Waste Management and Greenhouse Gases

In addition to the CO2 issue, other incineration byproducts involved in the waste treatment material balance show the porosity of the border between disposal and recovery. This is the case with clinkers: recovered in the form of road underlayers, saving the use of aggregates, they allow a positive balance to be drawn in the chain between incoming waste and recoverable by-products.

Considered waste from waste treatment, to which are added the residues from the purification of smoke from the incineration of household waste, the balance of waste produced and waste created is then, if not reversed, at least reduced. Through these struggles for definition between elimination and recovery, it is the boundaries of the concept of waste that are at stake.

Added to this is the question of risks and different forms of pollution: atmospheric emissions, of which dioxins are the best known, but also the substances contained in bottom ash and in household waste from the incineration of household waste incinerations which must be treated specific (burial in class 1 storage centers). The fear of the dilution of pollutants in the environment and in the human body refers to another form of the border of waste: incineration is akin to a machine for transforming harmless and circumscribed garbage into particularly harmful waste because of their toxicity and their spread.

Apprehended as a link in the global waste management chain, incineration is denounced on the grounds that it contradicts the stated objectives of reducing production, which in fact condemns the establishment of a system prioritizing material recovery. Combustion, in addition to being a waste of raw materials, would doom any hope of advanced material recovery and reduction at source: by investing in expensive equipment, communities are committed to providing the waste necessary for operation and the profitability of the equipment.

Also, it is by providing a solution that this technique would prevent the debate of the problem and its management upstream. It is the use of a solution that brings closure to the debate, which would hinder the establishment of an integrated policy characterized by taking charge of the problem in its entirety and in a hierarchical manner.

This dissonance regarding the status of the solution is reflected in the preferences and expectations in terms of equipment configuration on both sides of the actors involved. Treatment based on high technicality, in this case incinerators, induces for reasons of economic profitability, technical and environmental reliability, large equipment serving a large area.

On the other hand, the associations engaged against such projects display a preference for equipment offering access and reversibility criteria. Small reversible landfills or temporary landfills, even if it means multiplying them is one way to do it. In addition to the possibilities of surveillance and spatial equity, it is a question of keeping open the waste problem, condition of taking into account the upstream production and the search for alternative solutions, considering that proximity allows to maintain a societal awareness of waste.

Localized development, by combining technical and territorial integration objectives, does not meet the expectations of its promoters in terms of social acceptance. The arguments advanced against this process are based on a broader understanding of the question of waste, placed beyond local benefits and impacts.

This argumentative construction, which is part of a generalization mechanism, is also part of a strategy to circumvent the NIMBY disqualification which threatens opponents of cremation. Energy recovery, however considered as a factor of acceptance, is perceived as a greening operation of a technique criticized for its perverse effects in terms of waste management, and its health and environmental risks.

The Waste Management Crisis

Some figures show the world will soon collapse under garbage.

Terrifying! 70% more waste in 30 years: this is the warning cry launched by the World Bank in its latest report. This increase is all the more alarming as it will largely occur in developing countries, where waste is often poorly taken care of and a great source of pollution. Below are some numbers to understand everything about the upcoming garbage crisis.

Packaging, expired food, old clothes and obsolete appliances … The more we consume, the more waste we generate. This is not without consequences for our health and the environment, because if these billions of tonnes of garbage are relatively well managed in rich countries, they most often end up in open dumps in countries that do not have the capacity to collect and process them. The World Bank is appealing to respond.

3.4 billion tonnes of waste per year are expectd in 2050. The annual production of municipal waste (household waste and other waste taken in charge by a town or a local authority) already exceeds 2 billion tonnes per year. Due to rapid urbanization, rising living standards and population growth, this volume is likely to increase by 70% to 3.4 billion tonnes in 2050, according to the World Bank. In sub-Saharan Africa, countries will even have to face a tripling of the mass of waste, with more than 516 million tonnes compared to 174 today. A disaster, especially since these countries have little infrastructure to manage this influx.

0.74 kg of waste per day for each inhabitant of the planet, it is possible? Each inhabitant produces on average 0.74 kg of waste per day. A figure that hides wide disparities, from 0.11 kg in Lesotho to 4.50 kg in the Bermuda. These differences are strongly linked to the level of development: the higher the standard of living, the more the population consumes prepared products, generating more packaging to throw away. Although they represent only 16% of the world’s population, developed countries generate 34% of the world’s waste. This production is also progressing with urbanization.

Food or plant waste represents the largest part (44%) of the total volume. Plastic comes second, with 17% of the volume of waste. Again, large disparities can be observed depending on the level of development. Low-income countries produce more food waste, while developed countries produce more dry waste (plastic, paper, metal, or glass), mainly from industry and consumer products.

39% of the waste is collected in developing countries. In developed countries, it is usual to see the garbage truck passing several times a week outside your home. Alas, this is far from being a generality elsewhere in the world. Barely 39% of the waste is collected in low-income countries. Very often, they are burned at the back of a house or thrown into the street by households, which leads to traffic problems in cities and promotes the spread of disease.

19% of the waste is recycled or composted. Today, the vast majority of municipal waste is landfilled: 37% is buried and 33% is left in the open. Barely 19% is recycled or composted and 11% is incinerated. Recycling is still a prerogative of the rich countries: in low-income countries, it only concerns 4% of waste, the overwhelming majority (93%) ending up in open-air dumps more or less well managed, with sometimes a leakage of toxic compounds into the soil, dangerously harmful to the environment and human health.

The collection and treatment of waste generates 1.6 billion tonnes of carbon equivalent per year, or 5% of total greenhouse gas emissions. If nothing is done, this figure could reach 2.6 billion tonnes in 2050, further aggravating global warming, essentially warns the World Bank. These emissions come mainly from the methane released by the decomposition of garbage in landfills. A waste all the more revolting that this methane could be recovered as an energy resource for heating buildings.

Between 100 and 1,000 years, this is the lifespan of a plastic bottle in nature. Plastic represents only 12% of municipal waste, but it has a particularly long lifespan. While plant waste disappears in a few days or weeks, a plastic bottle takes between 100 and 1,000 years to degrade. In addition, plastic bags can suffocate animals if ingested, microplastic particles contaminate the oceans and marine organisms. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans in 2050 if no action is taken.

Waste management tales up to one fifth of the municipal budget. If so much waste is still abandoned, it is because its management represents a high cost for municipalities: up to 20% of their total budget in developing countries (against 4% for cities in rich countries). Consequently, cities with few resources often turn to the least expensive solution, in this case, simple landfill. In addition, it is a sector highly subject to corruption, where funding is often diverted for other purposes.

15 million people live on waste. The informal market for garbage employs 15 million people. It is often the poorest and most vulnerable populations (women, children, immigrants …) who collect, sort and resell the garbage in exchange for some small change. These workers feed, in some cases, a real local economy which deprives children of education and exposes them to dangerous products and diseases.

There is 18 times more industrial waste than household waste. Households are not by far the primary source of waste. The industry thus generates 18 times more, or 12.7 kg of waste per day and per inhabitant. This non-hazardous waste (scrap, paper-cardboard, glass, textile, wood, plastic …) can be recovered, for example as a fuel to replace petroleum. The problem comes mainly from hazardous waste (materials containing asbestos, medical waste, devices containing PCBs and PCTs, etc.), which are particularly difficult to treat and which have a high level of toxicity for the environment. Agriculture is also a major producer of waste, but it is often organic waste that is collected separately and can be reused as fertilizer or for animal feed.

What Is E-Waste And What Can We Do About It?

What Exactly Is E-Waste?

Plugs, cords, and electronic components are all examples of what is referred to as e-waste (electronic waste). Televisions, computers, mobile phones, and any type of household appliance, from air conditioning units to children’s toys, are all common sources of e-waste, as are other electronic devices.

What Is The Source Of The Problem With E-Waste?

The United Kingdom is as of now one of the world’s leading suppliers of household electronic waste. Broken or unwelcome electronic equipment that is disposed of in a landfill can release toxic substances such as lead and mercury into the soil and water, harming the environment.

Electronics also contain useful nonrenewable resources such as gold, silver, copper, palladium, aluminum, and cobalt, amongst other metals and elements. This means that when we try to get rid of them without recycling them, we are wasting valuable resources.

Current E-Waste Reuse Solutions Are Simply Transferring The Problem To Another Location.

When compared to dumping valuable components in landfill, recycling is a more environmentally friendly option, but it presents its own set of ethical considerations.

It takes time and effort to process e-waste for metals and minerals extraction, and regions are exporting the problem to countries at which labor regulations and safety regulations do not protect those who perform the thorough and physical labor of having to process e-waste for metallic mineral extraction.

The ability to manufacture products in-house and have a better understanding of where materials are located within specific products is what we require. We should be trying to design them to be more easily recyclable – good labeling and building would let the componentry to become more readily repurposed and precious minerals to be saved from being disposed of in the landfill.’

How To Properly Recycle Electronics Such As Mobile Phones, Computers And Other Gadgets

Are you trying to figure out how to get through your unwanted or damaged electronic equipment? Follow these four times to give people a fresh start and maintain as much as conceivable from ending up in a trash can.

1. Delay Upgrading For As Lengthy As You Are Capable Of Doing So.

If you’re thinking about upgrading your phone and other electronic devices, think twice. Is it really necessary to purchase a new device in order to perform your job or effectively communicate with others?

2. Look For Opportunities For Repurposing.

If the product is still in perfect working order or only requires minor repairs, consider donating it to a charitable organization instead. If your friends or family members do not like it, there are a multitude of charity organizations that will accept it and make money off of it, particularly mobile phones and other electronic devices.

3. You Could Try Returning The Product To The Retailer.

If an item is damaged or rendered unusable, the manufacturer should be contacted as soon as possible. Inform them that you would like to return your old electronics and one‘s materials for a refund or a credit. Although most businesses will not accept returns of goods there at the end of one‘s working lives, a few will, the only manner market practice and personal responsibility will alter is if a large number of consumers demand it.

4. Deliver Them To An E-Waste Recycling Facility That Specializes In Electronic Waste.

If there is absolutely no way to reuse as well as return the item, locate a reputable local organization that will recycle it for you.. 

Manage And Recycle Electronic Waste In A Responsible Manner

Why Proper E-Waste Disposal Is So Important

Companies and organizations, from manufacturing to department stores to the office complex, are under constant pressure to stay updated with the latest and biggest technology in order to streamline & automate tasks, protect financial information, store information, interact with others, and even keep backpack lunches cool in the summer. The rate at which technology is purchased, used, and discarded is staggering.

For many companies, however, this vicious consuming cycle is viewed as a sign of “progress”—one in which disposal is treated as an afterthought rather than as a priority.

Unfortunately, because of indifference, it is most commonly disposed of inappropriately as a result.

While it is difficult to estimate the exact amount of e-waste generated, one thing is certain: it will continue to grow in the coming years. Unfortunately, many devices are discarded at the expiration of their usable life (the median useful life differs by device, but the median phone is changed every two years) or in favor of the most recent upgrade or model available.

The solution is similar to that of other undesirable MSW. Electronic garbage is disposed of at landfills, sent to junk yards, or purchased for storage by third parties. Unwanted electronics from wealthy countries are transported to poorer nations, where a poor infrastructure to properly dispose of them frequently results in illegal dumping or burning of the garbage.

When it comes to consumer electronics, this technique is akin to a treasure-to-trash operation since consumers fail to see the true value of their once-cherished items. Many discarded electronics include valuable raw materials, such as gold, copper, platinum, and other metals, which could be repurposed for use in other electronic devices. For example, a projected $21 million (or more) in manifest content gold and silver is sitting in landfills around the world, entrapped in electronic equipment.

Furthermore, a lack of semiconductor chips is affecting manufacturing, and experts believe that the development of electric cars would stop if recycling for lithium ion batteries does not increase. These are all classified as recent precious commodities.

Electronics, in addition to containing precious materials, do have a dark side, as they contain a variety of potentially hazardous substances, such as lead, cadmium, arsenic, mercury, and flame retardants.

The role of e recycling lies at the heart of everything we’ve said thus far. Recycling electronics keep foreign objects out and local raw materials in by preventing them from being contaminated. Recyclable materials reduce the amount of raw material that needs to be collected from nature in order to build new gadgets, therefore lowering energy costs and helping to more environmentally friendly operations that promote the circular economy.

Sustainable Solid Waste Management

Engaging the Neighborhood

For sustainability, it’s essential to change people’s mindsets and influence their behavior, but this takes time. As part of this effort, NEA has been partnering with local residents and grassroots organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and schools in order to educate the community about the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling waste. The annual Recycled paper Day, for example, aims to raise awareness of the importance of recycling waste by involving classrooms, community organizations, and recycling companies.

Every household must be provided with a recycling bag or bin under the NRP, and public waste collectors must collect recyclables door-to-door and on scheduled days every two weeks.

In addition to the door-to-door collection, HDB1 housing estates have installed 1,600 sets of centralized recycling depositories in the common areas. This covers approximately 85% of the country’s population centers. Most residents will be able to drop off their recyclable materials at any time of day or night because these centralized recycling depositories are located within 150 meters of most apartment buildings.

In addition to this network, there are 2,200 recycling bins located in high-traffic areas. Outside of train stations, you’ll find these types of places: food courts, food centers, bus stations, the airport, and malls for pedestrians.

Participation In Educational Institutions

There must be a strong emphasis on environmental education from an early age. Recycling Corner Program (RCP) for schools was launched by the National Environment Agency (NEA) in September 2002 as a means of instilling a habit of the 3Rs in educators. Students can dispose of their recyclables at designated Recycling Corners on school property. Most schools have recycling programs as of 2007.

Recycling Nooks under the RCP and are responsible for putting up educational material. Interest and a greater sense of ownership can be fostered through these activities. Every so often, environmental-themed activities are held to keep interest high, including competitions on topics such as reducing waste and recycling as well as environmental camps and excursions as well as workshops and speech writing contests.

Environment Champions to instill a sense of enviro ownership of a recycling programme. These environmental top teams are responsible for a wide range of school-based environmental initiatives, including assisting in the organizing, organizing, and implementing of recycling as well as other environmental practices at the school.

Efforts To Reduce Waste

While end-of-pipe solutions such as incineration and recycling exist, a third approach known as waste minimization or reduction aims to cut waste even before it is produced. As a result, we can get closer to our goal of a waste-free society and thus close the waste loop.

The Voluntary Packaged food Agreement is one of the projects that fall under this strategy. The Agreement’s goal is to cut down on packaging waste generated by the industry. Over one-third of Singapore’s garbage is packaging, so this programme has the potential to significantly reduce trash generation in that city state. A product stewardship approach is used in the Agreement instead of a legislative one, which imposes significant costs on industry. This non-prescriptive and cost-effective approach greatly engages industry participants to assume enhanced business responsibility for packaging waste.

These agreements aim to secure the pledge of key players within the packaging supply chain, such as brands and manufacturers but also to give the industry an opportunity to discuss and function properly together on feasible and cost-effective packaging waste reduction strategies.

Bring Their Own Bag Day was launched throughout April 2007 as a way to encourage people to bring their own shopping bags. Every month on the first Wednesday, a day called “Bring Your Own Bag Day” is observed. In order to reduce the amount of plastic checkout pouches that are thrown away without being reused, such as to line trash bins or other containers, retailers encourage customers to bring their own bags to the store.

Waste Management And Economic Growth

Reduced Capacity

The situation was precarious, with projections showing that landfill space would be depleted quickly as waste volumes increased at a breakneck pace. Waste-to-energy coal combustion plants were recommended in our case, according to research. Reducing waste volume by 90% in as little as six months in facilities with only a few hundred square feet was the obvious answer to our resource shortage. In 1979, the first incineration facility was put into operation. Since then, three more large plants have been built to handle the ever-increasing waste loads: in 1986, 1992, and 2000.

In order to reduce the amount of acidic gasses, dust, and other pollutants in the flue gas before it can be expelled through the chimneys, these four cutting-edge waste-to-energy incinerators are equipped with state-of-the-art treatment systems. Clean air emissions requirements in Singapore require constant monitoring of the flue gas. Scrap iron and energy are used to generate electricity. Hardly 10% of its initial mass remains after incineration, and it is then disposed of in landfills.

Recycling Of Waste

While incineration provided us with a cost-effective but inconvenient way to solve our waste problem, our waste on the island was predicted to run out by 1999. The only option left was to enclose an area of ocean eight kilometers south of our main island and spend a significant sum to construct an offshore landfill to house our last remaining waste.

Second, the general alternative was to promote recycling rate in the industrial and commercial sectors as well as in households, in order to reduce waste discarded at incinerators and landfills. A three-pronged approach involving industry, community, and educational institutions was used to accomplish this.

Participation In  The Industry

As a result, recycling in the commercial and residential sectors contribute significantly straight to the bottom row by avoiding waste disposal facility fees. Waste recycling is promoted by the NEA through public talks, business awareness programmes, and the dissemination of recycling data and information. It also collaborated with JTC Corporation, the largest creator of industrial land & ready-built factories, to set up recycling programs in all of its 21 small apartment and nine landscaped industrial estates, respectively.

The Sarimbun Material Recovery Park (SRP) is controlled by NEA and sits on a closed landfill. Waste generation recycling as well as composting of agricultural waste have both benefited from the SRP’s use thus far.

Waste reduction is one of the areas targeted by the IES Fund in this regard. There are several examples of these projects, such as making precast concrete stormwater runoff utilizing recycled aggregates; making packaging from horticultural waste and processing ladle furnace slag, which is a byproduct from the steelmaking process, into highway construction materials.

Recycling and processing tons of garbage, food waste, wood residues, horticultural waste, used steel slag, construction as well as demolition debris and ferrous and plastic waste are some of the types of waste that can be recycled.

Over the years, much of the non-incinerable waste sent to the landfill has been diverted for repurposing into useful materials like aggregates, which can be reused in construction projects.