week4organics - Organic Wastes Yard Waste and Food Scraps...

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1 Organic Wastes Yard Waste and Food Scraps Organic Waste • Yard waste - things like tree branches, plant clippings, grass clippings and leaves • Food waste - left over food that is thrown out. • This accounts for approximately 25% of waste (Paper is also organic, but is makes up such a large part of our waste it is dealt with as a separate category. ) Organic Waste • Anything organic contains at a minimum carbon ( C) and hydrogen (H) in its chemical makeup • This means as it breaks down it can produce other materials like methane and/or carbon dioxide which are both greenhouse gases
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2 Organic Waste • Organic waste can also be one of the most problematic forms of waste to deal with. • This type of waste is a food source for many types of organisms, including bacteria, fungus and many others • Other chemical breakdowns also occur in these materials. • It is the changing nature of this material and the many pathways that can make it difficult to deal with • In a landfill the decomposition produces green house gases and acids. These acids can cause metals to be broken down and leach into ground water. • The presence of organic material in a landfill is a large factor in the nature and severity of ground water contamination that can occur Disposal • Can be composted, incinerated or sent to a landfill • Composting of plant material (fruit, vegetable waste, leaves, grass) can be done in a backyard or vermicomposter (composting with worms)
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3 Landfill • Organic material like food waste in particular is a problem. . • It is the largest producer of methane gas (though in some landfills this methane is now collected and burned to create electricity) • Also allows biological activity like bacterial growth • Creates leachate which can contaminant ground water • Attracts insects and other vermin Incineration • Can burn, though it is a relatively low energy source of fuel • Produces carbon dioxide when it burns, but not much other pollution Composting
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4 • Composting is a way to deal with a variety of organic material • It is often considered a from of recycling, and forms part of a municipal recycling program • Since a significant percentage of material we throw out is organic, this result is a reduction in landfill volume by a considerable amounts
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week4organics - Organic Wastes Yard Waste and Food Scraps...

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