Solid waste management is a well-bred terminology that refers to garbage or trash management. As long as humans have been living in settled communities, improper waste management has always been an issue. Industrialized nations can generate pounds of solid waste per consumer thus making it a big problem for the world’s undying waste destitution.
Waste problem being one of the foremost and mounting problems in other countries have been hazardous not only on human’s health but also causes depletion for lands which is why solid waste management was generated. It is a system for handling all of the world’s trash, be it municipal waste collection, recycling programs, dumps and incinerators.
Since human cities began to be more rigorous, solid waste management became a serious matter and for a reason, some industrialized nations today, solid waste management is a multimillion dollar business. Yes, Millions from trash! Most cities require citizens to disburse for waste collection to live up with the goal of garbage reduction. Solid Waste management is also focused on developing environmentally sound methods of handling garbage.
There are lots of methods proposed in order to have proper waste management but few of which are no longer wanted like recycling. There are processes now which are more acceptable and does not t fit in anymore like recycling, for we all know not everything can be recycled. Nevertheless it may reduce the amount of waste but still fall on the band end solution denominator.
Governments around the world have become aware that fast solutions to waste management that relies on landfills and incineration (burning of waste) cannot offer a sustainable solution in a world with growing population. Not to mention the negative impacts it may cause to the atmosphere. Nevertheless there are technologies invented which diminishes waste in a cost-effective manner without polluting the environment like Gasification technology.Waste will always be around while human subsist. It is just a matter of proper waste disposal along with a little care and a kick of initiative to give resolution to this undying problem (Lenhart, 2011).
Methods of disposal
Disposal of waste in a landfill involves burying the waste, and this remains a common practice in most countries. Landfills were often established in abandoned or unused quarries, mining voids or borrow pits. A properly designed and well-managed landfill can be a hygienic and relatively inexpensive method of disposing of waste materials. Older, poorly designed or poorly managed landfills can create a number of adverse environmental impacts such as wind-blown litter, attraction of vermin, and generation of liquid leachate. Another common product of landfills is gas (mostly composed of methane and carbon dioxide), which is produced as organic waste breaks down anaerobically. This gas can create odor problems, kill surface vegetation, and is a greenhouse gas.
Design characteristics of a modern landfill include methods to contain leachate such as clay or plastic lining material. Deposited waste is normally compacted to increase its density and stability, and covered to prevent attracting vermin (such as mice or rats). Many landfills also have landfill gas extraction systems installed to extract the landfill gas. Gas is pumped out of the landfill using perforated pipes and flared off or burnt in a gas engine to generate electricity.
Incineration is a disposal method in which solid organic wastes are subjected to combustion so as to convert them into residue and gaseous products. This method is useful for disposal of residue of both solid waste management and solid residue from waste water management.This process reduces the volumes of solid waste to 20 to 30 percent of the original volume. Incineration and other high temperature waste treatment systems are sometimes described as "thermal treatment". Incinerators convert waste materials into heat, gas, steam and ash.
Incineration is carried out both on a small scale by individuals and on a large scale by industry. It is used to dispose of solid, liquid and gaseous waste. It is recognized as a practical method of disposing of certain hazardous waste materials (such as biological medical waste). Incineration is a controversial method of waste disposal, due to issues such as emission of gaseous pollutants.
Incineration is common in countries such as Japan where land is more scarce, as these facilities generally do not require as much area as landfills. Waste-to-energy (wte) or energy-from-waste (efw) is broad terms for facilities that burn waste in a furnace or boiler to generate heat, steam or electricity. Combustion in an incinerator is not always perfect and there have been concerns about pollutants in gaseous emissions from incinerator stacks. Particular concern has focused on some very persistent organics such as dioxins, furans, pahs which may be created which may have serious environmental consequences.
Recycling is a resource recovery practice that refers to the collection and reuse of waste materials such as empty beverage containers. The materials from which the items are made can be reprocessed into new products. Material for recycling may be collected separately from general waste using dedicated bins and collection vehicles are sorted directly from mixed waste streams and are known as kerb-side recycling, it requires the owner of the waste to separate it into various different bins (typically wheelie bins) prior to its collection.
The most common consumer products recycled include aluminum such as beverage cans, copper such as wire, steel food and aerosol cans, old steel furnishings or equipment, polyethylene and PET bottles, glass bottles and jars, paperboard cartons, newspapers, magazines and light paper, and corrugated fiberboard boxes.
PVC, LDPE, PP, and PS (see resin identification code) are also recyclable. These items are usually composed of a single type of material, making them relatively easy to recycle into new products. The recycling of complex products (such as computers and electronic equipment) is more difficult, due to the additional dismantling and separation required.
The type of material accepted for recycling varies by city and country. Each city and country have different recycling programs in place that can handle the various types of recyclable materials. However, certain variation in acceptance is reflected in the resale value of the material once it is reprocessed.
The management of waste is a key component in a business' ability to maintaining ISO14001 accreditation. Companies are encouraged to improve their environmental efficiencies each year by eliminating waste through resource recovery practices, which are sustainability-related activities. One way to do this is by shifting away from waste management to resource recovery practices like recycling materials such as glass, food scraps, paper and cardboard, plastic bottles and metal.
Recoverable materials that are organic in nature, such as plant material, food scraps, and paper products, can be recovered through composting and digestion processes to decompose the organic matter. The resulting organic material is then recycled as mulch or compost for agricultural or landscaping purposes. In addition, waste gas from the process (such as methane) can be captured and used for generating electricity and heat (CHP/cogeneration) maximizing efficiencies. The intention of biological processing in waste management is to control and accelerate the natural process of decomposition of organic matter. (See resource recovery).
The energy content of waste products can be harnessed directly by using them as a direct combustion fuel, or indirectly by processing them into another type of fuel. Thermal treatment ranges from using waste as a fuel source for cooking or heating and the use of the gas fuel (see above), to fuel for boilers to generate steam and electricity in a turbine. Pyrolysis and gasification are two related forms of thermal treatment where waste materials are heated to high temperatures with limited oxygen availability. The process usually occurs in a sealed vessel under high pressure. Pyrolysis of solid waste converts the material into solid, liquid and gas products. The liquid and gas can be burnt to produce energy or refined into other chemical products (chemical refinery). The solid residue (char) can be further refined into products such as activated carbon. Gasification and advanced Plasma arc gasification are used to convert organic materials directly into a synthetic gas (syngas) composed of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. The gas is then burnt to produce electricity and steam. An alternative to pyrolysis is high temperature and pressure super critical water decomposition (hydrothermal monophasic oxidation).
Resource recovery (as opposed to waste management) uses LCA (life cycle analysis) attempts to offer alternatives to waste management. For mixed MSW (Municipal Solid Waste) a number of broad studies have indicated that administration, source separation and collection followed by reuse and recycling of the non-organic fraction and energy and compost/fertilizer production of the organic material via anaerobic digestion to be the favored path.
Avoidance and reduction methods
An important method of waste management is the prevention of waste material being created, also known as waste reduction. Methods of avoidance include reuse of second-hand products, repairing broken items instead of buying new, designing products to be refillable or reusable (such as cotton instead of plastic shopping bags), encouraging consumers to avoid using disposable products (such as disposable cutlery), removing any food/liquid remains from cans, packaging, and designing products that use less material to achieve the same purpose (for example, light weighting of beverage cans).
Waste handling and transport
Waste collection methods vary widely among different countries and regions. Domestic waste collection services are often provided by local government authorities, or by private companies in the industry. Some areas, especially those in less developed countries, do not have a formal waste-collection system. Examples of waste handling systems include:
- In Europe and a few other places around the world, a few communities use a proprietary collection system known as Envac, which conveys refuse via underground conduits using a vacuum system. Other vacuum-based solutions include the metrotaifunsingle-line and ring-line systems.
- In Canadian urban centrescurbside collection is the most common method of disposal, whereby the city collects waste and/or recyclables and/or organics on a scheduled basis. In rural areas people often dispose of their waste by hauling it to a transfer station. Waste collected is then transported to a regional landfill.
- In Taipei, the city government charges its households and industries for the volume of rubbish they produce. Waste will only be collected by the city council if waste is disposed in government issued rubbish bags. This policy has successfully reduced the amount of waste the city produces and increased the recycling rate.
- In Israel, the Arrow Ecology company has developed the arrowbiosystem, which takes trash directly from collection trucks and separates organic and inorganic materials through gravitational settling, screening, and hydro-mechanical shredding. The system is capable of sorting huge volumes of solid waste, salvaging recyclables, and turning the rest into biogas and rich agricultural compost. The system is used in California, Australia, Greece, Mexico, the United Kingdom and in Israel. For example, an arrowbioplant that has been operational at the Hiriya landfill site since December 2003 serves the Tel Aviv area, and processes up to 150 tons of garbage a day.
Traditionally the waste management industry has been slow to adopt new technologies such as RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags, GPS and integrated software packages which enable better quality data to be collected without the use of estimation or manual data entry.
- Technologies like RFID tags are now being used to collect data on presentation rates for curb-side pick-ups.
- Benefits of GPS tracking is particularly evident when considering the efficiency of ad hoc pick-ups (like skip bins or dumpsters) where the collection is done on a consumer request basis.
- Integrated software packages are useful in aggregating this data for use in optimisation of operations for waste collection operations.
- Rear vision cameras are commonly used for OH&S (Occupational Health & Safety) reasons and video recording devices are becoming more widely used, particularly concerning residential services.
Waste management concepts
There are a number of concepts about waste management which vary in their usage between countries or regions. Some of the most general, widely used concepts include:
- Waste hierarchy - The waste hierarchy refers to the "3 Rs" reduce, reuse and recycle, which classify waste management strategies according to their desirability in terms of waste minimization. The waste hierarchy remains the cornerstone of most waste minimization strategies. The aim of the waste hierarchy is to extract the maximum practical benefits from products and to generate the minimum amount of waste see: resource recovery.
- Polluter pays principle - the Polluter Pays Principle is a principle where the polluting party pays for the impact caused to the environment. With respect to waste management, this generally refers to the requirement for a waste generator to pay for appropriate disposal of the unrecoverable material.
Laws and Policies- Solid Waste Management
Creating a project management office on
solid waste management under the
presidential task force on waste management
Oct 19, 1993
Creating a project management office on
solid waste management under the
presidential task force on waste management
Adopting the landfill site identification and screening
criteria for municipal solid waste disposal facilities
Oct 19, 1993
Amending memorandum circular no. 39-a, dated January 19, 1988. By reconstituting the Presidential task force on waste management
Nov 7, 1975
Providing penalty for improper disposal of garbage and other forms of uncleanliness and for other purposes.
July 24, 2000
An act providing for an ecological solid waste management program, creating the necessary institutional mechanisms and incentives, declaring certain acts prohibited and providing penalties, appropriating funds therefor, and for other purposes.
Managing our Solid Waste:
An Overview of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act
Much had been written about the worsening problem of solid waste in Metro Manila and other urban centers in the country. Even more were fora, seminars and conferences conducted to discuss ways of solving the problem. For how long would it take us to attain a zero waste economy, no one knows. But, one thing is sure - time is running out and WE need to act NOW!
The answer is simple, but at the same time, mind-boggling. Let’s take a look at the statistics of Metro Manila’s solid waste. Based on studies made by the National Solid Waste Management Commission Secretariat based at the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), it is estimated that the per capita waste production daily is 0.5 kg. This means that for every person living in the metropolis, he or she generates half a kilo of waste a day. With an estimated population of 10.5 million, total waste generated in Metro Manila alone could run up to 5,250 metric tons per day. Or, 162,750 metric tons per month.Or, 1.95 million metric tons per year. Definitely, that’s a lot of waste to speak of.
Next, let’s talk about how our daily waste is being disposed of. Again, based on the EMB study, only about 73% of the 5,250 metric tons of waste generated daily are collected by dump trucks hired by our respective local government units. That is assuming our lgusare faithful to their duties to us, taxpayers. The remaining 27% of our daily waste or about 1,417.5 metric tons end up in canals, vacant spaces, street corners, market places, rivers and other places where, ironically, there’s a sign that reads “HUWAG MAGTAPON NG BASURA DITO. ANG MAHULI, BUGBOG SARADO!”
That explains why WE need to act. As part of the problem, because we produce garbage ourselves, we can also be part of the solution by reducing our contribution to the waste problem.
Because at the rate we are producing waste, we will soon find ourselves buried in our own trash. Or, shall we say, we will soon be having more of our human-made mountains of garbage amidst us?
The tragedy that has befallen the residents of Payatas dump site in Quezon City, when its mountain of garbage slid down, burying in its course not a few garbage pickers, should strengthen our resolve to do something about our wasteful lifestyles.
Second, talks about landfill, as an alternative engineering solution to the garbage problem for the so-called residual waste, is fine. But where to site the landfill is another thing. For years, negotiations for landfill for Metro Manila’s garbage had elicited not only long debates among our political leaders but also emotional outbursts from prospective host communities.
Perhaps the most important reason why we have to act now on the worsening solid waste problem is their impact on human health. Health is a basic human right. We all deserve to live in a cleaner environment. We all desire for a healthy family… a healthy neighborhood… a healthy nation. And, the only way to satisfy these desires is to do away with garbage that breeds flies, roaches, rodents and harmful bacteria that can spread diseases in our homes and in our communities.
While there were already efforts in the past to address the problem head-on, the passage of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9003, otherwise known as the “Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000”, marked the turning point in the national development agenda for improved solid waste management and resource conservation.
1. What is R.A. No. 9003?
Republic Act No. 9003 or the “Ecological Solid Waste Management Act” provides the legal framework for the country’s systematic, comprehensive and ecological solid waste management program that shall ensure protection of public health and the environment. It underscores, among other things, the need to create the necessary institutional mechanisms and incentives, as well as imposes penalties for acts in violation of any of its provisions.
The implementing rules and regulations of R.A. No. 9003 are contained in DENR Administrative Order No. 2001-34.
2. What are the salient features of R.A. No. 9003?
A. Creation of the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC), the National Ecology Center (NEC) and the Solid Waste Management Board in every province, city and municipality in the country. The NSWMC shall be responsible in the formulation of the National Solid Waste Management Framework and other policies on solid waste, in overseeing the implementation of solid waste management plans and the management of the solid waste management fund. The NEC, on the other hand, shall be responsible for consulting, information, training and networking services relative to the implementation of R.A.No. 9003. The Solid Waste Management Board of provinces, cities and municipalities shall be responsible for the development of their respective solid waste management plans.
B. Formulation of the National Solid Waste Management Framework; 10-year solid management plans by local government units consistent with the National Solid Waste Management Framework;
c. Mandatory segregation of solid waste to be conducted primarily at the source such as household, institutional, industrial, commercial and agricultural sources;
d. Setting of minimum requirements to ensure systematic collection and transport of wastes and the proper protection of the health of garbage collectors;
e. Establishment of reclamation programs and buy-back centers for recyclable and toxic materials;
f. Promotion of eco-labeling in local products and services;
g. Prohibition on non-environmentally acceptable products and packaging;
h. Establishment of Materials Recovery Facility in every barangay or cluster of barangays;
i. Prohibition against the use of open dumps;
j. Setting of guidelines/criteria for the establishment of controlled dumps and sanitary landfills;
k. Provision of rewards, incentives both fiscal and non-fiscal, financial assistance, grants and the like to encourage lgusand the general public to undertake effective solid waste management; and
l. Promotion of research on solid waste management and environmental education in the formal and non-formal sectors.
3. How can we help solve the solid waste problem?
There are many ways to do it. A highly recommended formula is to adopt the 3Rs of Ecological Waste Management: REDUCE, REUSE, AND RECYCLE.
In addition to that, let us refrain from doing what have been prohibited under the law, to include but are not limited to the following:
A. Littering, throwing, dumping of waste materials in public places like roads, sidewalks, canals, esteros, parks and establishments;
b. Open burning of solid waste;
c. Allowing the collection of non-segregated or unsorted waste;
d. Squatting in open dumps and landfills;
e. Open dumping or burying of biodegradable and non-biodegradable materials in flood-prone areas;
f. Unauthorized removal of recyclable material intended for collection by authorized persons;
g. Mixing of source-separated recyclable material with other solid waste in any vehicle, box, container or receptacle used in solid waste collection or disposal;
h. Manufacture, distribution or use of non-environmentally acceptable packaging materials;
i. Establishment or operation of open dumps; and
j. Importation of consumer products packaged in non-environmentally acceptable materials (The National Solid Waste Management Commission Secretariat
ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT BUREAU-DENR, Tel. No. 920-22-52).