Waste is an unavoidable by-product of most human activity. Economic development and rising living standards in the Asian and Pacific Region have led to increases in the quantity and complexity of generated waste, whilst industrial diversification and the provision of expanded health-care facilities have added substantial quantities of industrial hazardous waste and biomedical waste into the waste stream with potentially severe environmental and human health consequences. Waste is a general term used to describe any material that is no longer useful. Its composition and volume largely depend on consumption patterns and the industrial and economic structures in place. Air quality, water and soil contamination, space consumption and odors all affect our quality of life. On a global scale, calculating the amount of waste being generated presents a problem. The Basel Convention has estimated the amount of hazardous and other waste generated for 2000 and 2001 at 318 and 338 million tons respectively. Waste is also a result of:
Overproduction – making things before they are needed
Waiting – the time and resources consumed in between major steps in a process. Transporting – the unnecessary movement and handling of work. Inappropriate Processing – involves resource overkill, also known as ‘gold platting’. Unnecessary Inventory – in manufacturing the concern is Work-In-Progress (WIP). Unnecessary / Excess Motion — refer to the unnatural acts that people are made to perform in doing their job. Defects – errors are the common focus of improvement disciplines like six-sigma. SOURCES OF WASTE
Municipal or Domestic Waste
Municipal solid waste is generated from households, offices, hotels, shops, schools and other institutions. The major components are food waste, paper, plastic, rags, metal and glass, although demolition and construction debris is often included in collected waste, as are small quantities of hazardous waste, such as electric light bulbs, batteries, automotive parts and discarded medicines and chemicals
Industrial solid waste in the Asian and Pacific Region, as elsewhere, encompasses a wide range of materials of varying environmental toxicity. Typically this range would include paper, packaging materials, waste from food processing, oils, solvents, resins, paints and sludges, glass, ceramics, stones, metals, plastics, rubber, leather, wood, cloth, straw, abrasives, etc. As with municipal solid waste, the absence of a regularly up-dated and systematic database on industrial solid waste ensures that the exact rates of generation are largely unknown.
Agricultural Waste and Residues
Expanding agricultural production has naturally resulted in increased quantities of livestock waste, agricultural crop residues and agro-industrial by-products.
The number of hospitals and health care institutions in the Asian and Pacific Region has been increasing to meet the medical and health care requirements of the growing population. Although city planners have long taken into consideration the provision of medical and health care institutions and services, until recent years, they, and even municipal waste management authorities, have paid very little attention to the wastes generated from these facilities, which are potentially hazardous to human health and the environment.
Radioactive or Nuclear Waste
Information regarding disposal practices for radioactive waste is not extensive and few systematic country surveys have been conducted. In Japan, low level radioactive waste generated from 46 operating nuclear power plants is packed into 2 000 liter drums and temporarily stored in on-site storehouses.
Due to advancement in technology another type of waste is the Waste electrical and electronic equipment (commonly referred to as WEEE) consists of end of life products and comprises of a range of electrical and electronic items such as,...
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