Solid and Hazardous Waste Treatment and Recycling
April 21, 2014
Solid and Hazardous Waste Treatment and Recycling
When it comes to sewage and solid waste in the community; I will use an operation called integrated waste management. This is a system that has several processes in its operation. “Source reduction, waste to energy combustion, recycling, materials recovery facilities, landfills, and composting all have roles to play in waste management (Wright, 2011,ch.21). Source reduction or waste prevention, is designing products to reduce the amount of waste that will later need to be thrown away and also to make the resulting waste less toxic. Recycling is the recovery of useful materials, such as paper, glass, plastic, and metals, from the trash to use to make new products, reducing the amount of virgin raw materials needed. Composting involves collecting organic waste, such as food scraps and yard trimmings, and storing it under conditions designed to help it break down naturally. This resulting compost can then be used as a natural fertilizer (Municipal, 2014). I would also use transfer stations in the community. "Transfer stations are facilities where municipal solid waste is unloaded from collection vehicles and briefly held while it is reloaded onto larger, long-distance transport vehicles for shipment to landfills or other treatment or disposal facilities" (Municipal, 2014). These methods of waste management are environmentally friendly. Also it will help the community to live sustainable and have respect for our ecosystem by not polluting it. The community can learn from the bad example set in Athens, Maine. “Rules allow the facility to burn up to 150 tons each day of plastics and up to 45,000 pounds a day of arsenic treated wood” (McConnell, 2008, issue 15). This kind of pollution has a devastating effect on the health of the ecosystem. This is a total disrespect for the environment and human health. It has been noted by local activists that Maine has the highest asthma rate in the United States. Maine has also issued warnings on the dangers of eating fish due to dioxin contamination (McConnell, 2008).
Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into a natural environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem, physical systems or living organisms. The technology that enabled our species to control and eliminate other species is only obtained at a price. The price is in the form of pollution. This can be avoided by practicing stewardship and teaching it to future generations. “Modern-day environmental stewardship, therefore, incorporates an ethic that guides actions taken to benefit the natural world and other people; it recognizes that even our ownership of land is temporary; the land will be there after we die, and others will own it in turn” (Wright, 2011). When building the community, I would use recycled materials. By reusing materials that would have been thrown away, I will be saving trees that would have been cut down to build. Another way we can contribute to a green community is by buying products deemed environmentally friendly. If we look for products which are friendlier to our environment through the production of the product and the use of the product, it will help us live in a green community. In this community we would recycle what we can and reuse what we are able to. This would not take any extra money. In most cases it will save us money, or we will earn money, I would tell people, if you don’t need your cell phone, electronic devices, etc., anymore, don’t throw them away. They can be recycled and reused. This will be an important theme in the community, reduction, reuse, and recycle.
I would use strategies that have been used successfully around the country to reduce Construction and Demolition Debris (C & D) waste during the design, construction, and demolition phases of municipal building projects. Reusing existing buildings; extending building lifetime through effective maintenance; designing buildings to accommodate new functions and technologies; incorporating durable, reusable materials into design plans; and deconstructing buildings rather than tearing them down so materials can be reused-all are strategies that bring down disposal costs, save on landfill space, and reduce the amount of raw materials needed for new projects (Building, 2014).
Hazardous waste treatment would be a high priority in the community. In the past, there were not many regulations in effect to control this very harmful pollution. Management of hazardous waste in the United States began in 1976 with the passage of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) (Botkin, 2011). This was put in place to identify hazardous waste and their life cycles. In 1980, Congress passed the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) (Botkin, 2011). This act defined the policies for release of hazardous substances. CERCLA also tightened up the standards for disposal and banned land disposal of certain hazardous chemicals. In the community, I would have options to manage hazardous waste. This would include recycling, microbial breakdown, chemical stabilization, high temperature decomposition, incineration, secure landfill, or deep well injection (Botkin, 2011). Even though these options will still cause some damage to the earth, it is the best way to treat the hazardous waste at this time until future technological advances are made. I would say the best solution for hazardous waste is to try to not make it to begin with.
Botkin, D. B., & Keller, E. A. (2011). Environmental science: Earth as a living planet (8th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Building for the future. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.informinc.org/buildforfuture.php McConnell, R. L., & Abel, D. C., (2008). Environmental issues: An introduction to sustainability (3rd ed.). New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall. ISBN: 9780131566507 Municipal Solid Waste. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/municipal/index.htm Wright, R.T. (2011). Environmental science toward a sustainable future (11th ed.). Pearson Prentice Hall. ISBN: 9780321598707