0495015989_75109 - Chapter 22 Solid and Hazardous Waste...

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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 22 Solid and Hazardous Waste Chapter Overview Questions What is solid waste and how much do we produce? How can we produce less solid waste? What are the advantages and disadvantages of reusing recycled materials? What are the advantages and disadvantages of burning or burying solid waste? What is hazardous waste and how can we deal with it? Chapter Overview Questions (cont’d) What can we do to reduce exposure to lead and mercury? How can we make the transition to a more sustainable low-waste society? Updates Online The latest references for topics covered in this section can be found at the book companion website. Log in to the book’s e-resources page at to access InfoTrac articles. InfoTrac: Computer waste can be a toxic mess. St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, MO), June 8, 2006. InfoTrac: The Greening of America. Newsweek International, August 14, 2006. InfoTrac: Unwanted electronics. Tam Harbert. Electronic Business, April 2006 v32 i4 pS-6(5). Department of Health and Human Services: ToxFaqs Electronics Recycling Science Daily: Ashes To Ashes, Dust To Dust: Litter Made To Degrade Video: The Throw-Away Society This video clip is available in CNN Today Videos for Environmental Science, 2004, Volume VII. Instructors, contact your local sales representative to order this volume, while supplies last. Core Case Study: Love Canal — There Is No “Away” Between 1842-1953, Hooker Chemical sealed multiple chemical wastes into steel drums and dumped them into an old canal excavation (Love Canal). In 1953, the canal was filled and sold to Niagara Falls school board for $1. The company inserted a disclaimer denying liability for the wastes. Core Case Study: Love Canal — There Is No “Away” In 1957, Hooker Chemical warned the school not to disturb the site because of the toxic waste. In 1959 an elementary school, playing fields and homes were built disrupting the clay cap covering the wastes. In 1976, residents complained of chemical smells and chemical burns from the site. Core Case Study: Love Canal — There Is No “Away” President Jimmy Carter declared Love Canal a federal disaster area. The area was abandoned in 1980 (left). Figure 22-1 Core Case Study: Love Canal — There Is No “Away” It still is a controversy as to how much the chemicals at Love Canal injured or caused disease to the residents. Love Canal sparked creation of the Superfund law, which forced polluters to pay for cleaning up abandoned toxic waste dumps. WASTING RESOURCES Solid waste: any unwanted or discarded material we produce that is not a liquid or gas. Municipal solid waste (MSW): produce directly from homes. Industrial solid waste: produced indirectly by industries that supply people with goods and services. Hazardous (toxic) waste : threatens human health or the environment because it is toxic, chemically active, corrosive or flammable. WASTING RESOURCES Solid wastes polluting a river in Jakarta, Indonesia. The man in the boat is looking for items to salvage or sell. Figure 22-3 WASTING RESOURCES The United States produces about a third of the world’s solid waste and buries more than half of it in landfills. About 98.5% is industrial solid waste. The remaining 1.5% is MSW. • About 55% of U.S. MSW is dumped into landfills, 30% is recycled or composted, and 15% is burned in incinerators. Electronic Waste: A Growing Problem E-waste consists of toxic and hazardous waste such as PVC, lead, mercury, and cadmium. The U.S. produces almost half of the world's e-waste but only recycles about 10% of it. Figure 22-4 INTEGRATED WASTE MANAGEMENT We can manage the solid wastes we produce and reduce or prevent their production. Figure 22-5 First Priority Primary Pollution and Waste Prevention • Change industrial process to eliminate use of harmful chemicals • Purchase different products • Use less of a harmful product Second Priority Last Priority Secondary Pollution and Waste Prevention Waste Management • Reuse products • Repair products • Recycle • Compost • Buy reusable recyclable products • Treat waste to reduce toxicity • Incinerate waste • Bury waste in landfills • Release waste into environment for dispersal or dilution • Reduce packaging and materials in products • Make products that last longer and are recyclable, reusable, or easy to repair Fig. 22-5, p. 523 Solutions: Reducing Solid Waste Refuse: to buy items that we really don’t need. Reduce: consume less and live a simpler and less stressful life by practicing simplicity. Reuse: rely more on items that can be used over and over. Repurpose: use something for another purpose instead of throwing it away. Recycle: paper, glass, cans, plastics…and buy items made from recycled materials. What Can You Do? Solid Waste • Follow the five Rs of resource use: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, and Recycle. • Ask yourself whether you really need a particular item. • Rent, borrow, or barter goods and services when you can. • Buy things that are reusable, recyclable, or compostable, and be sure to reuse, recycle, and compost them. • Do not use throwaway paper and plastic plates, cups and eating utensils, and other disposable items when reusable or refillable versions are available. • Refill and reuse a bottled water container with tap water. • Use e-mail in place of conventional paper mail. • Read newspapers and magazines online. • Buy products in concentrated form whenever possible. Fig. 22-6, p. 524 REUSE Reusing products is an important way to reduce resource use, waste, and pollution in developed countries. Reusing can be hazardous in developing countries for poor who scavenge in open dumps. They can be exposed to toxins or infectious diseases. How People Reuse Materials Children looking for materials to sell in an open dump near Manila in the Philippines. Figure 22-2 Case Study: Using Refillable Containers Refilling and reusing containers uses fewer resources and less energy, produces less waste, saves money, and creates jobs. In Denmark and Canada’s Price Edward’s Island there is a ban on all beverage containers that cannot be reused. In Finland 95% of soft drink and alcoholic beverages are refillable (Germany 75%). REUSE Reducing resource waste: energy consumption for different types of 350-ml (12-oz) beverage containers. Figure 22-7 Aluminum can, used once Steel can, used once Recycled steel can Glass drink bottle, used once Recycled aluminum can Recycled glass drink bottle Refillable drink bottle, used 10 times Energy (thousands of kilocalories) Fig. 22-7, p. 525 How Would You Vote? To conduct an instant in-class survey using a classroom response system, access “JoinIn Clicker Content” from the PowerLecture main menu for Living in the Environment. Do you support banning all beverage containers that cannot be reused as Denmark has done? a. No. Reused containers may be unsanitary. b. Yes. A ban will save energy, money, and resources and result in a cleaner environment. Solutions: Other Ways to Reuse Things We can use reusable shopping bags, food containers, and shipping pallets, and borrow tools from tool libraries. Many countries in Europe and Asia charge shoppers for plastic bags. How Would You Vote? To conduct an instant in-class survey using a classroom response system, access “JoinIn Clicker Content” from the PowerLecture main menu for Living in the Environment. Should consumers have to pay for plastic or paper bags at grocery and other stores? a. No. Instead, give discounts to people who bring their own bags. b. Yes. Making consumers buy their bags will reduce waste. What Can You Do? Reuse • Buy beverages in refillable glass containers instead of cans or throwaway bottles. • Use reusable plastic or metal lunchboxes. • Carry sandwiches and store food in the refrigerator in reusable containers instead of wrapping them in aluminum foil or plastic wrap • Use rechargeable batteries and recycle them when their useful life is over. • Carry groceries and other items in a reusable basket, a canvas or string bag, or a small cart. • Use reusable sponges and washable cloth napkins, dishtowels, and handkerchiefs instead of throwaway paper ones. • Buy used furniture, computers, cars, and other items. • Give or sell items you no longer use to others. Fig. 22-8, p. 526 RECYCLING Primary (closed loop) recycling: materials are turned into new products of the same type. Secondary recycling: materials are converted into different products. Used tires shredded and converted into rubberized road surface. Newspapers transformed into cellulose insulation. RECYCLING There is a disagreement over whether to mix urban wastes and send them to centralized resource recovery plants or to sort recyclables for collection and sale to manufacturers as raw materials. To promote separation of wastes, 4,000 communities in the U.S. have implemented payas-you-throw or fee-per-bag waste collection systems. How Would You Vote? To conduct an instant in-class survey using a classroom response system, access “JoinIn Clicker Content” from the PowerLecture main menu for Living in the Environment. Should households and businesses be charged for the amount of mixed waste picked up but not charged for pickup of materials separated for recycling? a. No. It would encourage illegal dumping and burning of wastes. b. Yes. Consumer source separation saves money and makes consumers more conscientious. RECYCLING Composting biodegradable organic waste mimics nature by recycling plant nutrients to the soil. Recycling paper has a number of environmental (reduction in pollution and deforestation, less energy expenditure) and economic benefits and is easy to do. RECYCLING Recycling many plastics is chemically and economically difficult. Many plastics are hard to isolate from other wastes. Recovering individual plastic resins does not yield much material. The cost of virgin plastic resins in low than recycled resins due to low fossil fuel costs. There are new technologies that are making plastics biodegradable. How Would You Vote? To conduct an instant in-class survey using a classroom response system, access “JoinIn Clicker Content” from the PowerLecture main menu for Living in the Environment. Should we place much greater emphasis on recycling with the goal of recycling at least 60% of the municipal solid waste that we produce? a. No. Recycling programs should be market driven rather than setting unrealistically high goals that will either fail or require support from already overtaxed citizens. b. Yes. High recycling rates will reduce pollution and save energy. RECYCLING Reuse and recycling are hindered by prices of goods that do not reflect their harmful environmental impacts, too few government subsidies and tax breaks, and price fluctuations. How Would You Vote? To conduct an instant in-class survey using a classroom response system, access “JoinIn Clicker Content” from the PowerLecture main menu for Living in the Environment. Should governments pass laws requiring manufacturers to take back and reuse or recycle all packaging waste, appliances, electronic equipment, and motor vehicles at the end of their useful lives? a. No. These regulations would increase prices for consumers. b. Yes. The regulations would promote the manufacturing of more environmentally friendly products and further protect the environment. Trade-Offs Recycling Advantages Reduces air and water pollution Saves energy Reduces mineral demand Reduces greenhouse gas emissions Reduces solid waste production and disposal Disadvantages Does not save landfill space in areas with ample land May lose money for items such as glass and most plastic Helps protect biodiversity Reduces profits from landfills and incinerators Can save money for items such as paper, metals, and some plastics Source separation is inconvenient for some people Important part of economy Fig. 22-9, p. 529 BURNING AND BURYING SOLID WASTE Globally, MSW is burned in over 1,000 large waste-to-energy incinerators, which boil water to make steam for heating water, or space, or for production of electricity. Japan and a few European countries incinerate most of their MSW. Burning Solid Waste Waste-to-energy incinerator with pollution controls that burns mixed solid waste. Figure 22-10 Electricity Steam Crane Smokestack Turbine Generator Furnace Boiler Wet scrubber Electrostatic precipitator Waste pit Water added BottomDirty Conveyor ash water Conventional landfill Waste treatment Fly ash Hazardous waste landfill Fig. 22-10, p. 530 Trade-Offs Incineration Advantages Reduces trash volume Less need for landfills Disadvantages Expensive to build Costs more than short-distance hauling to landfills Low water pollution Difficult to site because of citizen opposition Concentrates hazardous substances into ash for burial or use as landfill cover Some air pollution Older or poorly managed facilities can release large amounts of air pollution Sale of energy reduces cost Output approach that encourages waste production Modern controls reduce air pollution Can compete with recycling for burnable materials such as newspaper Some facilities recover and sell metals Fig. 22-11, p. 531 How Would You Vote? To conduct an instant in-class survey using a classroom response system, access “JoinIn Clicker Content” from the PowerLecture main menu for Living in the Environment. Do the advantages of incinerating solid waste outweigh the disadvantages? a. Yes. Incineration is a sanitary and effective method for eliminating infectious and organic wastes. b. No. Incineration can generate toxic air pollution and ashes. Burying Solid Waste Most of the world’s MSW is buried in landfills that eventually are expected to leak toxic liquids into the soil and underlying aquifers. Open dumps: are fields or holes in the ground where garbage is deposited and sometimes covered with soil. Mostly used in developing countries. Sanitary landfills: solid wastes are spread out in thin layers, compacted and covered daily with a fresh layer of clay or plastic foam. Topsoil Sand Clay Garbage Probes to detect methane leaks When landfill is full, layers of soil and clay seal in trash Electricity generator Methane storage building and compressor building Methane gas recovery well Pipes collect explosive methane as used as fuel to generate electricity Leachate storage tank Compacted solid waste Garbage Sand Synthetic liner Sand Clay Subsoil Leachate treatment system Leachate pipes Leachate pumped up to storage tank for safe disposal Clay and plastic lining to prevent leaks; pipes collect leachate from bottom of landfill Groundwater Groundwater monitoring well Leachate monitoring well Fig. 22-12, p. 532 Trade-Offs Sanitary Landfills Advantages No open burning Little odor Low groundwater pollution if sited properly Can be built quickly Low operating costs Disadvantages Noise and traffic Dust Air pollution from toxic gases and volatile organic compounds Releases greenhouse gases (methane and CO2) unless they are collected Groundwater contamination Can handle large amounts of waste Slow decomposition of wastes Filled land can be used for other purposes Discourages recycling, reuse, and waste reduction No shortage of landfill space in many areas Eventually leaks and can contaminate groundwater Fig. 22-13, p. 533 How Would You Vote? To conduct an instant in-class survey using a classroom response system, access “JoinIn Clicker Content” from the PowerLecture main menu for Living in the Environment. Do the advantages of burying solid waste in sanitary landfills outweigh the disadvantages? a. No. Ultimately, landfills leak and pollute the environment. b. Yes. They have relatively low operating costs, can store large amounts of waste, and are designed to prevent pollution. Case Study: What Should We Do with Used Tires? We face a dilemma in deciding what to so with hundreds of millions of discarded tires. Figure 22-14 HAZARDOUS WASTE Hazardous waste: is any discarded solid or liquid material that is toxic, ignitable, corrosive, or reactive enough to explode or release toxic fumes. The two largest classes of hazardous wastes are organic compounds (e.g. pesticides, PCBs, dioxins) and toxic heavy metals (e.g. lead, mercury, arsenic). What Harmful Chemicals Are in Your Home? Cleaning Gardening • Disinfectants • Drain, toilet, and window cleaners • Spot removers • Septic tank cleaners • Pesticides • Weed killers • Ant and rodent killers • Flea powders Paint • Latex and oil-based paints • Paint thinners, solvents, and strippers • Stains, varnishes, and lacquers • Wood preservatives • Artist paints and inks General • Dry-cell batteries (mercury and cadmium) • Glues and cements Automotive • Gasoline • Used motor oil • Antifreeze • Battery acid • Solvents • Brake and transmission fluid • Rust inhibitor and rust remover Fig. 22-15, p. 534 Hazardous Waste Regulations in the United States Two major federal laws regulate the management and disposal of hazardous waste in the U.S.: Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) • Cradle-to-the-grave system to keep track waste. Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) • Commonly known as Superfund program. Hazardous Waste Regulations in the United States The Superfund law was designed to have polluters pay for cleaning up abandoned hazardous waste sites. Only 70% of the cleanup costs have come from the polluters, the rest comes from a trust fund financed until 1995 by taxes on chemical raw materials and oil. How Would You Vote? To conduct an instant in-class survey using a classroom response system, access “JoinIn Clicker Content” from the PowerLecture main menu for Living in the Environment. Should the U.S. Congress reinstate the polluter-pays principle by using taxes from chemical, oil, mining, and smelting companies to reestablish a fund for cleaning up existing and new Superfund sites? a. No. All taxpayers, not certain industries, should pay for cleaning up sites polluted in the past. b. Yes. Funding for Superfund is needed and waste-generating industries rather than ordinary citizens should fund it. DEALING WITH HAZARDOUS WASTE We can produce less hazardous waste and recycle, reuse, detoxify, burn, and bury what we continue to produce. Figure 22-16 Produce Less Waste Manipulate processes to eliminate or reduce production Recycle and reuse Convert to Less Hazardous or Nonhazardous Substances Land treatment Thermal treatment Incineration Chemical, physical, and biological treatment Ocean and atmospheric assimilation Put in Perpetual Storage Landfill Underground injection Waste piles Surface impoundments Salt formations Arid region unsaturated zone Fig. 22-16, p. 536 Conversion to Less Hazardous Substances Physical Methods: using charcoal or resins to separate out harmful chemicals. Chemical Methods: using chemical reactions that can convert hazardous chemicals to less harmful or harmless chemicals. Conversion to Less Hazardous Substances Biological Methods: Bioremediation: bacteria or enzymes help destroy toxic and hazardous waste or convert them to more benign substances. Phytoremediation: involves using natural or genetically engineered plants to absorb, filter and remove contaminants from polluted soil and water. Radioactive contaminants Organic contaminants Sunflower Inorganic metal contaminants Poplar tree Indian mustard Willow tree Landfill Polluted groundwater in Decontaminated Soil water out Groundwater Rhizofiltration Roots of plants such as sunflowers with dangling roots on ponds or in greenhouses can absorb pollutants such as radioactive strontium90 and cesium-137 and various organic chemicals. Phytostabilization Plants such as willow trees and poplars can absorb chemicals and keep them from reaching groundwater or nearby surface water. Polluted leachate Brake fern Oil spill Phytodegradation Plants such as poplars can absorb toxic organic chemicals and break them down into less harmful compounds which they store or release slowly into the air. Soil Groundwater Phytoextraction Roots of plants such as Indian must...
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