Solid Waste Disposal Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is Solid Waste Disposal?
Solid waste disposal is the collection, transportation, and disposal of waste materials generated from human activities. These activities can include construction and demolition, manufacturing, agriculture and mining. Solid waste is a growing environmental problem in many parts of the world. As populations grow and consumption increases so does the amount of solid waste that needs to be managed.The most common method for solid waste disposal is landfilling. This involves burying trash in large pits or trenches on land owned by a municipality or private company. Landfill sites must be carefully designed to prevent contamination of nearby soil and water resources as well as reducing odor problems due to decomposing material in the landfill.An alternative to traditional landfills is incineration which involves burning solid wastes at high temperatures to reduce their volume by up to 90%. Incinerators require specialized air pollution control devices to ensure that particulate matter and gases such as carbon monoxide are not released into the atmosphere. In addition, recycling reduces the amount of solid waste that needs to be disposed while recovering valuable resources from it (e.g., metals, paper). Recycling also reduces energy consumption compared with producing new products from raw materials. Composting organic materials such as food scraps can also help reduce solid waste disposal costs by converting these materials into useful soil amendments for gardening or landscaping purposes. Finally, there are a number of technologies available for treating hazardous wastes prior to disposing them safely in landfills or other locations where they will not pose an environmental risk (e.g., burning hazardous substances at high temperatures). In some cases these technologies may even allow some hazardous substances such as oils or solvents to be recycled rather than disposed off entirely which would further reduce the amount of solid waste needing treatment before being put into landfill sites or other disposal methods approved by local regulatory authorities.