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ERS317 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Paper Recycling, Incineration, Plastics Industry

Environment and Resource Studies
Course Code
John Jackson
Study Guide

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Waste Management Midterm
WEEK 1: Direction of Resource/Waste Management
Waste contributes to other higher profile environmental issues:
oDownstream/end of life impact – organics (leachate and GHGs), incineration (sir
pollution), consumer products (microbeads and toxicity)
oUpstream – manufacturing (depleting resources, more energy required to make
original products)
Equity issues – poorer countries suffer more because of less regulation
oShipping e-waste to China
oTaking resources from other countries and we’re being wasteful
oUrban-rural – city garbage going to rural areas
oSiting on indigenous land
oFuture generations
oPolitical issue – Toronto elections (shipping to outside GTA => losing people’s
Disposal – what do we do with our waste?
oFirst big shift: reduce waste in landfills and incinerators through waste diversion
programs such as recycling
oShift mentality to resource management versus waste management
oEco-efficiency to reduce – still maintains that consumerism is ok
Circular economy – can reuse everything coming into production
oManufacturing: improving design of products
oUse and consumption: electricity required for product to run and how many
functions for one product (3-1 printer)
oLongevity: how durable is design and can it adapt to changes in technology?
oAfter use: is it easily recyclable and reusable?
Taxpayers paying for disposal
Need market for recoverable materials
Create a longer reuse cycle for product (paper recycling)
Need to solve: tonnage, toxicity, heterogeneity, externalities
Integrate waste management with sustainable development – change discourse
oProtect health and environment – improve siting and design
oMinimize impact for future generations
oConserve resources
Use precautionary principle
Short term changes are more technological to accommodate for increased volume of
waste such as gas collection, double liners, siting etc
Long term changes include : Mining for materials and energy in landfills, shifting waste
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oReduce consumerism
oRecycling and incineration
oPhase out landfills
WEEK 2: Generation of Solid Waste and Reduce-Reuse-Zero Waste
Increase in consumerism after WWII because too many industries so shifted to plastics
1/3 waste: residential waste, ICI (industrial, commercial and institutional),
oMore government focus on residential, not ICI but more waste coming from there
European countries consider incineration as waste diversion
Why are we failing?
oPackaging – too many regulations and marketing requiring more but can be
resolved through public pressure
oDisposables – active marketing for disposing (Swiffer, shower caps etc)
oLack of repair and upgrades – encouragement to buy to replace not repair
oCommunal products no longer desirable – payphones, water fountains etc
Companies make it easier for people to shop through usage of credit cards
Most effective way to reuse is the deposit-return system
Role of local government changing but need more civic participation
Backyard composting most effective treatment
Need better industrial design
Education needs to be at forefront with more citizen-driven initiatives which also build
Build skills required for recycling and other tech to pass to next generation
Businesses only act in response to consumer demand
Taxpayers fund waste management
Gaps in knowledge in ON about which materials require more effort to divert
Consultation with businesses is essential to reduce packaging
EPR – product take-back program
Increase disposal sites to make it easier for people to access
Extracting energy gives thermal value to waste to use as fuel
WEEK 3: Recycling and Composting
Selling is main point for recycling
Closed-loop recycling – going back to initial product e.g. newspaper
Can’t recycle plastic endlessly
Open-loop recycling or down-cycling – made into a different product
Glass: hand sorting due to colours or use crushed glass for other purposes (roads)
HC – can’t use recycled material if in contact with food – plastic is same...
Delay to disposal – not really diversion
Aluminum – use excessive energy form raw material
EPR – don’t pay municipalities for recycling their plastics – say they produce E anyways
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