
Energy Facilities b/c we capture
energy from the burning of
trash to help create electricity.
Paper: 2-4 weeks
Cotton rags: 1-5 months
Orange peel: 6 months
Wool sock: 12 months
Plastic bags: 10-20 yrs.
Leather shoes: 25-40 yrs.
Aluminum cans: 200-500 yrs.
Glass bottle: undetermined
Cardboard box: 2 months
Diapers – 450-550 years!!
Kleenex – almost as soon as it gets wet
Jeans – 7 years
Rubber (sole of boot): 50-80 years….tire: 1000 years
Paper vs. Plastic
• Plastics buried in a landfill can
take an estimated time of up to
500 years to break down..
• Plastic is made from long
complicated chains of atoms
called polymers. Bacterial and
other decomposers do not find
these polymers very appetizing.
• Some plastics are
photodegradable, which means
they break down in the
presences of light.
• Other plastics are biodegradable,
which means that they degrade
by the action of
• Biodegradable plastic bags have
been developed. They are made of
of plastic webbing and
• Paper presents a space problem.
There is more paper used than
plastics but it does not compact.
Paper will not rot when sealed
air tight.
• The average person generates over 4 lbs. of trash
every day and about 1.5 TONS of solid waste per
• In 2012, Americans produced enough trash to circle
the Earth 26 times?
• Americans throw away 25,000 plastic bottles every
• Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy
to listen to a full album on your iPod?
• Recycling 100 cans could light your bedroom for
two whole weeks?
• In 2012, Americans threw away almost 10 million
tons of glass?
That’s enough glass to fill tractor trailers that
• There is no limit to the amount of times
aluminum can be recycled?
• Each year, more than 350 million inkjet and
laser cartridges are thrown away?
• A used aluminum can is recycled and back on
the grocery shelf as a new can, in as little as
60 days?
That’s closed loop recycling at its finest!
• Each year, 35 million cell phones are thrown
Start a cell phone collection and donation
program to local organizations in need of cell
• There are three goals of waste
reduction & recovery.
• Reduce the amount of waste
• Reuse as much as possible
• Recycle materials
• We have many disposable
materials in our society. We have
been referred to as the “throw
away society.”
• Source Reduction is preventing
waste generation.
• Less consumption - only
purchase what you need 
• Less packaging
• Reducing using nonbiodegradable plastics
• Design goods that last!
• Financial incentives – “Bottle
• Zero Waste – the design &
management of products &
processes to decrease the amount
of waste and the toxicity of
materials are not burned or
• Reusing items rather than throwing
them in the trash is another way in
which we can reduce the amount of
• Give items away for redistribution.
• Biological way to rid of wastes.
• Worm, bacteria, fungi decompose
fruit and other organisms
decompose piles of fruit & veggies,
food scraps, wood and lawn
• Composting begins by
microorganisms digesting and
excreting the organic matter
into the pile. As the temperature
rises more organisms are
attracted to the pile.
• The product of composting is a
dark brown substance called
• Humus is very rich in nutrients
and an important part of good
• Recycling is a series of activities
that reuse a product’s raw
materials to manufacture new
1. Collect the materials: glass,
plastic, paper and aluminum
Curbside pick-up is growing in
2. Manufacturing:
Each recyclable has its own
process where it is broken down
and then made into something
3. Recycling loop is completed
when recycled products are
bought. Buying recycled
products also saves resources for
future generations.
• Recycling aluminum cans have
diverted more than two billion
pounds of aluminum from the
• Recycling DOES make a
Tips for Recycling video
• Amount of items being recycled:
–42% of all paper
–40% of plastic soft drink
–55% of aluminum cans
–56% of all steel packaging
• Plastics are recycled based on
their SPI code numbers 1-7.
• Pennsylvania made recycling the
law in July 1988 with Act 101,
the Municipal Waste Planning,
Recycling and Waste Reduction
Act, thus making Pennsylvania
the largest state in the nation to
require recycling.
Benefits of Recycling
• Saves Natural Resources
• Saves Energy
• Saves Environment
• Reduces greenhouse gas
• Reduces emissions of air & water
• Value to economy
–52, 316 jobs in PA
• Good Business
• In 2008, Pennsylvania recycled
over 5.4 million tons of
• The materials Pennsylvanians
recycled in 2005 saved almost 98
trillion British thermal units of
energy and cut more than 2.5
million metric tons of carbon
dioxide emissions from the air.
• Respectively, that's the
equivalent of eliminating the
output from three large coalfired power plants and taking 1.7
million cars and light trucks off
the road.
Penn Waste Single Streaming
Hazardous Waste
• metals,
• paints,
• e-waste,
• medical waste, etc.
1. Landfills that have been
especially designed...water
tight liners away from
2. Surface Impoundment: liquid
hazards waste mixed w/water.
When the water evaporates it
just leaves the solid wastes
residue. Process is repeated many
many times. Then the solid
residue is gathered & buried.
3. Deep well injection: A well is
drilled deep beneath the water
table. Wastes are injected into it
& its kept deep underground.
4. Radioactive wastes (radon): It
is also buried deep underground
in containers that will not
corrode. Tanks near nuclear
power plants can also store it.
• Resource conservation and
Recovery Act (1976)
• This is a federal law which helps
to govern our waste
management system.
• *To protect public from harm
caused by waste disposal.
• *To encourage reuse,
reduction and recycling
• *To clean-up spilled or
improperly stored wastes
• This law established a federal
program to clean up U.S. sites
polluted w/hazardous waste
from past activities. The EPA
administers this cleanup
program that is called the
Complete the chart in your notes…
Four categories of waste
Examples of Management
Ways 2 reduce waste!