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Study Guide

[ERS 317] - Midterm Exam Guide - Ultimate 19 pages long Study Guide!


Department
Environment and Resource Studies
Course Code
ERS317
Professor
John Jackson
Study Guide
Midterm

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UW
ERS 317
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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ERS 317 Winter 2017
1
ERS 317 Lecture 1 January 4, 2017
- Why the issue of waste management matters / Why do we care about waste?
o In 2013, people in Canada believed that air pollution/smog was the highest
environmental problem that posed the greatest risk to human health
o Municipal garbage was third from the bottom; this has changed drastically
since about 20 years ago.
We’ve thought about avoiding building more and more landfills,
which has caused this issue to go down in their importance
You have to realize that a lot of other issues relate to
landfills Landfills release air pollutants, which directly
relates to air pollution/smog.
o Landfills contribute to water pollution & drinking water pollution, global
warming and climate change (breakdown of garbage creates methane gas,
which is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide the
quality of methane might be lower, but it has a much bigger impact than
carbon dioxide; we are not properly capturing it), toxic chemicals
(radioactive waste), food safety/contaminated food (municipal incinerator
will the smoke stack pollution contaminate farmland/farm animals?
Will it contaminate food of the fish when it goes into the lakes resulting in
an entire food chain effect)
o Worker occupational health issues
Recycling facilities commonly have quick explosions and fires
causes heavy smoke that covers a large area
Garbage collection causes high hazards compactor on the
garbage truck can cause explosions of materials that are hazardous;
this can harm people standing behind the truck
Back, arm & leg issues when picking up the garbage
o Municipal garbage has a lot of issues with plastic they are collecting in
big islands due to the wave currents collecting pollution
Substantial plastic particles are being found in the great lakes due
to garbage issues (not being able to deal with all the trash)
The small particles are ingested by birds and fish
o They feel full due to the plastic filling up their
stomachs they become malnourished
o Plastics accumulate toxins which have absorbed
onto the surface of the plastics
Beer can plastic rings can harm the animals if they get
caught in them
Production pellets are the lowest contaminate in the lakes.
Fragments are the largest (56%).
Film (small amounts what your sandwich may be
wrapped in), foam (11.5% Styrofoam, packaging)
line/fibers (15.8% clothing that are increasingly being
made by recycled plastics, fishing), and microbeads (14%
personal hygiene products (abrasives which have been
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ERS 317 Winter 2017
2
added to cosmetics) are all included in things found in the
great lakes.
o Canada is in the process of passing a regulation to
ban microbeads
Fairly quick to have action taken many
companies voluntarily took action to change
their products because they didn’t like being
seen as a harm to the environment.
- Why our approach in regards to dealing with waste issues has changed over the
last decade
o The manufacturing process creates far more waste than the disposal of the
product after you use it and then throw it away
o Paper how many trees you chop down and how much of that is wasted
o 90% to 92% of the waste of a product is created during production (taking
out the raw resources, then taking it to the factory, then transporting it to
the store where you buy it)
This is the waste we do not see
When we are thinking about throwing out a product, we don’t
think about all of the waste that is created when they need to make
a new product
This is a huge change that has happened.
o The lost energy is dramatic it takes a lot more energy to make a product
out of raw materials. It is less energy to make it out of recycled materials
We are wasting energy, which causes climate change this has
become a bigger issue since climate change has become more of a
present issue
o Equity issues around waste are something to think about throughout
this course.
o Shipping electronics supposedly for recycling to other countries is very
dirty and not always correctly recycled at all
Many children are involved and they are not protected properly (no
masks)
Things are burned and can be very toxic (i.e. burning of
materials) the covers of the cables is burned off so they
can get to the copper
o Dumping garbage on other shores is becoming more popular ships will
go out and be looking for other areas to dump trash
This may end up going in to the ocean if it is not well monitored
o If we all used the same amount of resources, we would need 3-4 more
times the space to have all these resources available
We are using up other countries resources for yourself
- We shouldn’t be thinking about this stuff as waste, we should be thinking about it
as valuable used materials
o We have always thought of garbage as things that are not useful and
should be thrown out
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