Ch. 21 municipal solid waste: disposal and recovery

municipal solid waste (MSW)
the entirety of trash generated by a community. distinct form agricultural and industrial wastes, msw is the refuse that a municipality (a city or town that has corporate status and local government) is responsible for collecting and disposing of. different from hazardous and non hazardous waste
avg disposal in 2007 was 4.6 lbs/person/day. tipping fees avg $42/ton
a site where municipal, industrial, or chemical wastes are disposed of by burning them in the ground or placing them on the ground and covering them with the earth.

problems of landfills: methane – buried wastes undergo anaerobic decomposition, bio gas or methane is highly flammable and could explode

biochemical oxygen demand
wastewater process
45 million gallons/day at henrico wastewater plant
75% of our waste can be recycled
35-40% actually recycled
New Orleans dump “Midnight Dumping”
as stacks of drums filled with hazardous wastes mysteriously appeared in abandoned warehouses, vacant lots, or landfills, it became clear that some operators were pocketing the disposal fee and then unloading the wastes in any available location, frequently at night.
– the water with various pollutants in it
– as water percolates through any material, various chemicals in the material may dissolve in the water and get carried along
westminster landfill
measuring and capturing gas
advantages of combustion
-89 US facilities burn 32 million tons/yr of MSW
-reduces weight of trash by 70% and volume by 90%
-fly ash- captured from the combustion gases by air pollution control equipment contains most of the toxic substances and can be safely put into a landfill
-bottom ash- from the bottom of the boiler can be used as fill in some construction sites and roadbeds
2/3 of combustion facilities are waste-to-energy (WTE)
-co generation –
drawbacks of combustion
1. air pollution
2. odor pollution
3. facilities are expensive to build
4. toxic ash must be disposed of in secure landfills
resource conservation and recovery act of 1976 (RCRA)
the cornerstone legislation to control indiscriminate land disposal of hazardous wastes
out sourcing
NY is the #1 exporter of solid waste, PA #1 importer, VA #2 importer with local tipping fees, in PA state tipping fee goes towards land conservation funds. big issue with importing/exporting, interstate commerce. better solutions are source reduction, reduce reuse recycle.
primary recycling
secondary recycling
– a form of recycling where the original waste material is made back into the same material
– recycling processes wherein waste materials are made into different products than the starting materials, for example, wastepaper to cardboard
municipal reycling
the most successful programs have the following characteristics
1. strong incentive to recycle where there are PAYT charges for general trash and no charge for recyclable goods
2. recyling not optional; mandatory regulations are in place
3. residential reycling is curbside
4. single stream recycling wehre all recyclable goods are mixed in a collection truck, allowing residents to put all materials in a single container, separation of materials occurs at MRF
paper recycling
78% of newspaper is recycled
recycled paper –
the market is a critical factor in recycling (demand)
Bottle laws
adopted in 11 states, only 2 states with these laws include bottled water.

a law that provides for the recycling or reuse of beverage containers, usually by requiring a returnable deposit upon purchase of the item

numbers on bottom of plastic bottles tell the type of plastic polymer in the bottle. tells you if it can be recycled or not.

-PETE = polyethylene terephthalate
-HDPE = high density polyethylene

central VA waste management authority (CVWMA)
encourages recycling
materials recovery facilities (MRF)
makes it easier to recycle, a processing plant in which regionalized recycling is carried out. recyclable municipal solid waste, usually presorted, is prepared in bulk for the recycling market
solid waste disposal act (1965)
gave bureau of solid waste management jurisdiction over MSW
resource and recovery act (1970)
gave EPA jurisdiction over waste management
the superfund act (1980)
Superfund is the federal program with the responsibility of or cleaning up sites that are in imminent danger of jeopardizing human health through groundwater contamination
hazardous and solid waste ammendent (1984)
gave the EPA greater responsibility for setting solid waste criteria for all hazardous waste facilities. this meant that the EPA had to determine ad monitor all landfill and combustion criteria more closely
integrated waste management system
a comprehensive waste prevention, recycling, composting, and disposal program.
-an EPA sponsored program that targets the reduction of municipal solid waste by a number of partnerships
-capitalizes on the common sentiment that people should pay their share of disposal costs based on the amount of waste they discard. instead of using local taxes to pay for trash collection and disposal, communities levy curbside charges for all unsorted MSW. pay as you throw.
-extended producer responsibility, another means of bringing about waste reduction. product stewardship – implies shared responsibility by producers, consumers, and municipalities. example: HP and Xerox making it easy for you to recycle ink cartridges by bringing it to them and they do the recycling.
the solid waste interstate transportation act (2009)
legislation would have given local and state governments the authority to limit or prohibit the transportation of out of state wastes to landfills. is a demand for fairness to states that are working hard to deal responsibly with their own wastes, only to see the unrestricted transport of wastes from other states.
source reduction
the practice of designing, manufacturing, purchasing, or using materials in ways that reduce the amount or toxicity of trash created
why recycle
saves energy and resources, it decreases pollution
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