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Introduction

Pollution and Waste Management aims to facilitate and develop programmes, projects,
co-operative management and policy mechanisms, measures and decision-support
systems to ensure integrated pollution and waste management.

Pollution and Waste Management also aims to:

• Ensure efficient and effective provision of staff for the new structure and
development of personnel
• Collect, analyse and disseminate relevant and current information regarding
pollution and waste management
• Promote programmes on pollution and waste management that give effect to
integrated pollution and waste management
• Promote public participation in environmental governance and decision-making
with respect to integrated pollution and waste management
• Provide efficient and effective support to all clients and ensure co-operative
governance to achieve integrated pollution and waste management
• Develop and implement pollution and waste management legislation, policies,
norms, standards and guidelines and ensure compliance with relevant environmental
legislation.

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Pollution
What Is Pollution?
Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into an environment that causes instability,
disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living
organisms. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy such as noise,
heat, or light. Pollutants, the elements of pollution, can be foreign substances or energies
or naturally occurring; when naturally occurring, they are considered contaminants when
they exceed natural levels. Pollution is often classed as point source or non point source
pollution. The Blacksmith Institute issues annually a list of the world's worst polluted
places. In the 2007 issues the ten top nominees are located
in Azerbaijan, China, India, Peru, Russia, Ukraine and Zambia.

Official acknowledgement

The earliest known writings concerned with pollution were Arabic medical
treaties written between the 9th and 13th centuries. The works covered a number of
subjects related to pollution such as air contamination, water contamination, soil
contamination, solid waste mishandling, and environmental assessments of certain
localities.
King Edward I of England banned the burning of sea-coal by proclamation in London in
1272, after its smoke had become a problem. But the fuel was so common in England that
this earliest of names for it was acquired because it could be carted away from some
shores by the wheelbarrow. Air pollution would continue to be a problem in England,
especially later during the industrial revolution, and extending into the recent past with
the great Smog Of 1952.This same city also recorded one of the earlier extreme cases of
water quality problems with the Great Stink on the Thames of 1858, which led to
construction of the London Sewerage System soon afterward.
It was the industrial revolution that gave birth to environmental pollution as we know it
today. The emergence of great factories and consumption of immense quantities
of coal and other fossil fuels gave rise to unprecedented air pollution and the large
volume of industrial chemical discharges added to the growing load of untreated human
waste. Chicago and Cincinnati were the first two American cities to enact laws ensuring
cleaner air in 1881. Other cities followed around the country until early in the 20th
century, when the short lived Office of Air Pollution was created under the Department
of the Interior. Extreme smog events were experienced by the cities of Los Angeles and
Donora, Pennsylvania in the late 1940s, serving as another public reminder.

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Modern awareness

Pollution became a popular issue after WW2, when the aftermath of atomic warfare and
testing made evident the perils of radioactive fallout. Then a conventional catastrophic
event The Great Smog of 1952 in London killed at least 8000 people. This massive event
prompted some of the first major modern environmental legislation, The Clean Air Act of
1956.
Pollution began to draw major public attention in the United States between the mid-
1950s and early 1970s, when Congress passed the Noise Control Act, the Clean Air Act,
the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.
Bad bouts of local pollution helped increase consciousness. PCB dumping in the Hudson
River resulted in a ban by the EPA on consumption of its fish in 1974. Long-
term dioxin contamination at Love Canal starting in 1947 became a national news story
in 1978 and led to the Super fund legislation of 1980. Legal proceedings in the 1990s
helped bring to light Chromium-6 releases in California--the champions of whose victims
became famous. The pollution of industrial land gave rise to the name brown field, a term
now common in city planning. DDT was banned in most of the developed world after the
publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring.
The development of nuclear science introduced radioactive contamination, which can
remain lethally radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years. Lake Karachay, named by
the World watch Institute as the "most polluted spot" on earth, served as a disposal site
for the Soviet Union thorough out the 1950s and 1960s. Second place may go to the to
the area of Chelyabinsk U.S.S.R. (see reference below) as the "Most polluted place on the
planet".
Nuclear weapons continued to be tested in the Cold War, sometimes near inhabited areas,
especially in the earlier stages of their development. The toll on the worst-affected
populations and the growth since then in understanding about the critical threat to human
health posed by radioactivity has also been a prohibitive complication associated
with nuclear power. Though extreme care is practiced in that industry, the potential for
disaster suggested by incidents such as those at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl pose a
lingering specter of public mistrust. One legacy of nuclear testing before most forms were
banned has been significantly raised levels of background radiation.
International catastrophes such as the wreck of the Amoco Cadiz oil tanker off the coast
of Brittany in 1978 and the Bhopal disaster in 1984 have demonstrated the universality of
such events and the scale on which efforts to address them needed to engage. The
borderless nature of atmosphere and oceans inevitably resulted in the implication of
pollution on a planetary level with the issue of global warming. Most recently the
term persistent organic pollutant (POP) has come to describe a group of chemicals such
as PBDEs and PFCs among others. Though their effects remain somewhat less well
understood owing to a lack of experimental data, they have been detected in various
ecological habitats far removed from industrial activity such as the Arctic, demonstrating
diffusion and bioaccumulation after only a relatively brief period of widespread use.

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Growing evidence of local and global pollution and an increasingly informed public over
time have given rise to environmentalism and the environmental movement, which
generally seek to limit human impact on the environment.

Forms of Pollution
The various forms of pollution are
• Air Pollution
• Water Pollution
• Land Pollution
• Noise Pollution
• Radioactive Pollution
• Thermal Pollution

Air Pollution

Air pollution is indication of disturbances to the composition of compounds in the


atmosphere, as it may be summarized as shown:
• excess emission of gases/vapors into atmosphere
• saturation of chemical compounds/particulates
• rate of dissipation < (smaller than) rate of absorption through various cycles (i.e.
carbon and nitrogen cycle)
• emergence of new chemical reactions of reactive and non-biodegradable
compounds.

Global warming, acid rain, smog, ozone depletion are some effects of air pollution.

In relation to this, we may observe the cycle which involves in our daily lives: carbon and
nitrogen cycle. These 2 cycles are the most important of all, regulating the composition of
carbon and nitrogen of Earth. Imagine the reverse is to happen....

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Sources and Methods

We can classify major sources that lead to air pollution to the following categories:

• motor vehicle exhaust


• heat and power generation facilities
• industrial processes
• auto manufacturing
• fertilizers plants
• building demolition
• solid waste disposal
• solvent evaporation
• volcanic eruption
• fuel production
• roadway construction
• electrical components manufacturing
• extraction of metals
• forest fires
• agriculture

Water Pollution

Polluted river

Water pollution is contamination of water by foreign matter that deteriorates the quality
of the water. Water pollution covers pollutions in liquid forms like ocean pollution and
river pollution. As the term applies, liquid pollution occurs in the oceans, lakes, streams,
rivers, underground water and bays, in short liquid-containing areas. It involves the
release of toxic substances, pathogenic germs, substances that require much oxygen to
decompose, easy-soluble substances, radioactivity, etc. that become deposited upon the
bottom and their accumulations will interfere with the condition of aquatic ecosystems.
For example, the eutrophication: lack of oxygen in a water body caused by excessive
algae growths because of enrichment of pollutants.

Water Cycle and Pollution

Water cycle is, simply saying, the circulation of water in earth. In fact, the water in the
earth's biosphere is used and reused again and again. This is called water cycle or
continuous movement of water between the earth and the atmosphere. It involves the
following mechanisms:

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• Evaporation: changing of water from liquid to gas
• Transpiration: Release of water vapor from plant leaves
• Condensation: changing of vapor to liquid (cooled down)
• Precipitation: Water that returns to the earth (water droplets in clouds become
large enough and there comes the rain).

What's the relation of water cycle and pollution?

According to the water cycle, naturally, water around us will be absorbed to the land
(soil) and rivers will stream from the upstream to the downstream and released to the
sea. In normal situation organic pollutants are biodegraded by microbes and converted to
a form that brings benefits to the aquatic life. And for the inorganic pollutants, in the
same situation, don't bring to much hazards because they are widely dispersed and have
almost no effect to the environment which they are released to.

In a small scale, both inorganic and organic pollutants safely decompose throughout the
stream, their concentration decrease in the sea, and they don't harm the sea ecosystem and
its distribution. But in an excessive scale, communities in beach and estuary will be
affected by the pollutants, and can heavily harm them.

Sources and Methods

We can classify major sources that lead to water pollution to the following categories:

• petroleum products
• synthetic agricultural chemicals
• heavy metals
• hazardous wastes
• excess organic matter
• sediment
• infectious organisms
• air pollution
• thermal pollution
• soil pollution

Land Pollution

Land Pollution

Revered to as soil pollution, land pollution involves the following mechanism:

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• Deposition of solid waste
• Accumulation of non-biodegradable materials
• Toxification of chemicals into poisons
• Alteration of soil chemical composition (imbalance of chemical equilibrium to
soil medium)

By as much, land pollution of this has a mass globally, everyday threatening the very
foundation and mechanical support of every matter on earth. Statistically, it has been
shown that:

• loss of 6 million hectares of land per year


• loss of 24 billion tons of topsoil per year
• loss of minimum 15 million acres prime agricultural land to overuse and
mismanagement
• desertification of land results in the lost of 16 million per square miles of world's
land surface

The causes for such devastation are generally due to 2 (two) forms of malpractices:

• Unhealthy soil management methods;


o improper tillage of soil in which excessive tillage result in the
deterioration of soil structure
o non-maintenance of a proper supply of organic matter in the soil from the
imbalance composition of the reserves of organic matter especially
nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur unplenished supply after cultivation of
vegetation, living the soil prone to soil infertility, unable to stabilize the
soil physicality which ultimately let to desertification
o irregular maintenance of a proper nutrient supply of trace elements gives
rise to the use of excessive synthetic fertilizers, which are non
biodegradable and accumulate in the soil system which eventually
destroys useful organisms such as bacteria, fungi and other organisms
o improper maintenance of the correct soil acidity which ultimately disrupt
the adaptation of various crops and native vegetation of different soils as
the solubility of minerals present will be affected. In a more acidic soil,
minerals tend to be more soluble and washed away during rainfall while
alkaline soil, minerals are more insoluble which form complex minerals
unable to be absorbed into the flora system physiological usage.
• Improper irrigation practices;
o poorly drained soil result in salt deposits leading to high soil salinity that
inhibit plant growth and may lead to crop failure
o unirrigated land giving rise to stagnation of agriculture waste products
which accumulates and increases land toxicity and also decreasing
o irregular irrigation leads to decreasing moisturization of land for soil
medium and replenishments of solvents for minerals

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Sources and Methods

We can classify major sources that lead to land pollution to the following categories:

• agriculture
• mining and quarrying
• sewage sludge
• dredged spoils
• household
• demolitions and constructions
• industrial

Noise Pollution
This particular pollution is ever increasing with due to the rise in the utilization of heavy
duty machineries of industrial facilities and vehicles, synonymous to the increase in the
standard of living in most countries. We make sounds practically every seconds of our
day, but to the extend it has reached an unfavorable high intensity which had cause many
disturbances and irritation to others emotionally that has adverse effects on our daily
activities.

Noise levels can be measured by decibel method:

Decibel - one tenth of a bel where one bel represents a difference in level between two
intensities I1, I0 where one is ten times greater than the other. Thus, the intensity level is
the comparison of one intensity to another and may be expressed:

Intensity level = 10 log10 (I1/I0) (dB)

For instance, the difference between intensities of 10-8watts/m2 and 10-4 watts/m2, an
actual difference of 10,000 units, can be expressed as a difference of 4 bels or 40
decibels.These are the few examples of threshold decibels of noises made:

Threshold of hearing 0 dB Motorcycle (30 feet 88 dB

Rustling leaves 20 dB Food blender (3 feet) 90 dB

Quiet whisper (3 feet) 30 dB Subway (inside) 94 dB

Quiet home 40 dB Diesel truck (30 feet) 100 dB

Quiet street 50 dB Power mower (3 feet) 107 dB

Normal conversation 60 dB Pneumatic riveter (3 feet) 115 dB

Inside car 70 dB Chainsaw (3 feet) 117 dB

Loud singing (3 feet) 75 dB Amplified Rock and Roll (6 feet) 120 dB

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Automobile (25 feet) 80 dB Jet plane (100 feet) 130 dB

Other noise measurement systems are:

• community noise equivalent level


• composite noise rating
• equivalent energy level
• noise and number index
• noise exposure forecast
• noise criterion
• noise level
• noise pollution level
• noise rating
• perceived noise level
• traffic noise index
• sound level
• sound level meter
• sound pressure level
• world soundscape project

Sources and Methods

We can classify major sources that lead to noise pollution to the following categories:

• road traffic noise


• air traffic
• rail traffic
• neighborhood and domestic noise
• incompatible land use
• industrial noises

Radioactive Pollution
The 40's was the era where the first nuclear bomb is being developed, and that's why it's
called the nuclear era. However, nuclear energy has already researched back since 1900.
Nuclear era reached its greatest peak in the world war, by showing its massive ability of
destroying things.

Nuclear energy is a form of energy that’s released by the splitting of atoms. Since
scientists have found a way to make use of the energy, it has also been used to generate
electricity.

Nuclear energy has been recognized as a clean energy because it doesn’t release
pollutants such as CO2 to the atmosphere after its reaction that could damage our

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environment. It's also known that nuclear energy has reduced the amount of greenhouse
gas emission, reducing emissions of CO2 for about 500 million metric tons of carbon.

Despite the advantage of nuclear as a clean energy, the big concern is the waste resulted
from nuclear reaction, which is a form of pollution, called radioactivity. Radioactivity is a
form of radiation (a form of energy that travels through space). Some elements in this
world are naturally radioactive while some others are made to be. Radioactivity is emitted
when a radioactive element become unstable and begin to decay in the attempt to regain
their molecular stability. When an element decays, it emits energy and small particles. If
it’s still radioactive, it will repeat the process, until it finally regains its molecular
stability and stop decaying. The time that it takes for half way of decaying process is
called half-life, and this differs for each radioactive element. It possibly takes up to 4.5
billion years (Uranium 238) and as short as 8 days (Iodine 131). This process constantly
remains, not considering external factors such as pressure or temperature. This process is
expressed in units called becquerels. One becquerel is equal to one disintegration of
nuclei per second.

There are commonly three types of radiation, namely:

• Alpha particles, can be blocked by a piece of paper and human skin.


• Beta particles can penetrate through skin, while can be blocked by some pieces of
glass and metal.
• Gamma rays can penetrate easily to human skin and damage cells on its way
through, reaching far, and can only be blocked by a very thick, strong, massive
piece of concrete.

Sources and Methods

We can classify major sources that lead to radioactive pollution to the following
categories:

• nuclear power plants


• nuclear weapon
• transportation
• disposal of nuclear waste
• uranium mining

Thermal Pollution
This has become an increasing and the most current pollution, owing to the increasing
call of globalization everywhere. Heat produced from industries is a major contribution to
the pollution, much to the operation of the heavy industries which produces high amount
of heat energy. As we will show a summary to the event of this pollution happening:

• Raw materials for productivity (organic and inorganic products)


• Undergo different chemical reactions with several process

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• Excess heat energy is produced as a waste product
• Heat is released through into atmosphere (vapor) and riverine system (liquid).
• Increase of temperature of environmental system

n view of the pollution, global temperature had increased significantly.

Measurements of atmospheric temperature are done by meteorological center of the


weather forecast annually, and the graph to detect the temperature trend from a period of
10 years will be compared with the previous batch of period. Thus we may be able to
know the rate of temperature increase overall and make reference to the standard level of
heat that should be maintain in the atmosphere to avoid large deviation of heat in the
system.

Pollutants
Pollutants are any substances that under excessive quantity in a wrong place and a wrong
time will cause impurity to the living environment. Simply put, they're the things that
cause pollution. Pollutants can be chemicals, ashes, sediment, organisms, heat, radiation,
etc. which if exposed to the living environment will cause bad effects.

In this section we will discuss some of common pollutants exist today: the characteristics,
uses and effects.

• Radioactive Materials
• Biological Pollutants
• Machineries
• Transportation
• Synthetic Chemicals
• Heavy Metals

Radioactive Materials
Classified under hazardous waste, wastes can be either
toxic (poisonous), reactive (capable of producing explosive or toxic
gases), corrosive (capable of corroding steel) or ignitable (flammable).
Improper treatment and storage resulted in air, water and soil p

Types Characteristics Uses Effects


Radium (Ra) -silvery white radioactive -radiation source for -exposure via inhalation
material treating neoplastic has resulted in acute
disease leucopoenia
-radon source in -oral exposure has
radiography of metals resulted in anemia,
-neutron source for necrosis of the jaw,

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research abscess of the brain and
terminal
bronchopneumonia
-via oral
exposure is
known to cause
lung, bone, brain
and nasal passage
tumors
Radon (Rn) -colorless, odorless, tasteless -cancer treatment -health threat in homes
radioactive noble gas -earthquake prediction built on granite
-special hazard: radioactive -experimental studies -smokers exposed are at
greater risk of lung
cancer
-exposure via inhalation
has resulted respiratory
effects (chronic lung
disease, pneumonia,
fibrosis of the lung)
-animal studies have
reported effects on
the blood and a
decrease in body
weight
Uranium (U) -very heavy silvery white -pigments for glass -uranium miners have
radioactive metal -fuel in nuclear reactors shown an increase in
-combustible solid and nuclear bombs lung cancer and tumors
-special hazard: radioactive -depleted uranium: of the lymphatic and
-routes of exposure: inhalation, casings of armour hematopoietic tissues
ingestion, skin and/or eye piercing arterial shells, from inhalation
contact armour plating on tanks exposure
-target organs: skin, kidneys, and as ballast in the -increase of deaths of
bone marrow, lymphatic wings of some large non malignant
system aircrafts
respiratory disease
Plutonium (Pu) -artificially created radioactive -used in bombs and -carcinogenic which
metal reactors promotes cancer
-made by bombarding uranium development
with neutrons -mutation to body tissues
and cells
-disruption to normal
fetal development

Biological Pollutants

Biological pollutants are biodegradable substances which can be considered one of the
'cleanest' pollutants, however rate of accumulation currently in an area which is bigger
than the rate of decomposition has made this an undisputable contributory factor to
pollution.

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Types Characteristics Uses Effects
Soil pollutants Sediments -decomposed matter -occurrence of landslip at
Due to soil erosion on hill slope provides fertility to soil hillslope
or coastline where loose soil for agriculture -unbearable stench of
practices are washed down and -sediments can be decomposing is
carried to streambed, lake or collected and used for imminent
ocean construction of barriers -leeching of organic
matter to streambed,
Organic matter lake or ocean, leading to
Addition of fertilizers and eutrophication
nutrients to promote plant -depth of lake is reduced
growth and development, as a result of
usually from urea and faecal sedimentation
matter of animals, or -change in original
decomposition of dead geographical landscape
organism.
Water pollutants Microorganism -reduction in clarity of
Due to evolution and mutation water in lakes
microscopic organisms can be -cause for malaria
viral and transmit diseases to -cause for diarrhea due to
any living organisms consuming contamination of
it, through secretion of poison drinking water
-acne-like skin rash
-deadly viral attack can
cause death to living
organisms
Air pollutants Particulate matter -atmospheric visibility
Due to volcanic eruption and reduce (haze, smog)
evaporation of gases such as -build up of toxic
methane, sulfur dioxide, chemicals in the
nitrogen dioxide and carbon atmosphere harmful to
dioxide from decomposing living organisms
materials to the atmosphere -frequent asthma attack
which accumulates gradually -adverse respiratory
and chemically reactive to react illness is imminent

Machineries
Increasing industrial activities with multiple productivity of goods by the extensive use of
machineries resulted in extension of industries in rural areas, also the cause of increase in
noise disturbance and heat accumulation.

The effects of this activity are:

• causes for irritation to daily activities


• cause for boilermaker's disease and hearing loss
• anxiety, nervousness and loss of sleep
• presbycusis
• sociocusis
• schizophonia

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• excess heat emitted will return to environment, thus increasing mean surrounding
temperature, leading to thermal pollution
• certain hazardous materials which is part of the machine (i.e. cadmium in nuclear
factor regulator) may wear off and released to environment.

Transportation

Convenience and alternatives to the mode of transportation worldwide sees an increase in


emission of air pollutants as a result of fuel combustion and noise pollution from rail and
commercial aircraft.

The effects of this activity are:

• increase in emissions of air pollutants: carbon monoxide (CO), lead (Pb), nitrogen
oxides (NO, NO2), carbon dioxide (CO2), volatile organic compounds (VOC),
persistent organic pollutants (POPs)
• excess heat emission as a result of heavy fuel combustion from increase use of
vehicles
• annoyance and disturbances in intercity housing, with the centre and
transportation hub situated.

Synthetic chemicals

Complex chemical structure are non-biodegradable which accumulates and persists in


soil, water and air can become toxic, thus a haphazard which in turns affects the
physiology of living organisms in the contaminated ecosystems.

Types Characteristics Uses Effects


Persistent Organic -highly stable organic -pesticides -a half-life in water
Pollutants (POPs) compounds -industrial use greater than two months
-accumulates in most fatty -soil and sediment half-
tissues of living organisms lives greater than six
-semi volatile months
-toxic characteristics, are
persistent, bio
accumulate, are prone to
long-range trans
boundary atmospheric
transport and deposition
Polychlorinated -forms clear to yellow, oily Used in insulating fluids -irritates and burns the
Biphenyls (PCBs) liquids to white, crystalline of electrical system eye
(sand like) solids and hard -irritate nose and throat
resins causing cough and
-change in original geographical difficulty in breathing
landscape -damage to reproductive
system
-acne-like skin rash

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-damage nervous system,
causing headache,
numbness weakness and
tingling in the arms and
legs
-liver damage
Volatile Organic -efficient evaporation of organic Used in household -eye, nose and throat
Compounds compounds products: paints, paint irritation
(VOC) -low molecular mass of strippers and other -headache
compound solvents, wood -loss of coordination
made up of hydrocarbons, preservatives, aerosol -nausea
aldehydes, ketones and sprays, cleansers, -damage to liver, kidney
solvents disinfectants, moth and central nervous
-transfer easily through air, land repellents, air refreshers, systems
and water stored fuels and -carcinogenic and causes
automotive products, cancer in animals
hobby supplies and dry
cleaning clothing
Persistent -non-biodegradable -Aldrin/Dieldrin -decrease effectiveness of
Bioaccumulative -highly toxic Insecticide and immune system
Toxic Pollutants ability to travel long distances byproduct of pesticide -increase infant mortality
(PBTs) -transfer easily through air, Aldrin -reduces reproductive
water and land -Benzo(a)pyrene success
-target organs: central nervous Byproducts of -cause cancer and birth
systems, reproductive organs, incomplete combustion defects
chromosomes -Chlordane -damages to kidney
Pesticide and fumigating -skin disorders in humans
agent and animal
-DDT -harmful developmental
Pesticide and reproductive effects
-Hexaclhorobenzene -behavioral disorders in
-Pesticide children if they were
-Fungicide exposed before birth or
-Fireworks and while nursing
amunition -harms the endocrine,
-Mirex nervous, digestive and
-Insecticides liver systems
-control chemical for -damages bones, kidneys
fire ants and blood cells
-Octachlorostyrene -abnormal fetal
Graphite anodes are development
used during electrolytic -harmful effects on
production of stomach, intestines, eyes
magnesium from and thyroid glands
magnesium chloride
-Dioxins and furans
Trace level unintentional
byproducts of most
forms of combustions
and industrial chemical
processes
-Toxaphene
Insecticides

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Heavy Metals

Heavy metal readily accumulates through food web from producer to consumer. As it
exceeds the maximum health standard level, it can be immediately poisonous or result in
long-term health problems.

Types Characteristics Uses Effects


Lead (Pb) -metallic and cubic close- -protective shield from -Mental retardation
packed radioactivity among children exposed
-soft bluish white metal -lead acid accumulator to lead in water
-non combustible solid (except -manufacture antiknock, resulting from lead
as dust) tetraethyl lead pipes and solders
-routes of exposure: inhalation, Pb(C2H5)4 in petrol in older water systems
ingestion, skin and/or eye -pigments e.g., white basic -exhibit weakness,
contact lead general disability,
-target organs: gastrointestinal carbonate,Pb(OH)2 orange nervous disorders and
tract, central nervous system, pigment ‘red lead’, Pb3O4 eventual death
kidneys, blood and gingival
tissue
Mercury (Hg) -silver coloured liquid -electrodes in the -carcinogenic, typically
transition metal amalgamation of cause cancer or are
-non-combustible liquid electrolysis of brine mutagenic
-routes of exposure: inhalation, -thermometers -cause for kidney
skin absorption, ingestion, -barometers damage
skin and/or eye contact -fluorescent lamps -cause for neurological
-target organs: eyes, skin, disorder
respiratory system, central -cause for blindness
nervous system, kidneys -associated with birth
defects
-damaging to aquatic
life
Arsenic (As) -metalloid and gray brittle non- -deadly poison in shotgun -carcinogenic
metal flake pellets -associated with lung
-routes of exposure: inhalation, -metal for mirrors cancer
ingestion, skin and/or eye -glass -results in skin cancer
contact. -lasers -damage to intestines
-target organs: skin, respiratory -light emitting diodes and liver, as it is found
system, kidneys, central (LED) in pesticides, wood
nervous system, liver, -semiconductors preservatives and
gastrointestinal tract, naturally occurring in
reproductive system many household
products
-toxic when ingested

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Cadmium (Cd) -silvery white transition metal -nickel-cadmium batteries -toxic and poisonous
-non-combustible solid (except -nuclear reactor regulator
as dust) -red/yellow pigments
-route of exposure: inhalation,
ingestion
target organs: respiratory
system, kidneys, blood,
prostate

Impacts
Economical effects
In the course of development, many basis for sustainable development is often ignored.
In the aim for environmental management, private investors often opting for lowest risk
with highest profit takings in its ventures are ignorance to thorough plans, analysis and
assessments on environmental impacts done.

Even if such assessments are taken into account and cautious measures implemented,
pollutions are still happening rapidly as each nations would not want to be left out in the
race for globalization, and also inevitable as pollution has been happening for a long
time.

Continuous development for globalization due to increasing activity of agriculture,


industrialization, fisheries, timber and mining will lead to:

• rapid and excessive constructions of factories and building


• increase in emissions of toxic and poisonous gases
• destruction of ecosystems

And finally they will lead to permanent and irreversible damage to the environment.

In the events of pollution occurs which are reversible, greater finance and grants are
needed for the following purposes:

• conservation of remaining ecosystem


• rehabilitation contaminated ecosystems
• clean up of toxic waste
• restoration of historical landscapes
• revival of biodiversity to a new ecosystem
• preservation of endangered species

Biodiversity and diseases

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Biodiversity Degradation

Disturbances to biotic factors (temperature, light, water, humidity, wind, air currents, pH,
topography, etc.) and abiotic factors (predation, competition, habitat, pollination and
mimicry - resemblance between animals and part of a plant/species happens to be
unpalatable to a predator) will lead to environmental resistance.

This is due to:

• shortage of food, water and oxygen


• low light intensity
• predators and parasites
• destruction of habitat
• diseases
• accumulation of toxic waste
• psychological factors
• harsh climate

And will lead to exponential decrease in population of ecosystems that will cause high
extinction rate of biodiversity. If this condition is severe, the ecology of the ecosystems
will be permanently damaged.

Emergence of variant diseases

A combination of the following happenings:

Unhygienic practices by Uncontrollable


individuals emission/release of
Poor sanitation of habitation particulates containing
pathogenic
microorganism/pollutants
Mismanagement of treatment, control and storage Deterioration of machineries and facilities of
plants in containment of pollutants treatment, control and storage plants

will result in...

Exposure of contaminants to the


environment
|
Accumulation of poisonous
/hazardoussubstance incorporated into
the physiological functions & systems
of every living organisms ,
including microorganisms like bacteria

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|
Harmless microorganisms due to
evolution undergoes rapid mutation of
deleterious genes into pathogenic /
viral microorganisms
|
Diversifications with the existence of
‘superclasses’ of microorganisms
(super virus) which are aggressive &
invasive against the protective
immunities provided by the immune
systems in organisms
|
More powerful & larger doses of
medications, ranging from vaccines to
antibiotics produced to battle &
immunize against stronger
pathogen attack
|
Strong medication may produce side
effects & harmful to physiological
functions/systems of organisms

Climatic pattern change


A combination of the following happenings:

• Rapid emission of greenhouse gases from mass utilization of transportation &


heavy industrial economic activities
• Clearing of land leaving an exposed idle barren land
• Chemical composition of atmosphere altered
• Natural disasters of frequent volcanic eruptions

will result in...

pH, light intensity, wind speed and


globe temperature distorted
|
Change in wind direction cause for
alteration in the world's seasonal
climates
|
Concentration of the extremes of
temperatures could cause a build up of
air and ocean currents
|

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Allocation and shift of these currents to
different continents from its original
location
|
Activities are rapid and instantaneous,
which can leave lots of damages and
lost of lives
|
Corrosive to land surfaces and
mountain ice-capped which can lead to
erosions and melting of ice cap due to
distortion from climate pattern

..and will finally cause

• Global warming
• El Nino & La Nina

Alteration to geographical landscapes

A combination of the following happenings:

• Constructions of housing and industries for development


• Economical activities of mining, timber and agriculture
• Clearing of rainforest and hillside, with natural disasters like earthquake which
involves the shifting of earth surface

will result in...

Alteration to chemical composition of


soil by substitution, utilization and
drainage
|
Increase in soil temperature produces
warming
|
Soil fertility decreases which gradually
turns to a barren land due to
desertification
|
Soil stability and grip which acts as
foundation decrease
|
Displacement of upper layer of soil due
to external forces of nature becomes
easier

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|
Original geographical landscape is
significantly altered
|
Visibility of atmosphere decrease

..and will finally cause

• Deforestation
• Desertification
• Erosion
• Landslide

Food contamination and food web distortion


Food contamination leading to food shortage

A combined event of (a) free flow and emission of non biodegradable industrial
discharge and noise disturbances due to usage of heavy machineries; (b) illegal dumping
and spraying of toxic and hazardous chemicals on land and water; and (c)
mismanagement in regulation of treatment and control of heat and radioactive substances;
will lead to high density toxicity concentration on soil, water and air. The impacts of this
are:

1. Fertile land becoming poisonous for living organisms underground and


agriculture practice, nutrients lost, locked up or becomes toxic
2. Aquatic ecosystem depletes further and non-consumable water supplies noxious
fumes and gas permeates, blanketing atmosphere
3. Detrimental health to psychological and physiological being of organisms in
ecosystems

This situation continues to the rise of mortality rate of domesticated animals, failure of
reproduction, deterioration on performance of superior breed, and failure of cultivation of
crops which are inedible. This is also due to rapid mutation of deleterious genes;
deterioration on metabolic and physiology functions of systems in plants and animals.
Finally, as a result, there will be low productivity of food population; occurrence of
starvation and dehydration, and if severe, exponential increase in mortality rate of floras
and faunas worldwide.

Food web distortion

A combination of (a) mass viral infections and attacks on certain organisms; (b)
contamination and pollution of food supplies which is inedible; and (c) uncontrollable
hunting of exotic/rare/endangered species will lead to the disequilibria of species
population. The next impact will be the imbalance in the ration of producers, consumers
and decomposers in the ecology system, which consequently distorts the pattern of

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energy flow through the chain/web. This will bring to disruption of ecological food
pyramid.

When ecological food pyramid is disrupted, insufficient consumption of food cause


organisms deprived of energy, thus affecting the organism's metabolism of its
biochemical activities. Then, growth and development of organisms will be affected, and
leads to mass starvation and mortality in world population. On the other hand, particular
species extinction occurred while its predators dominates, thus ecological niche in
ecosystems change.

Ozone depletion and acid rain


Ozone depletion

Ozone layer is a protective layer in our atmosphere (O3, three oxygen atoms). It's about
19 to 30 km in distance from the Earth surface. It plays an important role of blocking
ultraviolet (UV) rays that come from the sun, which, if there was no ozone layer ever,
cancer would dominate and even no life would be in this world! The concentration of the
layer is usually under 10 parts ozone per million. The ozone layer is made up by the
action of sunlight to oxygen, and the amount is stabled by the existence of nitrogen.

n today's trends there is a noticeable depletion of the ozone layer. It's popularly known
since 1970 that a substance called CFC (chlorofluorocarbon) is threatening the layer. This
substance is usually contained in refrigerators, coolants, and aerosol sprays. When we use
much of those things (which contain CFC), we are continually depleting our Earth's
ozone layer. However, most of the latest products today do not contain CFC anymore.
Some other substances, like bromine halocarbons and nitrous oxides are also possible
threats.

The effects of ozone layer depletion are:

• More ultraviolet rays come to Earth (this could make the Earth just like a cooking
oven)
• More heat, thus increasing the risk of global warming.

How CFC depletes the ozone layer?

1. CFC molecule, consisting of one atom for each fluorine and carbon and 3 chlorine
atoms, is hit by the UV rays.
2. One chlorine atom breaks apart. It will hit an ozone (O3) and takes one oxygen
atom away to create chlorine monoxide, thus leaving one oxygen molecule (O2).
3. Another oxygen atom breaks the chlorine monoxide and takes the oxygen atom
away, leaving one chlorine atom, leaving no ozone molecule. Process repeats.

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Acid rain

Acid rain is the kind of precipitation that contains larger amounts of acid than normal.
Rainwater is usually slightly acidic, with pH level between 5 and 6. Water that evaporates
from earth is neutral (pH 7) and it becomes weak acid when mixed with carbon dioxide in
the atmosphere. Acid rain contains more pH than ordinary. This is caused by the presence
of air pollutants, like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. They produce acids if combined
with water. Acid rain is considered as the wet deposits of air pollutants, where it's
combined with moisture before falling into the ground. While air pollutants that fall
without combining with moisture is called dry deposits.

Acid rain can occur naturally, from the volcanic eruptions. However we are also causing
this, from the emission of vehicles and of industrial plants that include the burning of
fossil fuels. If we continue to increase rate of air pollution, we are increasing the risk of
acid rain to happen.

What's the impact of acid rain?

• Deteriorates building that is made of rock


• Acidification of soil and lakes
• Separation of poisonous minerals such as aluminum and mercury from the
surrounding ground, increasing the risk of contamination to lakes/water sources
• Deteriorates trees and forests.

Actions to Control Pollution


Activities
Various programs are implemented for every levels of communities to participate and
give their support on the measures of conservation and sustaining environment initiated
by government and NGOs, in the assessment of risk and economical cost, grants and
financing, thereby maintaining cooperations and partnerships between international
communities to reach a mutual objective in prevention of pollution and conservation of
environment worldwide.

Classifications Applications
Education • Environmental Physics
Imparting knowledge and value of significance of the • Documentaries
environment is an important step to gain every • Field Trips
individual sense and consciousness the wealth of • Competitions
biodiversity and ecology we have now • Parental Guidance
• Environmental Clubs & Societies

• Environmental-Based Games
Protocols and Conventions • Montreal Protocol

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Implementations and adoption of protocols discussed • Kyoto Protocol
and exchange ideas and opinions by scientist, • Basel Convention
environmentalist and leaders worldwide on the • Secretariat to the Convention of
measures on preventions, treatments and control, and • Migratory Species of Wild Animals
management on the global environmental state facing • Regional Seas Conventions
every nations
• Rotterdam PIC
• Ozone Secretariat

• Secretariat of the Convention on Biological


Diversity
Organizations • World Wide Fund for Nature(WWF)
Governing and non governmental organizations • Wetlands International
(NGOs) which are in charge of initiating the plans • United Nations Environment Program
and objectives of each societies to encourage public (UNEP)
participations on the sustainable management of • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
environment, and as a medium of communications • National Geographic Society
between the public and government concerning
• Discovery
environmental issues

• Birdlife International

Environmental Ethics
In the philosophical upfront...
Let's think about what's written below:

• Mankind is not everything, we are part of nature. Therefore respecting nature is


the same as respecting ourselves
• Nature is not provided only for mankind but for all living things
• Mankind must play a good and honest role as a part of nature
• Natural resources are limited, we have to preserve and save it for the future
• Mankind as a part of nature must execute the responsibility to care for nature's
continual conservation, stability and beauty
• The use of natural resources must be as efficient as possible
• To promote the use of recyclable materials
• To keep maintaining environmental equilibrium
• Governments at any level must manage the preservation of environment by
enforcing laws and regulations.

Laws and Regulations


Enforcement of law to ensure smooth implementation as passed by the Bill, and to act as
deterrent to others against the unscrupulous offenders committing such offences to bring
them to justice. As such, the laws stated are all derived from U.S. EPA (United States
Environmental Protection Agency), in which explanations of each laws are taken
from the U.S. EPA's web site in summary

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• National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) to
declare a national policy which will encourage productive and enjoyable harmony
between man and his environment, to promote efforts which will prevent or eliminate
damage to the environment and biosphere and stimulate the health and welfare of man; to
enrich the understanding of the ecological systems and natural resources important to the
Nation; and to establish a Council on Environmental Quality.

• The Clean Air Act (CAA)


o comprehensive Federal law that regulates air emissions from area,
stationary, and mobile sources
o to set and achieve NAAQS (National Ambient Air Quality Standards
authorized by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) in every state by
1975. The setting of maximum pollutant standards was coupled with
directing the states to develop state implementation plans (SIPs)
applicable to appropriate industrial sources in the state.
• The Clean Water Act (CWA)
o set the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants to waters of
the United States
o authority given to EPA to set effluent standards on an industry basis
(technology-based) and continued the requirements to set water quality
standards for all contaminants in surface waters
o focused on toxic substances, authorized citizen suit provisions, and funded
sewage treatment plants (POTWs) under the Construction Grants
Program.
• Comperehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act
(CERCLA or Superfund)
o created a tax on the chemical and petroleum industries and provided broad
Federal authority to respond directly to releases or threatened releases of
hazardous substances that may endanger public health or the environment
o established prohibitions and requirements concerning closed and
abandoned hazardous waste sites
o provided for liability of persons responsible for releases of hazardous
waste at these sites
o established a trust fund to provide cleanup when no responsible party
could be identified.
• The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA)
o streamlined and strengthened EPA's ability to prevent and respond to
catastrophic oil spills
o requires oil storage facilities and vessels to submit to the Federal
government plans detailing how they will respond to large discharges
o requires the development of Area Contingency Plans to prepare and plan
for oil spill response on a regional scale
• The Pollution Prevention Act (PPA)
o focused industry, government and public attention on reducing the amount
of pollution through cost-effective changes in production, operation, and
raw materials use

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o includes other practices that increase efficiency in the use of energy,
water, or other natural resources, and protect our resource base through
conservation. Practices include recycling, source reduction, and
sustainable agriculture
• The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
o control hazardous waste from the "cradle-to-grave." This includes the
generation, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous
waste. RCRA also set forth a framework for the management of non-
hazardous wastes
o address environmental problems that could result from underground tanks
storing petroleum and other hazardous substances
o focuses only on active and future facilities and does not address
abandoned or historical sites
• The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)
o to protect the quality of drinking water in the United States
o focuses on all waters actually or potentially designed for drinking use,
whether from above ground or underground sources
o to establish safe standards of purity and required all owners or operators of
public water systems to comply with primary (health-related) standards.
• The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA)
o stressed the importance of permanent remedies and innovative treatment
technologies in cleaning up hazardous waste sites
o required Superfund actions to consider the standards and requirements
found in other State and Federal environmental laws and regulations
o provided new enforcement authorities and settlement tools
o increased State involvement in every phase of the Superfund program
increased the focus on human health problems posed by hazardous waste
sites
o encouraged greater citizen participation in making decisions on how sites
should be cleaned up
• The Toxic Substances Control Act (TCSA)
o ability to track the 75,000 industrial chemicals currently produced or
imported into the United States
o repeatedly screens these chemicals and can require reporting or testing of
those that may pose an environmental or human-health hazard
o ban the manufacturing and importing of those chemicals that pose an
unreasonable risk
o mechanisms in place to track the thousands of new chemicals that industry
develops each year with either unknown or dangerous characteristics.
• Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978
o provides for the cleanup and disposal of mill tailings at abandoned sites
and the disposal of tailings at licensed sites after cessation of operations
o implemented by DOE, NRC, and some states through agreements with
NRC
o combination of active and passive controls to clean up contaminated
ground water as well as tailings that have been misused at off-site

26
locations, and to dispose of tailings in a manner that will prevent misuse,
limit radon emissions, and protect ground water.
• WIPP Land Withdrawal Act
o reviews and approves of the DOE's plans for testing and retrieving waste
at the WIPP
o responsibility for implementing its radioactive waste disposal standards
o helps ensure that the wastes will be disposed of in a manner that limits the
release of radioactive materials.

Research and developments (R&D)


Overview
In the field of advancing technology, improvisation of current method in the treatment
and control of pollutants in industrial areas, prevention of greater degree of pollution and
proper management of waste in hand with economical cost. Also in mind the practice of
sustainable development with the implementation of environmental technology to give a
greater benefit to every individuals. By classifications, research and development is
divided into:

Alternative Technologies

• offering various possibilities to the current method in treatment and control of


pollution
• current alternatives in applications:
o soil vapor extraction
o bioventing
o biopiles
o land farming
o low temperature thermal desorption
o air sparging
o biosparging
o natural attenuation
o in situ ground water bioremediation
o dual-phase extraction
o desalination of sea water
• many scientists think that the next step of generating nuclear energy is by fission
of atoms

Clean Technologies

• renewable sources which can be used many times, involves minimal cost and also
restricted use of hazardous materials in use, especially in the use of energy
• current clean technologies available:
o hydropower

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o solar energy
o wind power
o geothermal energy
o biomass energy
o tillage
o vegetation
o compost

Creative/Innovative Technologies

• new class of invention which could lead to greater efficiency in prevention of


pollutions, or current improvement to a more refine technology
• current creative/innovative technologies are:
o sorbents
o air cleaning
o in situ oxidation
o in situ well aeration
o solvent extraction
o in situ flushing
o solidification
o soil washing
o biological agents
o dispersing agents
o energy chips
o cooling towers

Perspectives of Pollution
The earliest precursor of pollution generated by life forms would have been a natural
function of their existence. The attendant consequences on viability and population levels
fell within the sphere of natural selection. These would have included the demise of a
population locally or ultimately, species extinction. Processes that were untenable would
have resulted in a new balance brought about by changes and adaptations. At the
extremes, for any form of life, consideration of pollution is superseded by that of
survival.

For humankind, the factor of technology is a distinguishing and critical consideration,


both as an enabler and an additional source of byproducts. Short of survival, human
concerns include the range from quality of life to health hazards. Since science holds
experimental demonstration to be definitive, modern treatment of toxicity or
environmental harm involves defining a level at which an effect is observable. Common

28
examples of fields where practical measurement is crucial include automobile emissions
control, industrial exposure (eg Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
PELs), toxicology (eg LD50), and medicine (eg medication and radiation doses).

"The solution to pollution is dilution", is a dictum which summarizes a traditional


approach to pollution management whereby sufficiently diluted pollution is not harmful.
It is well-suited to some other modern, locally-scoped applications such as laboratory
safety procedure and hazardous material release emergency management. But it assumes
that the dilutant is in virtually unlimited supply for the application or that resulting
dilutions are acceptable in all cases.

Such simple treatment for environmental pollution on a wider scale might have had
greater merit in earlier centuries when physical survival was often the highest imperative,
human population and densities were lower, technologies were simpler and their
byproducts more benign. But these are often no longer the case. Furthermore, advances
have enabled measurement of concentrations not possible before. The use of statistical
methods in evaluating outcomes has given currency to the principle of probable harm in
cases where assessment is warranted but resorting to deterministic models is impractical
or unfeasible. In addition, consideration of the environment beyond direct impact on
human beings has gained prominence.

Yet in the absence of a superseding principle, this older approach predominates practices
throughout the world. It is the basis by which to gauge concentrations of effluent for legal
release, exceeding which penalties are assessed or restrictions applied. The regressive
cases are those where a controlled level of release is too high or, if enforceable, is
neglected. Migration from pollution dilution to elimination in many cases is confronted
by challenging economical and technological barriers.

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Waste management
What is Waste Management
Waste management is the collection, transport, processing, recycling or disposal, and
monitoring of waste materials. The term usually relates to materials produced by human
activity, and is generally undertaken to reduce their effect on health,
the environment or aesthetics. Waste management is also carried out to
recover resources from it. Waste management can involve solid, liquid, gaseous or
radioactive substances, with different methods and fields of expertise for each.
Waste management practices differ for developed and developing nations,
for urban and rural areas, and for residential and industrial producers. Management for
non-hazardous residential and institutional waste in metropolitan areas is usually the
responsibility of local government authorities, while management for non-hazardous
commercial and industrial waste is usually the responsibility of the generator.

Methods of Waste Management


Disposal methods
Landfill

Landfill operation in Hawaii.

Disposing of waste in a landfill involves burying the waste, and this remains a common
practice in most countries. Landfills were often established in abandoned or unused
quarries, mining voids or borrow pits. A properly-designed and well-managed landfill

30
can be a hygienic and relatively inexpensive method of disposing of waste materials.
Older, poorly-designed or poorly-managed landfills can create a number of adverse
environmental impacts such as wind-blown litter, attraction of vermin, and generation of
liquid leachate. Another common byproduct of landfills is gas (mostly composed of
methane and carbon dioxide), which is produced as organic waste breaks down
anaerobically. This gas can create odor problems, kill surface vegetation, and is a
greenhouse gas.

A landfill compaction vehicle in action.

Design characteristics of a modern landfill include methods to contain leachate such as


clay or plastic lining material. Deposited waste is normally compacted to increase its
density and stability, and covered to prevent attracting vermin (such as mice or rats).
Many landfills also have landfill gas extraction systems installed to extract the landfill
gas. Gas is pumped out of the landfill using perforated pipes and flared off or burnt in a
gas engine to generate electricity.

Incineration

Spittelau Incineration plant in Vienna.

Incineration is a disposal method that involves combustion of waste material. Incineration


and other high temperature waste treatment systems are sometimes described as "thermal
treatment". Incinerators convert waste materials into heat, gas, steam, and ash.

Incineration is carried out both on a small scale by individuals and on a large scale by
industry. It is used to dispose of solid, liquid and gaseous waste. It is recognized as a
practical method of disposing of certain hazardous waste materials (such as biological

31
medical waste). Incineration is a controversial method of waste disposal, due to issues
such as emission of gaseous pollutants.

Incineration is common in countries such as Japan where land is more scarce, as these
facilities generally do not require as much area as landfills. Waste-to-energy (WtE) or
energy-from-waste (EfW) are broad terms for facilities that burn waste in a furnace or
boiler to generate heat, steam and/or electricity. Combustion in an incinerator is not
always perfect and there have been concerns about micro-pollutants in gaseous emissions
from incinerator stacks. Particular concern has focused on some very persistent organics
such as dioxins which may be created within the incinerator and which may have serious
environmental consequences in the area immediately around the incinerator. On the other
hand this method produces heat that can be used as energy.

Recycling methods
PVC, LDPE, PP, and PS (see resin identification code) are also recyclable, although these
are not commonly collected. These items are usually composed of a single type of
material, making them relatively easy to recycle into new products. The recycling of
complex products (such as computers and electronic equipment) is more difficult, due to
the additional dismantling and separation required.

Biological reprocessing

An active compost heap.

Waste materials that are organic in nature, such as plant material, food scraps, and paper
products, can be recycled using biological composting and digestion processes to
decompose the organic matter. The resulting organic material is then recycled as mulch
or compost for agricultural or landscaping purposes. In addition, waste gas from the
process (such as methane) can be captured and used for generating electricity. The
intention of biological processing in waste management is to control and accelerate the
natural process of decomposition of organic matter.

There are a large variety of composting and digestion methods and technologies varying
in complexity from simple home compost heaps, to industrial-scale enclosed-vessel
digestion of mixed domestic waste (see Mechanical biological treatment). Methods of

32
biological decomposition are differentiated as being aerobic or anaerobic methods,
though hybrids of the two methods also exist.

An example of waste management through composting is the Green Bin Program in


Toronto, Canada, where household organic waste (such as kitchen scraps and plant
cuttings) are collected in a dedicated container and then composted.

Energy recovery

Anaerobic digestion component of Lübeck mechanical


biological treatment plant in Germany

The energy content of waste products can be harnessed directly by using them as a direct
combustion fuel, or indirectly by processing them into another type of fuel. Recycling
through thermal treatment ranges from using waste as a fuel source for cooking or
heating, to fuel for boilers to generate steam and electricity in a turbine. Pyrolysis and
gasification are two related forms of thermal treatment where waste materials are heated
to high temperatures with limited oxygen availability. The process typically occurs in a
sealed vessel under high pressure. Pyrolysis of solid waste converts the material into
solid, liquid and gas products. The liquid and gas can be burnt to produce energy or
refined into other products. The solid residue (char) can be further refined into products
such as activated carbon. Gasification and advanced Plasma arc gasification are used to
convert organic materials directly into a synthetic gas (syngas) composed of carbon
monoxide and hydrogen. The gas is then burnt to produce electricity and steam.

Avoidance and reduction methods


An important method of waste management is the prevention of waste material being
created, also known as waste reduction. Methods of avoidance include reuse of second-
hand products, repairing broken items instead of buying new, designing products to be
refillable or reusable (such as cotton instead of plastic shopping bags), encouraging
consumers to avoid using disposable products (such as disposable cutlery), removing any
food/liquid remains from cans, packaging, ... and designing products that use less
material to achieve the same purpose (for example, lightweighting of beverage cans).

Waste handling and transport

A typical front loading garbage truck in North America.

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Waste collection methods vary widely between different countries and regions. Domestic
waste collection services are often provided by local government authorities, or by
private industry. Some areas, especially those in less developed countries, do not have a
formal waste-collection system. Examples of waste handling systems include:

• In Australia, curbside collection is the method of disposal of waste. Every urban


domestic household is provided with three bins: one for recyclables, another for
general waste and another for garden materials - this bin is provided by the
municipality if requested. Also, many households have compost bins; but this is
not provided by the municipality. To encourage recycling, municipalities provide
large recycle bins, which are larger than general waste bins. Municipal,
commercial and industrial, construction and demolition waste is dumped at
landfills and some is recycled. Household waste is segregated: recyclables sorted
and made into new products, and general waste is dumped in landfill areas.
According to the ABS, the recycling rate is high and is 'increasing, with 99% of
households reporting that they had recycled or reused some of their waste within
the past year (2003 survey), up from 85% in 1992'. This suggests that Australians
are in favour of reduced or no landfilling and the recycling of waste. Of the total
waste produced in 2002–03, '30% of municipal waste, 44% of commercial and
industrial waste and 57% of construction and demolition waste' was recycled.
Energy is produced from waste as well: some landfill gas is captured for fuel or
electricity generation. Households and industries are not charged for the volume
of waste they produce.

• In Europe and a few other places around the world, a few communities use a
proprietary collection system known as Envac, which conveys refuse via
underground conduits using a vacuum system.
• In Canadian urban centres curbside collection is the most common method of
disposal, whereby the city collects waste and/or recyclables and/or organics on a
scheduled basis. In rural areas people often dispose of their waste by hauling it to
a transfer station. Waste collected is then transported to a regional landfill.
• In Taipei the city government charges its households and industries for the
volume of rubbish they produce. Waste will only be collected by the city council
if waste is disposed in government issued rubbish bags. This policy has
successfully reduced the amount of waste the city produces and increased the
recycling rate.

Technologies
Traditionally the waste Management industry has been slow to adopt new technologies
such as RFID tags, GPS and integrated software packages which enable better quality
data to be collected without the use of estimation or manual data entry.

• Technologies like RFID tags are now being used to collect data on presentation
rates for curb-side pick-ups which is useful when examining the usage of
recycling bins or similar.

34
• Benefits of GPS tracking is particularly evident when considering the efficiency
of ad hoc pick-ups (like skip bins or dumpsters) where the collection is done on a
consumer request basis.
• Integrated software packages are useful in aggregating this data for use in
optimisation of operations for waste collection operations.

Waste management concepts


There are a number of concepts about waste management which vary in their usage
between countries or regions. Some of the most general, widely-used concepts include:

• Waste hierarchy - The waste hierarchy refers to the "3 Rs" reduce, reuse and
recycle, which classify waste management strategies according to their
desirability in terms of waste minimization. The waste hierarchy remains the
cornerstone of most waste minimization strategies. The aim of the waste hierarchy
is to extract the maximum practical benefits from products and to generate the
minimum amount of waste.
• Extended producer responsibility - Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a
strategy designed to promote the integration of all costs associated with products
throughout their life cycle (including end-of-life disposal costs) into the market
price of the product. Extended producer responsibility is meant to impose
accountability over the entire lifecycle of products and packaging introduced to
the market. This means that firms which manufacture, import and/or sell products
are required to be responsible for the products after their useful life as well as
during manufacture.
• Polluter pays principle - the Polluter Pays Principle is a principle where the
polluting party pays for the impact caused to the environment. With respect to
waste management, this generally refers to the requirement for a waste generator
to pay for appropriate disposal of the waste.

Education and awareness


Education and awareness in the area of waste and waste management is increasingly
important from a global perspective of resource management. The Talloires Declaration
is a declaration for sustainability concerned about the unprecedented scale and speed of
environmental pollution and degradation, and the depletion of natural resources. Local,
regional, and global air pollution; accumulation and distribution of toxic wastes;
destruction and depletion of forests, soil, and water; depletion of the ozone layer and
emission of "green house" gases threaten the survival of humans and thousands of other
living species, the integrity of the earth and its biodiversity, the security of nations, and
the heritage of future generations. Several universities have implemented the Talloires
Declaration by establishing environmental management and waste management
programs, e.g. the waste management university project. University and vocational
education are promoted by various organizations, e.g. WAMITAB and Chartered
Institution of Wastes Management. Many supermarkets encourage customers to use their

35
reverse vending machines to deposit used purchased containers and receive a refund from
the recycling fees. Brands that manufacture such machines include Tomra and Envipco.

Bibliography
• http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pollution

• http://library.thinkquest.org/C0111040/Types/types.php

• http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waste_management

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