Top-Rated Free Essay

Solid Waste

Topics: Recycling, Waste management, Landfill / Pages: 4 (831 words) / Published: Feb 18th, 2013
Description and Problems

SUBJECT: Municipal Solid Waste Descriptions and Problems


The Municipal Solid Waste is based in 4 main components that are recycling, composting, landfilling and waste-to-energy that is mainly done by burning the waste. This is known as materials of no longer being of value and is thrown out for disposal. Waste is handled and separated into different containers which are divided into solids, plastics and paper mainly. There are different types of Waste Handling starting back in the 50’s into open dumps, In the 70’s landfills where made but created health problems as well as air pollution and gases and now we have new technologies and legislation to better the way of the waste. There have been divisions of the waste created better known as recycling all plastics, cans, and paper. This reduces the contaminants that are released to the air that produce the plastic and the others. Mainly all are recycled and reused, placed thru a recycling machine that makes this trash usable again.

Open Dumps are mainly known as landfills created to throw out the trash that is collected from the area or location. This causes major gases that can be turn and use as electricity but has major effects to the health, also the smell that creates. This is the main way used to throw out trash in Puerto Rico. There are several Open Dumps Thru out the Island and even a mile away and you can smell the gases and the stink created by the trash. In here is not been used for any type of energy and the recycling plant are very limited. Puerto Rico is very behind with the implementation of Recycling dumpsters of paper and plastic as well as cans. I used to live in Orlando and there we have a different container for cans, paper and plastic. We do this recycling in our office. We recycle all metals, plastics and paper trying to make a better place but when it has to be taken into a recycling plant you have to drive a 100 miles to get to the closest plant available. There are very little resources and knowledge of the risks of not recycling and the benefits you obtain from it.
The early landfills showed that landfills using what are known as leachate recirculation would increase the rate of waste stabilization. This was not implemented in the early landfills causing incomplete decomposition and setting. In a bioreactor landfill, controlled quantities of liquids are added to the waste which increases the biodegrading of the waste and by reducing this instead of making this period thirty years which early landfills would take it would reduce it to 5 to 10 years. There are several resources that can be obtained from the waste and the main one is Methane.
Methane can be recovered for the use of electricity and other uses. Landfill stability or improvements in leachate quality show that the landfill can be used to store and treat leachate to environmentally acceptable levels. The studies also showed that by increasing gas production while operating, the amount of landfill gas remaining after closure will rapidly decline. These conditions were anticipated to shorten the likely post-closure care time frames for bioreactor landfills from 30 to 50 years to 5 to 10 years and thereby shorten the future potential liability to human health and the environment.(
Modern landfills are well-engineered facilities that are located, designed, operated, and monitored to ensure compliance with federal regulations. Solid waste landfills must be designed to protect the environment from contaminants which may be present in the solid waste stream. The landfill siting plan—which prevents the siting of landfills in environmentally-sensitive areas—as well as on-site environmental monitoring systems—which monitor for any sign of groundwater contamination and for landfill gas—provide additional safeguards. In addition, many new landfills collect potentially harmful landfill gas emissions and convert the gas into energy.(
Puente Hills, California Landfill is the largest landfill in the US. Its covers over 2.8km square area. This Landfill has innovated creating a funnel which converts the gas emitted into energy and generates over 50 megawatts of electricity. It also provides tours which provide information for outdoor education and low-impact recreation( One of the good things of Puente Hills station that it has what is known as (MRF) Material Recovery Facility that separates and re-routes recyclable materials to the different handlers around the world and sending residual trash to landfills. The new facilities are also advancing the art of transfer station design with carefully planned traffic patterns, automated scale houses, multiple transfer pits, sophisticated scale systems in the pits, overnight storage capabilities, and elaborate odor and dust control.(waste360). The technology is making transfer facilities more productive than ever.

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