Plastic Wastes and its Management

Plastic seems all pervasive and unavoidable. Since the 1960s our use of plastic has increased dramatically, and subsequently, the portion of our garbage that is made up of plastic has also increased from 1% of the total municipal solid waste stream (household garbage) to approximately 13% (US Environmental Protection Agency).

Plastic products range from things like containers and packaging (soft drink bottles, lids, shampoo bottles) to durable goods (think appliances, furniture and cars) and non-durable goods including things from a plastic party tray to medical devices. Sometimes marked with a number and a chasing arrow, there is an illusion that all plastics are recyclable, and therefore recycled. But there are a number of problems with this assumption.

plastic-wastes

While use and consumption of plastic is increasingly high, doubts about viable options for reuse, recycling and disposal are also on the rise. Complications such as the increasing number of additives used alter the strength, texture, flexibility, colour, resistance to microbes, and other characteristics of plastics, make plastics less recyclable. Additionally, there is very little market value in some plastics, leading municipalities to landfill or incinerate plastics as waste. Based on figures from the EPA (2011 data) only 8% of plastic materials are recovered through recycling.

Another major concern about plastics in the waste stream is their longevity and whether or not they are truly biodegrade. It is estimated that most plastics would take 500-1000 years to break down into organic components. Because of this longevity and the low rate of recycling, much of our plastic waste ends up in landfills or as litter. Some of this plastic waste makes its way via rivers and wind to the ocean. Garbage barges, and the trans-continental transport of recyclable materials also lead to an increasing amount of plastics in our oceans and waterways.

Plastic waste directly and indirectly affects living organisms throughout the ecosystem, including an increasingly high impact on marine life at a macro and micro scale. According to United Nations, almost 80% of marine debris is plastic. Policy enforcement remains weak, global manufacture of plastics continues to increase, and the quantity of plastic debris in the oceans, as well as on land, is likely to increase.

With limited sustainable recovery of plastics, there is a growing global movement to reduce the generation of plastic. Certain types of plastic may be ’safer‘ for the environment than others, however, there are troubling issues associated with all of them, leading to the conclusion that action is needed to remove plastic waste, and stricter controls are required to limit new sources of plastic pollution.

biodegradable-plastics

Efforts such as light weighting of packaging and shifts to compostable plastics are options. Many people use eco-friendly bags for the sake of green living. Policies limiting the use of plastics such as bottle bills and bag bans are other ways to decrease the production and consumption of plastics.

Mining the debris fields in our oceans and turning plastic waste into usable materials, from socks made of fishing line to fuel made from a variety of plastic debris, is one way to mitigate the current situation. You can do your part by using renewable cotton bags.

Note: This excerpt is being published with the permission of our collaborative partner Be Waste Wise. The original excerpt and its video recording can be found at this link

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.

Palm Kernel Shells as Biomass Resource

Biomass residue from palm oil industry are attractive renewable energy fuel in Southeast Asia. The abundance of these biomass resources is increasing with the fast development of palm oil industry in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. In the Palm Oil value chain there is an overall surplus of by-products and the utilisation rate of these by-products is low.

Palm kernel shells (or PKS) are the shell fractions left after the nut has been removed after crushing in the palm oil mill. Palm kernel shells are a fibrous material and can be easily handled in bulk directly from the product line to the end use. Large and small shell fractions are mixed with dust-like fractions and small fibres.

Moisture content in kernel shells is low compared to other biomass residues with different sources suggesting values between 11% and 13%. Palm kernel shells contain residues of Palm Oil, which accounts for its slightly higher heating value than average lignocellulosic biomass. Compared to other residues from the industry, palm kernel shells are a good quality biomass fuel with uniform size distribution, easy handling, easy crushing, and limited biological activity due to low moisture content.

Press fibre and kernel shell generated by the palm oil mills are traditionally used as solid fuels for steam boilers. The steam generated is used to run turbines for electricity production. These two solid fuels alone are able to generate more than enough energy to meet the energy demands of a palm oil mill.

Most palm oil mills in the region are self-sufficient in terms of energy by making use of kernel shells and mesocarp fibers in cogeneration. The demand for palm kernel shells has increased considerably in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand resulting in price close to that of coal. Nowadays, cement industries are using palm kernel shells to replace coal mainly because of CDM benefits.

PKS has also emerged as a hot biomass commodity in the Asia-Pacific region, especially in South Korea and Japan, where PKS is being used to power huge biomass power plants. PKS is also getting traction in Europe as an attractive alternative fuel.

The problems associated with the burning of these solid fuels are the emissions of dark smoke and the carry-over of partially carbonized fibrous particulates due to incomplete combustion of the fuels can be tackled by commercially-proven technologies in the form of high-pressure boilers.

Dual-fired boilers capable of burning either diesel oil or natural gas are the most suitable for burning palm Oil waste since they could also facilitate the use of POME-derived biogas as a supplementary fuel. However, there is a great scope for introduction of high-efficiency CHP systems in the industry which will result in substantial supply of excess power to the public grid.

Energy Potential of Coconut Biomass

Coconuts are produced in 92 countries worldwide on about more than 10 million hectares. Indonesia, Philippines and India account for almost 75% of world coconut production with Indonesia being the world’s largest coconut producer. A coconut plantation is analogous to energy crop plantations, however coconut plantations are a source of wide variety of products, in addition to energy. The current world production of coconuts has the potential to produce electricity, heat, fiberboards, organic fertilizer, animal feeds, fuel additives for cleaner emissions, eco-friendly cutlery, health drinks, etc.

coconut-shell-biomass

The coconut fruit yields 40 % coconut husks containing 30 % fiber, with dust making up the rest. The chemical composition of coconut husks consists of cellulose, lignin, pyroligneous acid, gas, charcoal, tar, tannin, and potassium. Coconut dust has high lignin and cellulose content. The materials contained in the casing of coco dusts and coconut fibers are resistant to bacteria and fungi.

Coconut biomass is available in the form of coconut husk and coconut shells. Coconut husk and shells are an attractive biomass fuel and are also a good source of charcoal. The major advantage of using coconut biomass as a fuel is that coconut is a permanent crop and available round the year so there is constant whole year supply. Activated carbon manufactured from coconut shell is considered extremely effective for the removal of impurities in wastewater treatment processes.

Coconut Shell

Coconut shell is an agricultural waste and is available in plentiful quantities throughout tropical countries worldwide. In many countries, coconut shell is subjected to open burning which contributes significantly to CO2 and methane emissions.

Coconut shell is widely used for making charcoal. The traditional pit method of production has a charcoal yield of 25–30% of the dry weight of shells used. The charcoal produced by this method is of variable quality, and often contaminated with extraneous matter and soil. The smoke evolved from pit method is not only a nuisance but also a health hazard.

The coconut shell has a high calorific value of 20.8MJ/kg and can be used to produce steam, energy-rich gases, bio-oil, biochar etc. It is to be noted that coconut shell and coconut husk are solid fuels and have the peculiarities and problems inherent in this kind of fuel.

Coconut shell is more suitable for pyrolysis process as it contain lower ash content, high volatile matter content and available at a cheap cost. The higher fixed carbon content leads to the production to a high-quality solid residue which can be used as activated carbon in wastewater treatment. Coconut shell can be easily collected in places where coconut meat is traditionally used in food processing.

Coconut Husk

Coconut husk has high amount of lignin and cellulose, and that is why it has a high calorific value of 18.62MJ/kg. The chemical composition of coconut husks consists of cellulose, lignin, pyroligneous acid, gas, charcoal, tar, tannin, and potassium.

The predominant use of coconut husks is in direct combustion in order to make charcoal, otherwise husks are simply thrown away. Coconut husk can be transformed into a value-added fuel source which can replace wood and other traditional fuel sources. In terms of the availability and costs of coconut husks, they have good potential for use in power plants.

How to Manage Industrial Machinery Waste in an Efficient Way

Industrial waste management is a process that can be both challenging and complex, with difficulty increasing depending on the particular kind of waste and its cause. Sometimes, manufacturing companies experience issues with overproduction. Other times, their machinery fails, and unexpected defects can also occur.

While it’s essential that every manufacturing plant follows a set of practices that allow them to minimize waste, often, it’s simply unavoidable and an inseparable part of running operations. Luckily, whether it’s been created by CNC router machines or 3D printers, the waste can still be reduced.

How to Manage Industrial Machinery Waste

To dispose of it correctly, manufacturing plants need to develop and follow proper waste management strategies. These can include reducing the number of packaging materials used, organizing the warehouse, and lowering water usage to the necessary minimum.

By following such practices, manufacturers can reduce their environmental impact and emphasize eco-friendliness. Here’s a closer look at some of the most effective strategies.

Better Warehouse Organization

When it comes to manufacturing operations, especially those that deal with a lot of different raw materials, having a well-organized warehouse is key. Once your warehouse has been organized, you can be sure that your workers can make the most out of their time, and everyone will be able to locate the right tools, materials, or supplies quickly.

Regardless whether your company focuses on precision casting parts or CNC milling, to reduce waste, you should create a flowchart that shows exactly how all materials move from one stage to another and where they should be stored. The chart should also highlight possible bottlenecks and where the expenditure of more resources would be advantageous.

It’s also essential to remember the importance of marking your warehouse. Without the right marking, you can’t expect anyone to navigate such a huge structure. Even if they’ve been there at some point, they could’ve already faded or become outdated. This all may be extremely confusing, especially to new hires. Try to dedicate a part of your busy days to organizing the messy and mislabeled parts of your warehouse to minimize waste and increase productivity.

Volume Reduction

This term may sound quite foreign at first, especially to those who are new to the topic of managing industrial waste. It refers to quite a simple process of limiting the biological, chemical, mechanical, and thermal methods used by manufacturers to reduce the volume of waste materials. This allows them to compress them to a greater degree and put them in a form that’s the most suitable for later storage or disposal. The methods used can be divided into two main categories: source segregation and waste concentration.

Source segregation focuses on separating the solid waste that consists of different materials so that certain waste can be easier processed. For instance, when the plastics aren’t mixed with the metal waste, the latter can be processed separately with no effort, and the metal value can be recovered.

Waste concentration, on the other hand, helps increase the probability that there will be enough of certain material to recycle it into something else and reuse it later. When the small scraps of materials are collected over time to accumulate enough for recycling, the waste can be limited significantly. Both these methods require proper storage and sorting, but the benefits are worth the effort.

Recovering, Sorting, and Recycling

Just three words are all you need to keep in mind and turn into an active effort to improve the way your manufacturing plant is managing and minimizing its waste from industrial machinery.

First, it’s essential to emphasize the process of recovering as much waste as possible from both the onsite and offsite locations that are a part of a certain plant. Water can be recovered through filtration or reverse osmosis, and different scraps and particles of materials can be separated thanks to centrifugation. Apply the right methods where they’re needed and recover whatever is possible instead of letting them go to waste.

Then, you can also focus on sorting, which is the first step to proper recycling. When the waste is going into the right bins from the very beginning, it’s much easier to recycle in the next step. You can even choose someone who will be responsible for ensuring that the waste bins are monitored and used as intended by the workers.

Separated waste can then be recycled, be it paper, plastic, or metal. Recycling hazardous materials often requires chemical, thermal, biological, and physical methods, so it may be better to leave it for professionals or consider whether it will have any environmental benefits. When dealing with waste such as wood, rubber, or asphalt, industrial shredders can be used to reduce these materials to much smaller sizes and make them more manageable.

Using Proper Packaging

Creating an abundance of waste in the form of packaging materials is yet another issue that many manufacturing plants face and don’t deal with efficiently. Fortunately, a solution to such issues is quite straightforward and doesn’t require an enormous effort. In most cases, every company can find some ways to reduce the environmental impact of their packaging.

To begin with, plastic packaging can often be easily replaced with cardboard packaging. But the possibilities go far beyond just the plastic vs. cardboard issue. Depending on the kind of machinery your plant uses, you’re likely to be able to buy the materials in bulk and reduce the amount of necessary packaging this way. Your machinery will still have all the materials needed, but there won’t be as much waste created along the way.

In Conclusion

As you can see, there are always different ways to reduce the waste created by machinery used at manufacturing plants, as well as all the other operations required to keep the manufacturing processes going.

These methods outlined above may require some effort, but they can certainly be done and be immensely helpful in keeping the environment clean while also helping you keep your company afloat. It’s all about being efficient and organized and making the right decisions regarding getting rid of your waste.

That being said, try to ensure that your warehouse is well-organized, consider following steps that will allow you to reduce the volume of the waste, opt for recovering, sorting, and recycling whenever possible, and limit the amount of packaging used.

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.

Challenges in Hazardous Medical Waste Management

Medical waste management is a concern of healthcare facilities all over the world; about 10-20% of the facility’s budget every year is spent on waste disposal. According to the WHO, about 85% of the total amount of generated waste is non hazardous but the remaining 15% is considered infectious, toxic or radioactive. While non-hazardous medical waste poses less problems, the risks and challenges of hazardous medical waste management must be considered carefully, since incineration or open burning of hazardous medical waste can result in emissions of dangerous pollutants such as dioxins and furans. If you’ve been injured due to hazardous waste emissions, contact Pittsburgh Injury Lawyers, P.C. to learn your legal options.

medical-waste-management

For this reason, measures must be taken to ensure safe disposal of hazardous medical waste waste in order to prevent negative impact on the environment or biological hazards, especially in developing countries.

1. Health Risks

Biologically hazardous waste can be a source of infection due to the harmful microorganisms it contains; the most exposed are hospital patients, hospital staff, health workers. However, the situation is potentially harmful for the general public as well. The risks include chemical burns, air pollution, radiation burns and toxic exposure to harmful pharmaceutical products and substances, such as mercury or dioxins, especially during the process of waste incineration.

Other risks can also derive from the incorrect disposal of needles and syringes; worldwide, it is estimated that, every year, about 16 billion infections are administered. Unfortunately, not all needles are safely eliminated, creating risk of infection but also the possibility of unintentional reuse. Even though this risk has decreased in recent years, unsafe infections are still responsible for many new cases of HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

2. Environmental Impacts

Incorrect disposal of untreated healthcare waste can contaminate drinking and ground water in landfill, and also release dangerous chemical substances in the environment. Deficient waste incineration can also release hazardous pollutants in the air, and generate dioxins and furans, substances which have been linked to cancer and other adverse health conditions. Heavy metals, if incinerated, can lead to the diffusion of toxic metals in the environment.

The Way Forward

There is still a long way to go in order to ensure safe disposal of hazardous healthcare waste. A joint WHO/UNICEF assessment conducted in 2015 found that only 58% of analyzed facilities over 24 countries had appropriate medical waste disposal systems in place.

Strategies to improve healthcare waste segregation is an essential step in medical waste management

In the workplace, it is important to raise awareness and promote self-practices. Training in the areas of infection control and clinical waste management is important in order to maintain a clean, safe environment for patients and staff alike. Specialized industrial cleaning can also be effective in reducing risk of infection.

It is also essential to develop safe methods and technologies of treating hazardous medical waste, as opposed to medical waste incineration, which has already been shown to be ineffective and dangerous. Alternatives to incineration, such as microwaving or autoclaving, greatly reduce the release of hazardous emissions.

Finally, developing global strategies and systems to improve healthcare waste segregation is another essential step; since only about 15% of clinical waste is hazardous, treatment and disposal costs could be reduced significantly with proper segregation practices. Furthermore, these practices also reduce risks of infections for those workers who handle clinical waste.

Why Are We Converting Waste Into Energy?

The world is running out of fossil fuels, and we need to find new ways to generate energy. Converting waste into energy is a clean and efficient way to generate power. It doesn’t produce the same level of pollution as traditional fuel sources, and it helps reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

We need to find ways to convert waste into energy today in order to address the issue of climate change. By converting our waste into energy, we can reduce our reliance on polluting fuels and help preserve our environment for future generations.

Reasons to convert Waste to Energy

What is waste to energy?

Waste to energy is a process of turning waste into electricity. This is a clean and efficient way to generate power, and it doesn’t produce the same level of pollution as traditional fuel sources. Converting our waste into energy can help reduce our reliance on polluting fuels and preserve our environment for future generations.

Can all types of waste be used?

The different types of waste that can be used in waste to energy are municipal solid waste, agricultural waste, and industrial waste. Municipal solid waste is the most common type of waste that is used in this process. It includes everyday items like paper, plastic, and metal. Agricultural waste includes things like manure, straw, and wood chips. Industrial waste includes things like slag, ash, and boiler dust. Municipal solid waste is the most common type of waste that is used in waste to energy.

Is Waste to Energy the same as Biomass?

The similarities between waste to energy and biomass are that they are both renewable resources, and they can both be used to create energy. The main difference between them is that waste to energy uses organic material that would otherwise be thrown away (like food waste), while biomass uses plants specifically grown for the purpose of creating fuel.

WTE plant

Waste to Energy – Frequently Asked Questions

Is waste to energy effective?

Yes, waste to energy is an effective way to generate power. It doesn’t produce the same level of pollution as traditional fuel sources, and it helps reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Converting our waste into energy can help preserve our environment for future generations.

There are many reasons to believe that waste to energy is a more efficient renewable energy source than other types of renewables. First, waste to energy facilities can be located near population centers, which reduces the amount of energy lost in transmission. Second, waste to energy plants tend to have higher capacity factors than other types of renewable energy sources, meaning that they produce more electricity per unit of capacity.

Finally, waste to energy plants can use a variety of feedstocks, including municipal solid waste, construction and demolition debris, and sewage sludge. This flexibility gives waste-to-energy plants a significant advantage over other renewable energy sources that are limited to a single feedstock.

Is waste to energy sustainable?

The short answer is yes – waste to energy (WtE) is a sustainable solution for managing municipal solid waste (MSW). But it’s important to consider the whole picture when making decisions about sustainability. That means taking into account factors like greenhouse gas emissions, financial costs, and other renewable energy options like solar and wind.

When it comes to conserving energy, there are many things that people can do to help out, both big and small. Saving energy at home can help reduce the amount of waste going to energy plants, and it can also save homeowners money on their monthly energy bills.

WtE plants use MSW to generate electricity, and they can actually help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. That’s because when MSW is incinerated, it doesn’t release methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that’s produced when MSW breaks down in landfills. In fact, WtE plants are so efficient at reducing methane emissions that they’re actually considered carbon-neutral.

WtE plants are also cost-effective, and the technology is constantly improving. In the past, WtE plants were criticized for being too expensive to build and operate. But new plants are much more efficient, and the costs have come down significantly.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of waste to energy?

The advantages of waste to energy are that it is a sustainable solution for managing MSW, it reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and it is cost-effective. The disadvantages of waste to energy are that it requires high initial investment, and it produces some air pollution. Overall, waste to energy is a good option for communities looking for a sustainable and cost-effective solution for managing MSW.

What are the alternatives to waste to energy?

The main alternative to waste to energy is landfill gas-to-energy, which captures methane gas produced by decomposing MSW in landfills and uses it to generate electricity. Landfill gas-to-energy is less expensive than waste to energy, but it has a higher greenhouse gas emissions footprint.

Other renewable energy options include solar and wind power. Solar and wind power are both carbon-neutral, but they are more expensive than waste to energy. Waste to energy is a good option for communities looking for a sustainable and cost-effective solution for managing MSW. It has some disadvantages, but overall it is a good option for communities looking to reduce their environmental impact.

Why are we converting Waste to Energy?

We need to convert waste to energy today because the world is running out of fossil fuels. The use of coal, oil, and natural gas has created an unprecedented level of pollution, which is damaging our environment and contributing to climate change. In order to reduce our dependence on these polluting fuels and address the issue of climate change, we need to find ways to convert waste into energy.

Sysav–WTE-plant-Sweden

Sweden is one of the best proponents of waste-to-energy in the world

In recent years, waste to energy (WtE) has become increasingly popular as a means of generating electricity. However, not everyone is convinced that WtE is the best option for the environment. Some critics argue that WtE actually damages the environment and is not worth the investment.

One of the major criticisms of WtE is that it emits pollutants into the air. When waste is burned, it releases harmful chemicals and particulates into the atmosphere. These pollutants can have a negative impact on human health, as well as the environment. In addition, WtE plants are often located in close proximity to populated areas, which means that the pollution they emit can affect a large number of people.

Food waste and waste to energy are two important topics that we should be thinking about more. With the right infrastructure in place, food waste can be used to create energy, which can help to power our homes and businesses. In addition, by reducing food waste, we can also help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Another criticism of WtE is that it is actually less efficient than other means of generating electricity. WtE plants typically have lower efficiency rates than coal-fired power plants, for example. This means that more waste needs to be burned in order to generate the same amount of electricity. This can lead to more pollution and more damage to the environment.

Critics also argue that WtE plants are expensive to build and operate. The initial investment can be significant, and the operating costs can be high. This means that WtE may not be the most cost-effective option for generating electricity.

Despite these criticisms, some experts believe that WtE can be a valuable tool for generating electricity. WtE plants can help to reduce the amount of waste that is sent to landfill, and they can provide a source of renewable energy. In addition, WtE plants can create jobs and boost the economy.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to use WtE should be based on a careful consideration of all the pros and cons. WtE may not be right for everyone, but it could be the best option for some.