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GGRA03 Ch-10

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University of Toronto St. George
Andre Sorensen

Ch-10 garbage and the city - Developed world of 20 century: 2 major changes to challenge of dealing with garbage: o Acceleration in consumption of goods and resources per person o New technologies – developed in chemical industry – plastics changed the composition of garbage - Technical problem of collection and disposal, environmental hazards associated, social and cultural values – cities general high volume of garbage, recycling rate are lowest - Developing/poor countries generate less garbage but have few resources to collect and dispose it, so it wont create pollution but recycling rate is high as part of informal economy - New material – plastics, synthetic products and toxic chemicals made way to landfills, packaging industry create innumerable goods with very short lives Technical issues: - Solid waste – material that has no apparent, obvious or significant economic or beneficial value to humans, that is intentionally thrown away for disposal - Unlike water, air pollution – solid must be collected to dispose of – classification includes waste generated from residential, commercial, industrial, institutional and construction/demolition/municipal services - Open dumps – natural or man-made depressions in landscape, served as places to dispose of garbage – hazards: fires, leaching of chemicals into soil and ground water - Health-safety: human waste matter commonly found in municipal waste – insect and rodents attracts, spread diseases like cholera, dengue. - Contemporary landfills – include layers of non-permeable clay or synthetic lining and network of pipes to collect leachate and methane and use it as energy source - Landfills were redeveloped and used for parks, recreational areas, parking lots, industrial purposes - Compaction vehicles – compress waste by 30% - allowed more volume to be collected; development of transfer stations: collection points where trucks unload into larger vehicles or temporary storage facilities – increased efficiency and assisted in sorting Garbage crisis: Garbage collection is becoming problem because countries, cities are running out of landfills area to dump more garbage. Hence, some cities export garbage from one state to another, via truck – caused windows to shake, air to become smell rotting, then via rail but cost more-to state which has more wasteland available. Some cities actually tried to ship the garbage over to developing countries. To developing countries, accepting garbage was attractive due to fees collection and generating revenue. However, it is morally just unacceptable and sooner government of developing countries too realized its harming citizens of their countries. Then came idea of burning the garbage but that causes air pollution. Hence crisis! Hazards of landfills: - Garbage is engineering problem – believed that waste is consisting of organic material, should biodegrade, create nutrient rich soil - But landfill SO compacted, not enough air for microbes and bacteria to break down organic debris – garbage mostly composed of plastics and disposable diapers - Even engineered landfills have potential to contaminate soil by – trash bag leaks contents, water from rain seeps through garbage creating variety of liquids and poison – ammonia, chlorides, zinc, lead, acids - Leachate and poison can leak into aquifers contaminating fresh water sources - Household garbage includes – paper, yard trimmings, food scraps, plastics, metals, rubber, leather and textiles, glass, wood and other – hazards – used motor oil, auto batteries, weed, insect killers, bug spray, nail polish remover Consuming mentality: - L
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