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BIO 130 Final: BIO 130 Exam 4 Notes

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BIO 130
Susannah Sandrin

Trash, Waste, Garbage... ... processes are designed to optimize the natural decomposition or decay of organic matter, such as leaves and Whatever you call it, managing solid waste from humans has been an issue with our civilizations throughout history. food. As soon as people began to settle in one spot. Greeks had designated waste sites outside their city U.S. EPA denition Food and yard wastes account for 28 of municipal solid waste! Think how Waste Black Death (1300s) much waste would be reduced if all of this were composted instead. Also known as Bubonic Plague May be considered source reduction, as it keeps solid waste out of landlls and incinerators In Europe, waste accumulated in the streets Led to increase in rodent population May be considered recycling, as it turns one natural material into another (namely, humuslike material that Rodents had eas increases soil fertility) Fleas carrying the plague would bite people and contaminate them with the bacteria (Yersinia pestis) that causes Many municipalities (including many around Phoenix) give away or sell cheap compost bins made from old garbage the disease cans. 1.5 million people, or 25 of the population, died in England alone over a 12 year period Combustion: Waste to Energy Industrial Revolution Waste Conned and controlled burning of waste, in which heat energy is harnessed and converted to electricity. Products produced at faster rate, from 1700s on Led to more consumption and more waste Two main advantages Benjamin Franklin other leaders in U.S. called to ban public dumps inside cities, to limit spread of disease Decreases volume of the waste a lot! Incineration of wastes (combustionburning) became popular Recovers energy that can be used by others Led to air quality issues Hogs to eat waste Disadvantages Ash waste may have hazardous metals or organics, now concentrated Humans who ate hogs that were fed garbage had increased chance of contracting illness trichinosis. Burning waste can give off hazardous fumes if proper scrubbers are not in the ue (like a chimney) Increasingly Hazardous Waste These scrubbers and lters are very expensive to replace and install. Major increase in production of synthetic chemicals starting in the 1920s The upfront capital needed to build an MSW combustion plant can be a signicant hurdle when building a new Example: trichloroethylene (TCE) as a degreasing agent and dry cleaning solvent facility. A new plant typically requires at least 100 million upfront to nance the construction; larger plants may These wastes were burned or buried too require double to triple that amount. US EPA Potential for release to atmosphere or water supplies Examples: Love Canal, Movies about other real cases, A Civil Action, Erin Brockovich Combustion: Waste to Energy Pollution Control System: Love Canal Timeline 1) Nitrogen Oxide removal system 2) Mercury dioxin removal system 3) Acid gas removal system 4) Particulate Canal 50 feet wide and 25 feet deep constructed in very late 1800s to connect Niagara River in New York to Lake removal system 5) Pollution control system Ontario. Waste to Energy: 90 reduction of trash volumePower generationPollution control Only a 1 mile long stretch was built, and project abandoned. 1920s 1940s, used as municipal landll Landlls Landll Design 1940s, some military wastes from war also dumped there Nonrecyclable waste goes to a landll (in U.S., most of the time) 1950s, Hooker Chemical Company permitted to dump waste there (primarily in 55 gallon drums) a discrete area of land or excavation that receives household waste US EPA denition 1953, dumping ceased and waste was buried In past, pits not always constructed, but were old quarries, natural gullies, etc. Open dumps are now illegal if they Clay layer put on top and around canal to seal in wastes, and Hooker Chemical Co. said that the land should not dont meet criteria be built on Initially, there were no regulations about where and how to site a landll Or monitor its effect on the environment Approximately half (53) of our solid waste still ends up in landlls! In 2009, there were ~1908 licensed landlls in the United States. Early 1950s, school board purchased land for 1 and constructed 2 schools (99th St. school completed in 1955 and open to 400 students). City put in sewers and expressway later (cracking clay layer). About 100 homes built adjacent to school. Landll Criteria (7 Total) The architect said they couldnt build on the planned site due to toxic drums underneath, as it would be unstable Location: Away from ood plains, wetlands, seismic and unstable ground (like landslide conditions), and airports and could cause the concrete foundation to crack. Also, waste drums were found in planned playground area. So (birds attracted to landlls could damage aircraft) Operation: Covering daily, control pests that can spread disease, ventcapture and combust explosive gasses they moved the site 85 feet north. Ground crumbled away at this site after construction, and exposed more drums, forming a large depression where kids enjoyed playing in the puddles. Wastes decompose (organic materials) anaerobically, which leads to production of biogas Methane, hydrogen, carbon dioxide Highly ammable Love Canal, continued Can seep through soil and rock In 1962, a wet spring changes to rainwater drainage due to nearby construction triggered leaching of chemicals Kill vegetation on surface Can travel horizontally to homes and cause explosions! from waste drums and soils Gardens and trees turned black Design: Rain water ltering through landlls contacts many different wastes and leaches a toxic soup of chemicals Children playing outside got burns on hands from the waste. This toxic soup is called leachate. and feet All new landlls must have a liner (membrane + 2 feet of compacted soil) and a leachate collection system in the Air was hard to breathe bottom. Al leachate must be collected and treated prior to discharging the water Basements and pools had chemicals oating in them By mid1970s, numerous birth defects in region reported Many landlls built in a pyramid shape to minimize inltration of water, and encourage runoff instead U.S. Congress provided federal aid Reduced amount of leachate, but also rate of decomposition of waste! Groundwater monitoring: Must take place A total of 221 families were moved, their houses and land were purchased. to make sure that leachate is not leaking and causing groundwater remediation Corrective action: required if leachate is leaking, to clean up soils and groundwater (Chapter 17) Waste Management Regulations Solid Waste Disposal Act, 1965 Landll gas can be burned to create electricity, fuel garbage trucks, re brick kilns, etc. Bans openair burning of waste Landlls are the 3rd highest manmade source of methane emissions in the US Incinerationcombustion of waste subject to pollution controls Methane is 25x stronger (absorbs more energy) greenhouse gas than CO2 All commercial, municipal, industrial and household waste must be handled to protect human health and Closure postclosure: When the landll is full, the site must be closed and monitored in such a way that it does not pose a threat to human health or the environment in the future. environment Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) formed in 1970 Example: a thick layer of soil is added, and grassvegetation planted to prevent soil erosion Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), 1976 3 programs Financial assurance: The party responsible for building the landll is responsible and must demonstrate that they 1) Mandated that states manage nonhazardous solid wastes Issue permits that insure environment can afford the closure and postclosure work. is protected 2) National system to control and monitor hazardous waste products from creation to disposal Map of Landll Gas Projects and Eligible Landlls, courtesy of US EPA website http:www.epa.govlmopprojects Cradle to grave approach candidatesindex.htmlmaparea 3) Regulates underground storage tanks Landll gas (LFG) can be burned to create electricity, fuel garbage trucks, re brick kilns... Notice, RCRA only is preventative tool, and does not deal with old, existing contaminated sites. Landlls are the 3rd highest manmade source of methane emissions in the U.S. We make a lot of garbage! Methane is 25x stronger (absorbs more energy) greenhouse gas than CO2! The amount of municipal solid waste (MSW) generated in the U.S. is increasing Why? More people, changing lifestyles (throw away culture), excessive packaging Some Other Landll Issues In 1960, the average MSW was 2.7 lbspersonday Incomplete decomposition In 2012: 4.4 lbspersonday! Preventing leachate formation by covering landlls means that garbage stays pretty dry Decreases rate of decomposition! Recycling increasing, other waste decreasing 30year old newspapers have been found in landlls that you can still read > U.S. Municipal Solid Waste not decomposed! Where Does It Go? Settling 251 million total tons in 2012! Occurs as waste compresses and decomposes Cannot put buildings on a landll 36 of waste is now recycled or composted, as compared to 7 in 1960. Mass Solid Waste Produced in U.S. (millions of tons) > Solid Waste: Alternatives to Landlls Recycling (25) Combusting (11) Composting (8) Landll (53) Bioreactor Landlls Engineered systems that will more rapidly degrade organic wastes in landll Add air (oxygen) and water, which Source Reduction are limiting factors in traditional, dry landlls Lower postclosure costs ...the design, manufacture, and use of products in a way that reduces the quantity and toxicity of waste produced when the products reach the end of their useful lives. U.S. EPA denition Less longterm environmental risks How? Eliminates anaerobic conditions that lead to methane production Businesses reusing packages for shipping, reusable envelopes, maintaining and xing equipment to extend its life Materials Waste Exchanges At home, compost yard clippings instead of bagging them for buying and selling reusable and recyclable commodities U.S. EPA denition Examples Consumers can select items that have less packaging or less toxic ingredientscomponents Warehouses that sell used products This reusable envelope says for every mailing, place stamp here. Websites that connect buyers and sellers How many of you have ever bought or sold something on Craigs List? Recycling Waste exchanges can also handle hazardous materials ...separation and collection of wastes, their subsequent transformation or remanufacture into usable or marketable products or materials, and the purchase of products made from recyclable materials. PayAsYouThrow (PAYT) U.S. EPA denition of municipal solid waste recycling Also known as variable rate refuse pricing, or unit pricing Why should we do it? Customers who have more waste, pay more for the waste pickup and disposal Reduces the need to use raw materials and natural resources Encourages customers to reduce waste at the source (i.e, not buy products with lots of packaging) and to recycle. Reduces the amount of solid waste disposed in landlls or combusted Pay by the bag or by the size of their waste container. Uses less energy and creates less pollution than making items from scratch More than 7100 PAYT communities in the U.S. in 2007, serving 75 million people. Thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Credited with reducing 10 million metric tons of CO2 annually. Employment and new business opportunities How do we do it? Household Hazardous Waste Programs 1. Collect recyclable materials Includes products that are corrosive, toxic, ignitable or reactive 2. Createmanufacture new products from the materials Examples: paint, cleaners, oil, batteries, pesticides 3. Sell recycled products Many communities have household hazardous waste programs, in which they will collect waste from you, since you should not dispose of these in the trash or down a drain (into water systems). Composting Used Oil Recycling
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