Solid Waste Management – India’s Burning Issue

For the first time in the history of India, the year 2012 saw several public protests against improper solid waste management all across India – from the northernmost state Jammu and Kashmir to the southernmost Tamil Nadu. A fight for the right to clean environment and environmental justice led the people to large scale demonstrations, including an indefinite hunger strike and blocking roads leading to local waste handling facilities. Improper waste management has also caused a Dengue Fever outbreak and threatens other epidemics.

In recent years, solid waste management has been the only other unifying factor leading to public demonstrations all across India, after corruption and fuel prices. Public agitation resulted in some judicial action and the government’s remedial response, but the waste management problems are still unsolved and might lead to a crisis if this continues for too long without any long term planning and policy reforms.

Solid-Wastes-India

Hunger Strike in Kerala

The President of Vilappilsala Village Panchayat went on a hunger strike recently, against her counterpart, the Mayor of Thiruvananthapuram. Thiruvananthapuram is the state capital of Kerala, and Vilappilsala is a village 22 km away.

Since July 2000, about 80% of the waste generated in Thiruvananthapuram is being transported to a waste composting plant and a dumpsite in Vilappilsala village. Since the same month, respiratory illnesses reported in Vilappil Primary Health Center increased by 10 times from an average of 450 to 5,000 cases per month. People who used to regularly swim in the village’s aquifer started contracting infections; swarms of flies have ever since been pervasive; and a stigma of filth affected households throughout the community. This was a source of frustration as locals who, as Indians, prize the opportunity to feed and host guests, found them unwilling to even drink a glass of water in their homes. Currently, there is not a single household which has not experienced respiratory illnesses due to the waste processing plant and the adjoining dumpsite.

On the other hand, Thiruvananthapuram’s residents had to sneak out at night with plastic bags full of trash to dispose them behind bushes, on streets or in water bodies, and had to openly burn heaps of trash every morning for months. This was because the waste generated was not being collected by the City as it could not force open the composting plant and dumpsite against large scale protests by Vilappilsala’s residents. This is why in August – 2012, about 2,500 police personnel had to accompany trucks to the waste treatment plant as they were being blocked by local residents lying down on the road, and by some, including the village’s President, by going on an indefinite hunger strike.

Municipal Commissioner Replaced in Karnataka

In response to a similar situation in Bengaluru, the state capital of Karnataka, where the streets were rotting with piles of garbage for months, the municipal commissioner of the city was replaced to specifically address the waste management situation. Against the will of local residents, a landfill which was closed following the orders issued by the state’s pollution control board in response to public agitation had to be reopened soon after its closure as the city could not find a new landfill site.

Mavallipura landfill in Bangalore

Population density and the scale of increasing urban sprawl in India make finding new landfill sites around cities nearly impossible due to the sheer lack of space for Locally Unwanted Land Uses (LULUs) like waste management.

Dengue Outbreak in West Bengal

Even if partially because of improper waste management, Kolkata, state capital of West Bengal and the third biggest city in India experienced a Dengue Fever outbreak with 550 confirmed cases and 60 deaths. This outbreak coincides with a 600% increase in dengue cases in India and 71% increase in malarial cases in Mumbai in the last five years.

Accumulation of rain water in non biodegradable waste littered around a city act as a major breeding environment for mosquitoes, thus increasing the density of mosquito population and making the transmission of mosquito related diseases like dengue, yellow fever and malaria easier.

Rabies in Srinagar

Rabies due to stray dog bites already kills more than 20,000 people in India every year. Improper waste management has caused a 1:13 stray dog to human ratio in Srinagar (compared to 1 per 31 people in Mumbai and 1 per 100 in Chennai), where 54,000 people were bitten by stray dogs in a span of 3.5 years. Municipal waste on streets and at the dumpsite is an important source of food for stray dogs.

The ultimate solution to controlling stray dogs is effective waste management. The public has been protesting about this stray dog menace for months now with no waste management solutions in sight, but only partial short term measures like dog sterilization.

Waste-to-Energy Sector in China: Perspectives

China is the world’s largest waste generator, producing as much as 175 million tons of waste every year. With a current population surpassing 1.37 billion and exponential trends in waste output expected to continue, it is estimated that China’s cities will need to develop an additional hundreds of landfills and waste-to-energy plants to tackle the growing waste management crisis.

garbage-china

China’s three primary methods for municipal waste management are landfills, incineration, and composting. Nevertheless, the poor standards and conditions they operate in have made waste management facilities generally inefficient and unsustainable. For example, discharge of leachate into the soil and water bodies is a common feature of landfills in China. Although incineration is considered to be better than landfills and have grown in popularity over the years, high levels of toxic emissions have made MSW incineration plants a cause of concern for public health and environment protection.

Prevalent Issues

Salman Zafar, a renowned waste management, waste-to-energy and bioenergy expert was interviewed to discuss waste opportunities in China. As Mr. Zafar commented on the current problems with these three primary methods of waste management used by most developing countries, he said, “Landfills in developing countries, like China and India, are synonymous with huge waste dumps which are characterized by rotting waste, spontaneous fires, toxic emissions and presence of rag-pickers, birds, animals and insects etc.” Similarly, he commented that as cities are expanding rapidly worldwide, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find land for siting new landfills.

On incineration, Zafar asserted that this type of waste management method has also become a controversial issue due to emission concerns and high technology costs, especially in developing countries. Many developers try to cut down costs by going for less efficient air pollution control systems”. Mr. Zafar’s words are evident in the concerns reflected in much of the data ­that waste management practices in China are often poorly monitored and fraudulent, for which data on emission controls and environmental protection is often elusive.

Similarly, given that management of MSW involves the collection, transportation, treatment and disposal of waste, Zafar explains why composting has also such a small number relative to landfills for countries like China. He says, “Composting is a difficult proposition for developing countries due to absence of source-segregation. Organic fraction of MSW is usually mixed with all sorts of waste including plastics, metals, healthcare wastes and industrial waste which results in poor quality of compost and a real risk of introduction of heavy metals into agricultural soils.”

Given that China’s recycling sector has not yet developed to match market opportunities, even current treatment of MSW calls for the need of professionalization and institutionalization of the secondary materials industry.

While MSW availability is not an issue associated with the potential of the resource given its dispersion throughout the country and its exponential increase throughout, around 50 percent of the studies analyzed stated concerns for the high moisture content and low caloric value of waste in China, making it unattractive for WTE processes.

Talking about how this issue can be dealt with, Mr. Zafar commented that a plausible option to increase the calorific value of MSW is to mix it with agricultural residues or wood wastes. Thus, the biomass resources identified in most of the studies as having the greatest potential are not only valuable individually but can also be processed together for further benefits.

Top Challenges

Among the major challenges on the other hand, were insufficient or elusive data, poor infrastructure, informal waste collection systems and the lack of laws and regulations in China for the industry. Other challenges included market risk, the lack of economic incentives and the high costs associated with biomass technologies. Nevertheless, given that the most recurring challenges cited across the data were related to infrastructure and laws and regulations, it is evident that China’s biomass policy is in extreme need of reform.

China’s unsustainable management of waste and its underutilized potential of MSW feedstock for energy and fuel production need urgent policy reform for the industry to develop. Like Mr. Zafar says, “Sustainable waste management demands an integration of waste reduction, waste reuse, waste recycling, and energy recovery from waste and landfilling. It is essential that China implements an integrated solid waste management strategy to tackle the growing waste crisis”.

Future Perspectives

China’s government will play a key role in this integrated solid waste management strategy. Besides increased cooperation efforts between the national government and local governments to encourage investments in solid waste management from the private sector and foster domestic recycling practices, first, there is a clear need to establish specialized regulatory agencies (beyond the responsibilities of the State Environmental Protection Administration and the Ministry of Commerce) that can provide clearer operating standards for current WTE facilities (like sanitary landfills and incinerators) as well as improve the supervision of them.

It is essential that China implements an integrated solid waste management strategy to tackle the growing waste crisis

It is essential that China implements an integrated solid waste management strategy to tackle the growing waste crisis

Without clear legal responsibility assigned to specialized agencies, pollutant emissions and regulations related to waste volumes and operating conditions may continue to be disregarded. Similarly, better regulation in MSW management for efficient waste collection and separation is needed to incentivize recycling at the individual level by local residents in every city. Recycling after all is complementary to waste-to-energy, and like Salman Zafar explains, countries with the highest recycling rates also have the best MSW to energy systems (like Germany and Sweden).

Nevertheless, without a market for reused materials, recycling will take longer to become a common practice in China. As Chinese authorities will not be able to stop the waste stream from growing but can reduce the rate of growth, the government’s role in promoting waste management for energy production and recovery is of extreme importance.

How to Get Emergency Cash Loans and Make Money From Waste

Most of the time, if you want to make more money, you will have to put in more time and work. But what if I told you that you could turn things you normally throw away into money? You might think it’s impossible to do something like this, but you can! You can make money by recycling many things you throw away in the bins. When you recycle, you not only help the environment, but you also help your finances.

recycling-in-offices

Can I make money from waste?

Recycling materials and discovering new applications for waste can provide a source of income for anyone and even pave the way for the launch and operation of a thriving business. Trash needs to be disposed of appropriately at all times in today’s modern society. The process of recycling trash unlocks the value contained within the trash, which in turn helps the local economy and generates new job opportunities.

How can I get cash instantly or in an emergency?

When you suddenly need cash, some of the most common places to turn to are financial institutions like banks and credit unions. When compared to those offered by other types of bad credit direct lenders, the interest rates that traditional lending organizations offer are often lower.

Most people will turn to friends or family for a loan when they are bound and require money. But if none of your friends or relatives can assist you, or if you need more money than they can offer, it might be time to look into other options, like asking for quick cash at PaydayChampion.

How can I make money by recycling?

Now, recycling probably won’t be able to take the place of your regular job, but it can help you bring in some “fun” money on the side. For example, you might get about $5 per pound for your used cans if you sell them. This additional $5 per week could result in an additional $260 per year in earnings. The following is a list of items that can be recycled for monetary compensation:

  • Cans and Bottles
  • Old Books
  • Corks from wine bottles
  • Boxes of Cardboard
  • Ink Cartridges
  • Gift Cards Unused
  • Cooking Oil Vintage Electronics
  • Metal scrap
  • Batteries and Junk Cars
  • Clothing, Accessories, and Home Goods

What do you do when you have no money?

When you have no money, you should proceed as follows:

  • Make sure you have enough food for three to four weeks.
  • Try negotiating all payments you must make and request a “payment holiday.”
  • Apply for all urgent money schemes that you are eligible for.
  • Maintain a clean, tidy, and appropriately dressed appearance.
  • Begin earning money right away.
  • Don’t let your brain drown out all your other ideas by screaming, ‘I don’t have any money.’

How can you convert waste to wealth?

If these plastics can’t be recycled, they should be used to make concrete as an alternative fuel or filtered through waste-to-energy methods like pyrolysis if these aren’t possible. One way to solve this problem would be to give trash collection companies that pick up single-use and low-value plastics money to encourage them to do so. This would help solve the problem by adding to the stock and be a solution in and of itself.

How to Start a Career in Waste Recycling

What do you need to know about recycling companies?

Recycling trash is a fantastic opportunity for waste management companies. You must first understand how it all works to make money from this.

  • First, you must locate the ideal location for your company. If you want your business to last long, find it near a lot of trash.
  • Second, collaborating with the people who pick up trash in your neighborhood is always a good idea.
  • Third, learn about the licenses you need and the laws you must follow. These licenses are an operating license or permit, an inspection to ensure safety standards are met, and an environmental license.
  • Fourth, research the Solid Waste Management Plan for the town or region where you intend to open your business.

One of the topics that waste management companies frequently discuss is how to make money by recycling trash. It is a resource that has been around since the beginning of time. It can be reused or converted into energy. In either case, you can turn these tons of trash into treasure.

What are the advantages of converting my trash into cash?

To summarize, circular material trading is an excellent way to profit from your waste streams because:

  • You create a new source of income “from nothing” by selling items that most people do not believe are valuable.
  • You do not pay to have your trash picked up; you are compensated for it.
  • You can get a competitive price for your items, usually higher than what you can get from a recycling center.
  • Because waste materials are manufactured, as usual, you do not need to spend more money to achieve a high-profit margin.

How is circular material trading profitable?

Almost every business, regardless of industry, has an input of material resources and an output of material waste. Selling waste to be reused rather than sent to a waste facility generates a new revenue stream for the company.

This is known as circular material trading because it reroutes the linear resource-to-waste trajectory seen in typical business productions into a circular loop by converting waste back into resources.

What are the economic benefits of waste management?

Increasing the market value of waste while simultaneously reducing the amount of trash dumped in landfills can be accomplished by strategically managing waste at its sources. Recycling waste has the potential to generate financial advantages for the community. Nevertheless, the circumstances and situations of the global market significantly impact the cost of waste used or goods.

Solid Wastes in the Middle East

The high rate of population growth, urbanization and economic expansion in the Middle East is not only accelerating consumption rates but also increasing the generation rate of all  sorts of waste. The gross urban waste generation quantity from Middle East countries is estimated at more than 150 million tons annually. Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and Kuwait rank in the top-ten worldwide in terms of per capita solid waste generation. 

Saudi Arabia produces around 15 million tons of garbage each year. With an approximate population of about 28 million, the kingdom produces approximately 1.3 kilograms of waste per person every day.  According to a recent study conducted by Abu Dhabi Center for Waste Management, the amount of waste in UAE totaled 4.892 million tons, with a daily average of 6935 tons in the city of Abu Dhabi, 4118 tons in Al Ain and 2349 tons in the western region. Countries like Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar have astonishingly high per capita waste generation rate, primarily because of high standard of living and lack of awareness about sustainable waste management practices.

In Middle East countries, huge quantity of sewage sludge is produced on daily basis which presents a serious problem due to its high treatment costs and risk to environment and human health. On an average, the rate of wastewater generation is 80-200 litres per person each day and sewage output is rising by 25 percent every year. According to estimates from the Drainage and Irrigation Department of Dubai Municipality, sewage generation in the Dubai increased from 50,000 m3 per day in 1981 to 400,000 m3 per day in 2006.

Waste-to-Energy Prospects

Municipal solid waste in the Middle East is mainly comprised of organics, paper, glass, plastics, metals, wood etc. Municipal solid waste can be converted into energy by conventional technologies (such as incineration, mass-burn and landfill gas capture) or by modern conversion systems (such as anaerobic digestion, gasification and pyrolysis).

At the landfill sites, the gas produced by the natural decomposition of MSW is collected from the stored material and scrubbed and cleaned before feeding into internal combustion engines or gas turbines to generate heat and power. In addition, the organic fraction of MSW can be anaerobically stabilized in a high-rate digester to obtain biogas for electricity or steam generation.

Anaerobic digestion is the most preferred option to extract energy from sewage, which leads to production of biogas and organic fertilizer. The sewage sludge that remains can be incinerated or gasified/pyrolyzed to produce more energy. In addition, sewage-to-energy processes also facilitate water recycling.

Thus, municipal solid waste can also be efficiently converted into energy and fuels by advanced thermal technologies. Infact, energy recovery from MSW is rapidly gaining worldwide recognition as the 4th R in sustainable waste management system – Reuse, Reduce, Recycle and Recover.

Is Tire Recycling Dangerous?

Not too long ago, mountains of old tires were to be found in virtually every town and city’s landfill, and toxic tire fires that would sometimes take months to subside were a common occurrence. Today, these tire piles are a rarity, and thankfully, so are the fires that used to go with them.

scrap-tires-pyrolysis

We have largely to thank the combined initiatives of scientists, entrepreneurs, and legislators from banishing unsightly these unsightly tire piles from the landscape. Today you’re more likely to see old tires in your yoga mat or the asphalt you drive on than in ugly piles that you can see from the distance.

However, there have been questions about the widespread use of tire chips, especially in playgrounds, as mulch, and as repurposed water containers for agriculture and livestock.

These concerns are quite understandable, as we are in direct contact with tire chips when they are used in the first two applications. When used for agriculture and livestock, there seems to be a distinct and logical risk that any toxins that are released in those applications may eventually end up in our bodies.

Recycled tire products are safe for consumers

Provided that you are not the one processing the tires yourself (more on that later), there is an extremely low toxicity risk in tire chips. A typical tire chip is made from old tires, which means that they have already off-gassed much of their volatile organic compounds (VOC’s).  New tires emit a good amount of VOC’s, which you can readily detect because of the unique new tire smell.

Many of these compounds have been linked to cancer. However, decades of research and uncontrolled use of old tires in different applications through the 20th century seem to strongly indicate that unless you are actually involved in producing or processing tires, your risks are quite low due to the low dosage of chemicals a typical consumer can expect. It’s the doses that makes a chemical toxic, and in the case of old tires where most tire chips are derived, the risk is negligible.

However, working in an environment where you can actually smell the “new tire scent” constantly can be a significant risk. By analogy, a bartender will be fine if they have a drink with one customer. But if they drink with every single customer that comes by every night, they’re in serious trouble.

Recycling large volumes of tires can be problematic

Unless you constantly work with tires, the risk is quite minimal. You can and should feel free to recycle or repurpose any tires you have around your house or yard into furniture, tire swings, planters, or pet beds. However, if you’re thinking of recycling dozens of tires a week, you should reconsider, as the particulate dust from carving up or shredding old tires can also be a risk over time if you don’t have the right equipment or safety gear.

Improper tire recycling can also heighten your exposure to dangerous chemicals in the tires, especially when they are subjected to the heat of a grinder or shredder that is not specifically meant for tire recycling. This can expose you to high levels of carcinogenic VOCs without you realizing it.

If you need to safely dispose of a high volume of tires, or tires that are difficult to recycle, such as those on tractors and OTR vehicles, be sure to contact a professional recycler like Western Tire Recyclers.

How IoT, APIs and AI Can Make Waste Management Smarter?

Cities have been growing around the globe in the past few years. A United Nations report has estimated that about 68% of the world’s total population will be living in urban centers by the year 2050. This will see an increase of about 70% in solid waste, according to the World Bank.

This might be difficult to handle considering that the world is already facing challenges handling waste management. An increase in solid waste might see increased illegal dumping which might lead to other challenges, especially in public health.

Fortunately, advancements in technology have seen some parts of the world adopting IoT (Internet of Things), AI (Artificial Intelligence), and APIs (Applications Programming Interfaces) in a bid to make waste management smarter.

how can IoT and AI make waste management better

How can IoT, APIs, and AI make waste management better?

1. e-Waste Kiosks

Among the different types of waste that you can find in a waste bin, you will also find electronic gadgets. This kind of waste is known as e-waste. The toxicological implications of e-waste, things such as laptops. MP3 players, tablets, and phones can hurt both human beings and the environment.

They, therefore, have to be recycled well to avoid these effects. Fortunately, technology can be used to build e-waste kiosks that use smart applications to evaluate and determine the condition of electronic devices.

Those that are in bad condition and already hurting their owners or the environment can then be disposed of correctly.

2. Sensors for Waste Levels

Sensors powered by APIs, IoT, and AI can be used to implement a smart waste management system that works well for cities. These sensors can be used to track how much waste a bin has accumulated and then share that information with collection service providers.

The collection service providers will not only use this information for collection when the bins are full but also for planning and prediction. For instance, they can time routes and predict when to collect a bin based on the time that a bin takes before getting full.

Research has indicated that these sensors can help reduce the cost of waste management by about 50%. This is because waste bins can be collected on time, eliminating other maintenance requirements that arise from overfilling of the bins.

3. Waste Receptacles

Using Artificial Intelligence, waste collection service providers can build waste bins that come with waste receptacles to sort through waste, recognize different types of waste, and separate them depending on the requirements of the waste collectors.

For instance, if you were to manually sort through a waste bin in a city, you will find different types of waste. Things such as plastics, glasses, nylon papers, or even food waste will be mixed in the bin.

If you were to separate them manually, this would take you a lot of time. Technology has changed this. Using AI receptacles, waste can be sorted into different categories. This plays a crucial role in the transition to smart waste management.

4. AI-Powered Recycling Robots

Looking at a waste bin, you are likely going to find a lot of waste that can be recycled. However, how long can it take a person to manually separate the waste that can be recycled from the one that cannot?

Through AI and APIs, companies can build robots that do this for them. For this to work, understanding what an API is very important. This is because the APIs communicate and share data in a bid to help the robots differentiate different types of waste.

With such robots, waste such as plastic can be reused. Different types of waste that can be reused can be sent to companies for recycling instead of landfills. Using these robots, human error can be eliminated and operational costs reduced.

Benefits of Digital Technologies in Waste Management

5. Load Monitoring of Garbage Tracks

We have talked about sensors for waste levels in waste bins above. These bins are emptied into garbage tracks. So, it also makes sense for waste collection service providers to also put sensors into their garbage tracks.

By doing this, the waste collection service providers will be able to monitor the levels of waste on their garbage tracks. This way, they can collect data that can be used to predict when their tracks are likely going to fill up.

With such information, they can find ways to minimize or reduce the number of trips they have to make when collecting garbage. Over some time, they will be able to analyze the collected data to help in future planning and minimizing operational costs.

As technology advances, we are going to see more technologies making waste management better and smarter.

Waste Management in the Food Processing Industry

Food processing industry around the world is making serious efforts to minimize by-products, compost organic waste, recycle processing and packaging materials, and save energy and water. The three R’s of waste management – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – can help food manufacturers in reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill and reusing waste.

EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy

EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy is an excellent resource to follow for food processors and beverage producers as it provides the guidance to start a program that will provide the most benefits for the environment, society and the food manufacturer.

Notably, landfill is the least favored disposal option for waste generated in food and beverage producers worldwide. There are sustainable, effective and profitable waste management options including:

  • making animal feed,
  • composting to create nutrient-rich fertilizer,
  • anaerobic digestion to produce energy-rich biogas,
  • recycling/reusing waste for utilization by other industries,
  • feeding surplus food to needy people

Waste Management Options

Food manufacturers has a unique problem – excess product usually has a relatively short shelf life while most of the waste is organic in nature. Food waste created during the production process can be turned into animal feed and sold to goat farms, chicken farms etc. As far as WWTP sludge is concerned, top food manufacturers are recycling/reusing it through land application, anaerobic digestion and composting alternatives.

Organic waste at any food processing plant can be composted in a modern in-vessel composting and the resultant fertilizer can be used for in-house landscaping or sold as organic fertilizer as attractive prices.

Another plausible way of managing organic waste at the food manufacturing plant is to biologically degrade it in an anaerobic digester leading to the formation of energy-rich biogas and digestate. Biogas can be used as a heating fuel in the plant itself or converted into electricity by using a CHP unit while digestate can be used as a soil conditioner. Biogas can also be converted into biomethane or bio-CNG for its use as vehicle fuel.

Items such as cardboard, clean plastic, metal and paper are all commodities that can be sold to recyclers Lots of cardboard boxes are used by food manufacturers for supplies which can be broken down into flat pieces and sold to recyclers.

Cardboard boxes can also be reused to temporarily store chip packages before putting them into retail distribution boxes. Packaging can be separated in-house and recovered using “jet shredder” waste technologies which separate film, carton and foodstuffs, all of which can then be recycled separately.

Organizing a Zero Landfill Program

How do you develop a plan to create a zero landfill program or zero waste program in food and beverage producing company? The best way to begin is to start at a small-level and doing what you can. Perfect those programs and set goals each year to improve. Creation of a core team is an essential step in order to explore different ways to reduce waste, energy and utilities.

Measuring different waste streams and setting a benchmark is the initial step in the zero landfill program. Once the data has been collected, we should break these numbers down into categories, according to the EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge and identify the potential opportunities.

For example, inorganic materials can be categorized based on their end lives (reuse, recycle or landfill).  The food and beverage industry should perform a waste sort exercise (or dumpster dive) to identify its key streams.

Nestlé USA – A Case Study

In April 2015, Nestlé USA announced all 23 of its facilities were landfill free. As part of its sustainability effort, Nestlé USA is continually looking for new ways to reuse, recycle and recover energy, such as composting, recycling, energy production and the provision of safe products for animal feed, when disposing of manufacturing by-products.

Employees also work to minimize by-products and engage in recycling programs and partnerships with credible waste vendors that dispose of manufacturing by-products in line with Nestlé’s environmental sustainability guidelines and standards. All Nestlé facilities employ ISO 14001-certified environmental management systems to minimize their environmental impact.

Renewable Energy from Food Residuals

Food residuals are an untapped renewable energy source that mostly ends up rotting in landfills, thereby releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Food residuals are difficult to treat or recycle since it contains high levels of sodium salt and moisture, and is mixed with other waste during collection. Major generators of food wastes include hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, residential blocks, cafeterias, airline caterers, food processing industries, etc.

food-waste

According to EPA, about 63.1 million tons of food waste was thrown away into landfills or incinerators the United States in 2018. As far as United Kingdom is concerned, households threw away 6.6 million tons of food each year. These statistics are an indication of tremendous amount of food waste generated all over the world.

The proportion of food residuals in municipal waste stream is gradually increasing and hence a proper food waste management strategy needs to be devised to ensure its eco-friendly and sustainable disposal. Currently, only about 3 percent of food waste is recycled throughout U.S., mainly through composting. Composting provides an alternative to landfill disposal of food waste, however it requires large areas of land, produces volatile organic compounds and consumes energy. Consequently, there is an urgent need to explore better recycling alternatives.

Anaerobic digestion has been successfully used in several European and Asian countries to stabilize food wastes, and to provide beneficial end-products. Sweden, Austria, Denmark, Germany and England have led the way in developing new advanced biogas technologies and setting up new projects for conversion of food waste into energy.

Anaerobic Digestion of Food Waste

Anaerobic digestion is the most important method for the treatment of organic waste, such as food residuals, because of its techno-economic viability and environmental sustainability. Anaerobic digestion generates renewable energy from food waste  in the form of biogas and preserves the nutrients which are recycled back to the agricultural land in the form of slurry or solid fertilizer.

The relevance of biogas technology lies in the fact that it makes the best possible use of various organic wastes as a renewable source of clean energy. A biogas plant is a decentralized energy system, which can lead to self-sufficiency in heat and power needs, and at the same time reduces environmental pollution. Thus, anaerobic digestion of food waste can lead to climate change mitigation, economic benefits and landfill diversion opportunities.

Of the different types of organic wastes available, food waste holds the highest potential in terms of economic exploitation as it contains high amount of carbon and can be efficiently converted into biogas and organic fertilizer. Food waste can either be used as a single substrate in a biogas plant, or can be co-digested with organic wastes like cow manure, poultry litter, sewage, crop residues, slaughterhouse wastes, etc.

Renewable Energy from Food Residuals

The feedstock for the food waste-to-energy plant includes leftover food, vegetable refuse, stale cooked and uncooked food, meat, teabags, napkins, extracted tea powder, milk products, etc. Raw waste is shredded to reduce to its particle size to less than 12 mm. The primary aim of shredding is to produce a uniform feed and reduce plant “down-time” due to pipe blockages by large food particles. It also improves mechanical action and digestibility and enables easy removal of any plastic bags or cling-film from waste.

Fresh waste and re-circulated digestate (or digested food waste) are mixed in a mixing tank. The digestate is added to adjust the solids content of the incoming waste stream from 20 to 25 percent (in the incoming waste) to the desired solids content of the waste stream entering the digestion system (10 to 12 percent total solids). The homogenized waste stream is pumped into the feeding tank, from which the anaerobic digestion system is continuously fed. Feeding tank also acts as a pre-digester and subjected to heat at 55º to 60º C to eliminate pathogens and to facilitate the growth of thermophilic microbes for faster degradation of waste.

From the predigestor tank, the slurry enters the main digester where it undergoes anaerobic degradation by a consortium of Archaebacteria belonging to Methanococcus group. The anaerobic digester is a CSTR reactor having average retention time of 15 to 20 days. The digester is operated in the mesophilic temperature range (33º to 38°C), with heating carried out within the digester. Food waste is highly biodegradable and has much higher volatile solids destruction rate (86 to 90 percent) than biosolids or livestock manure. As per conservative estimates, each ton of food waste produces 150 to 200 m3 of biogas, depending on reactor design, process conditions, waste composition, etc.

Biogas contains significant amount of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas that needs to be stripped off due to its corrosive nature. The removal of H2S takes place in a biological desulphurization unit in which a limited quantity of air is added to biogas in the presence of specialized aerobic bacteria that oxidizes H2S into elemental sulfur. The biogas produced as a result of anaerobic digestion of waste is sent to a gas holder for temporary storage. Biogas is eventually used in a combined heat and power (CHP) unit for its conversion into thermal and electrical energy in a co­generation power station of suitable capacity. The exhaust gases from the CHP unit are used for meeting process heat requirements.

The digested substrate leaving the reactor is rich in nutrients like nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus which are beneficial for plants as well as soil. The digested slurry is dewatered in a series of screw presses to remove the moisture from slurry. Solar drying and additives are used to enhance the market value and handling characteristics of the fertilizer.

Diverting Food from Landfills

Food residuals are one of the single largest constituents of municipal solid waste stream. Diversion of food waste from landfills can provide significant contribution towards climate change mitigation, apart from generating revenues and creating employment opportunities. Rising energy prices and increasing environmental pollution makes it more important to harness renewable energy from food scraps and create a sustainable food supply chain.

Anaerobic digestion technology is widely available worldwide and successful projects are already in place in several European as well as Asian countries that makes it imperative on waste generators and environmental agencies to root for a sustainable food waste management system.

Incineration of Medical Waste: An Introduction

Incineration is a thermal process that transforms medical wastes into inorganic, incombustible matter thus leading to significant reduction in waste volume and weight. The main purpose of any medical waste incinerator is to eliminate pathogens from waste and reduce the waste to ashes. However, certain types of medical wastes, such as pharmaceutical or chemical wastes, require higher temperatures for complete destruction.

Medical waste incinerators typically operate at high temperatures between 900 and 1200°C. Developing countries of Asia and Africa usually use low-cost, high-temperature incinerators of simple design for stabilization of healthcare wastes.

The most reliable and predominant medical waste incineration technology is pyrolytic incineration, also known as controlled air incineration or double-chamber incineration. The pyrolytic incinerator comprises a pyrolytic chamber and a post-combustion chamber.

Medical waste is thermally decomposed in the pyrolytic chamber through an oxygen-deficient, medium-temperature combustion process (800– 900°C), producing solid ashes and gases. The gases produced in the pyrolytic chamber are burned at high temperature (900– 1200°C) by a fuel burner in the post-combustion chamber, using an excess of air to minimize smoke and odours.

Small-scale decentralized incinerators used in hospitals, of capacity 200–1000kg/day, are operated on demand in developing countries, such as India. On the other hand, off-site regional facilities have large-scale incinerators of capacity 1–8 tonnes/day, operating continuously and equipped with automatic loading and de-ashing devices.

In recent years, mobile incinerators are getting attraction in the developing world as such units permit on-site waste treatment in hospitals and clinics, thus avoiding the need to transport infectious waste across the city.

However, the WHO policy paper of 2004 and the Stockholm Convention, has stressed the need to consider the risks associated with the incineration of healthcare waste in the form of particulate matter, heavy metals, acid gases, carbon monoxide, organic compounds, pathogens etc.

In addition, leachable organic compounds, like dioxins and heavy metals, are usually present in bottom ash residues. Due to these factors, many industrialized countries are phasing out healthcare waste incinerators and exploring technologies that do not produce any dioxins. Countries like United States, Ireland, Portugal, Canada and Germany have completely shut down or put a moratorium on medical waste incinerators.

How To Get Rid Of A Non-Running Junk Car?

Cars, all of us know their importance and how they make our lives easier. However, you may have a car that you hate because it’s not running, and you want to get rid of it. Haste makes waste, and the same is right in the case of a beaten-up, out-of-order car. It might cost you money to get rid of it, or you may earn money from the junk car with car recycling. Are you ready to learn your options as the owner of a junk car? Keep reading if your answer is “yes.”

1. Spend Money And Get Rid

Well, if you are a lazy person, your only choice is to contact junk removal guys and asking them to take your car away. However, don’t forget that you will have to pay for this service. Junk removal services come at your doorstep to take your car out, and then they put it in a crusher to put it in a junkyard later where it harms the environment.

But spending your money to get your junk car is not the only option. Other ways might help you make some money or help the community.

old-car

2. Renovate And Resell

Well, think about all the people who love to drive old cars. For some people, driving older cars connects them with the days of their youth. At the same time, younger guys love to drive old cars to show their taste and connection with the previous generation. Whatever the reason be for people driving old cars, you can make money with the one you have by renovating it. So what do you do? You sell it for the value of your junk car.

If you are wondering where can I sell my car that doesn’t run, gear up and find a car repair shop near you to get your vehicle up and running once again. And then, after making it look like a new car, seek the services of a junk car buyer and sell it off to the people who are interested in the aesthetics of driving old cars. It’s a win-win for you and the old car lovers.

3. The Auto Parts

A junk car is not all junk if you take a closer look at it. In your old and junky vehicle, you may still find some components that are running well and can endure years to come. Therefore, throwing off your car in a junkyard or a landfill is not the best thing for your pocket.

Find out the parts in your junk automobile that can still work for some time and try selling it to the local buyers or look for online prospects. There’s a massive demand for the parts of old cars, so don’t miss out on your opportunity to make some money.

4. Scrap Your Car

Well, if you don’t have time to renovate your car or find the working parts in it, giving your car to auto recycling services is the best thing to do. The guys over car recycling companies are pros when removing metal from your car and sending it to the recycling plants.

old-cars

Good recycling service providers will come to your home, take your junk car away and give you some cash as well. So don’t forget about car recycling services to get rid of your old car.

5. Donating Your Car

If you think that your car still has some value left in it, then the best thing is to give it to a charity. Charities are always on the lookout to make gather donations and empower poor people.

A charity can take your car and make it running for some underprivileged people. They might even renovate your car and sell it for a higher price. So, if you are willing to help your community, go with the option of giving your car to a charity.

6. Its Auction Time

Auction houses make it fun for people to buy and sell their stuff. The junk car that you see as an utter disturbance for you might be the best thing in the world for a car enthusiast. Don’t overlook the opportunity of taking your car to the auction house and try your luck. You can make even more money with auctioning if you renovate it first.

Conclusion

Your junk car might still give you some money or help a needy person if you think about making use of it. Give it to a charity or consider the ways mentioned above to make money out of your old car. I hope you find the best thing to do with your junk car!