Ecology and Sustainable Development                      Hand-outs          Nurmukhanbetova G.A.        Cand.Sc. (Biology
Ecology and Sustainable Development                     Hand-outs         Nurmukhanbetova G.A.              Cand.Sc. (Biol...
Ecology and Sustainable Development                     Hand-outs          Nurmukhanbetova G.A.              Cand.Sc. (Bio...
Ecology and Sustainable Development              Hand-outs       Nurmukhanbetova G.A.          Cand.Sc. (Biology

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  1. 1. Ecology and Sustainable Development Hand-outs Nurmukhanbetova G.A. Cand.Sc. (Biology Topic 10: Waste. Waste management The main idea: Recycling waste is an obvious way to protect the environment. New recycling industries provide new employment and economic opportunities. An old Chinese proverb: Waste is “something we have not yet learnt to use” Lecture outline: 1. The nature of Waste. Waste classification. 2. Sources of waste 3. The many effects of pollution from waste 4. Sustainable strategies on waste problem. International cooperation 1. The nature of Waste. Waste classification • Waste - is any discarded material, whether it is household rubbish (domestic), agricultural or hazardous industrial wastes. Waste is also unwanted or undesired material. It is usually strongly linked with pollution. I. Classification of waste: • solid • liquid • gas or waste heat (emissions) II. Classification of waste: Hazardous waste – those are capable of harming people and the environment (acidic resins, arsenic, heavy metals, organic solvents, pesticides and radioactive materials. Toxic waste – those are directly poisonous to humans and other life forms. Sewage – liquid waste. • The term waste implies things which have been used inefficiently or inappropriately. • Some components of waste can be recycled once recovered from the waste stream, e.g. plastic bottles, metals, glass or paper. The biodegradable component of wastes (e.g. paper and food waste) can be composted or anaerobicly digested to produce soil improvers and renewable fuels. If it is not dealt with sustainably in this manner biodegradable waste can contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and by implication climate change. 2. Sources of waste Industries can contribute to pollution from waste if they: • Do not dispose of chemical wastes properly. Most wastes can be made harmless if they are treated. If they are not treated properly, harmful substances can build up and damage the environment. • Incinerate hazardous wastes badly. Many incinerators are not efficient. They may not completely destroy the original waste and they may even produce new hazardous substances during the burning process. • Getting rid of hazardous wastes is often extremely expensive. To make it more economical, some companies have disposed of their waste in other countries. • Release high quantities of liquid waste into the domestic sewage system. The domestic sewage system is mainly designed to deal with human wastes. Industrial wastes can overload the system so that the waste does not get properly treated. • Give out airborne waste and vehicle exhausts. Industries also contribute to the unnecessary waste of resources if they: • Produce goods that are not made to last.
  2. 2. Ecology and Sustainable Development Hand-outs Nurmukhanbetova G.A. Cand.Sc. (Biology This kind of production is known as “Built-in-obsolescence”. Goods that are not made to last are thrown away, and new goods are produced to replace them. This extra production uses energy and resources. • Over-package their goods. Products are frequently wrapped in layers of packaging, simply to make them look more attractive. The packaging is instantly thrown away, and the resources that go into making the packaging are wasted. Packaging also increases the weight of the product, so that more fuel is used to transport the product. • Their products are made of materials that cannot be recycled. Products are often difficult to recycle if it is not clear what they are made of or if they are composed of mixture of materials. • Do not use recycled paper or other recycled goods whenever possible. 3. The many effects of pollution from waste Ecological, social and economic consequences of pollution from waste • Accumulation of waste. Industrial societies produce mountains of waste. Most of this waste is material, which is used only once even though it could be used again. This wastefulness uses up vital resources; in addition, disposing of this waste can pollute the environment. • Disposal of waste. For a long time, the cheapest possible way was the disposal of waste by incineration solid waste (burning process) like household rubbish or dumping waste in landfill sites – large holes in the ground; release liquid waste like sewage and much industrial waste into rivers and the sea. • Air pollution can cause smog, and high levels of chemicals in the air can endanger health. Chemicals accumulate in the atmosphere and are responsible for major international environmental problems such as acid rain and the greenhouse effect (see topics “Acid rain” and “Greenhouse effect”). • Many rubbish incinerators and crematoria release dioxins, for instance, which are one the most toxic (carcinogenic, mutagenic, embriotoxic, immune system weakening) groups of chemicals. • Underground water contamination • Export any hazardous wastes to poorer countries, which might not have the technology to treat the waste efficiently. 4. Sustainable strategies on waste problem. International cooperation Solid waste management Solid waste management strategies include 3 categories:  Output approaches – those that deal with waste after it has been produced: - Sanitary landfill - Incineration  Input approaches – those that prevent waste generation in the first place: - Reduced consumption - Increased product durability - Decreased material in products  Throughput approaches – those that divert waste back into the production-consumption cycle: - Recycle - Reuse - Compost Efforts should concentrate on the input and throughput solutions, which will go a long way in helping to create a sustainable society. Prevention measures of pollution from waste: 4Rs – strategies: Reuse, Replace, Recycle, Re-Invent. We can also add Refuse and Repair. Industries can prevent or reduce waste in the following ways by: • Using transport and energy efficiently. So that less fuel is used and unnecessary pollution is avoided. • Improving production processes to reduce or even prevent hazardous waste. Industries could, for example, use new non-polluting materials • Treating hazardous waste on-site rather than transporting it. At present almost 75% of all hazardous waste is treated off-site. The transport of hazardous waste increases the chance of an accident happening in a situation that could be difficult to control. For ex., in the late 1980s UK produced 50 million tones of industrial waste; 4.5 million tones of this were hazardous. • Finding other uses for their waste products. They can, for example, join Waste Exchange Service. This service puts waste producers in touch with other businesses that can make use wastes such as solvents and metallic sludge. • Managing disposal sites properly after disposal. Disposal sites can be reclaimed for agricultural or recreational use; this reduces the overall impact on the environment. • Fitting “scrubbing” devices to chimneys to remove toxic gases, soot and smoke. • Not over-packaging goods. • Using recycled materials whenever possible. • Making goods easy to recycle. It is easier to recycle goods, which are made from one substance only, rather than from a mixture of materials (drinks cans or car parts). Labeling products to say what they are made of also makes it easier to recycle them.
  3. 3. Ecology and Sustainable Development Hand-outs Nurmukhanbetova G.A. Cand.Sc. (Biology The legacy on waste control The Convention on Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Waste and their Disposal (Basel, 1989) The Convention has 172 Parties and The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal is the most comprehensive global environmental agreement on hazardous and other wastes. It aims to protect human health and the environment against the adverse effects resulting from the generation, management, transboundary movements and disposal of hazardous and other wastes. The Basel Convention came into force in 1992. The Convention on Control of Persistent Organic Pollutants, POP (Stockholm, 2001): In 1995, the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) called for global action to be taken on POPs, which it defined as "chemical substances that persist in the environment, bio-accumulate through the food web, and pose a risk of causing adverse effects to human health and the environment". Following this, the Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety (IFCS) and the International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) prepared an assessment of the 12 worst offenders, known as the dirty dozen. “Dirty dozen” - the list of 12 Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP) – prior organic compounds most dangerous for humans and other living organisms because of their bioaccumulation, persistence, and chronicle toxicity. The negotiations for the Convention were completed on 23 May 2001 in Stockholm. The convention entered into force on 17 May 2004 with ratification by an initial 128 parties and 151 signatories. Co-signatories agree to outlaw nine of the dirty dozen chemicals, limit the use of DDT to malaria control, and curtail inadvertent production of dioxins and furans. Parties to the convention have agreed to a process by which persistent toxic compounds can be reviewed and added to the convention, if they meet certain criteria for persistence and transboundary threat. The first set of new chemicals to be added to the Convention were agreed at a conference in Geneva on 8 May 2009. Key terms: Waste Disposal of waste “Built-in obsolescence” production Household rubbish Over-packaging The Convention on Control of Transboundary Movement of Industrial hazardous waste Incineration solid waste Hazardous Waste and their Disposal (Basel, 1989) Toxic waste Dumping waste The Convention on Control of Persistent Organic Pollutants Sewage Landfill sites (Stockholm, 2001) 4Rs strategies “Dirty dozen” (12 Persistent Organic Pollutants, POP) Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) Questions for review: 1. What is waste? Give a classification waste. 2. Name ecological consequences of pollution from waste. 3. What are sources of waste? 4. How can industries contribute to waste? 5. How can industries help to prevent pollution from waste? 6. Do comments about 4Rs strategies. 7. Which international document controls pollution from waste? Make a synopsis: Daniel D. Chiras, “Environmental Science: Creating Sustainable Future” 1. Draw a diagram of “Strategies for reducing solid waste” (p.580, fig. 24-12). Critical thinking: 1. Study Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) looks at every stage of a product’s manufacture and distribution. The Hazardous analysis takes account of: - the environment impact of extracting raw materials; - the pollutants emitted during the manufacture and use of the product; - the use of energy and resources in the packaging, distribution and disposal of the product. LCA give producers a clear idea of which of their operations they can improve and what changes and savings they can make. Sometimes LCA reveal surprising things. For instance, one study showed that recycling glass can use more energy than producing new glass. Sometimes it is not easy to predict that one product does less harm to the environment than another. ? Has the industry in our country (for example, oil extraction) carried out LCA? Or does it make any other type of assessment of its impact on the environment? 2. European countries send 120 000 tones of toxic waste to poorer countries each year officially (and illegally?!). It can cost $500 to dispose of 1 tone of hazardous waste in Europe and only $3 to dispose of the same amount in Africa. The law about disposing of hazardous waste is often much less strict in many poorer countries than they are in the company’s own country. One viewpoint: each country should be responsible for its own hazardous wastes and that international transport of waste should be banned. Another viewpoint: Companies should be allowed to transport the waste they cannot dispose of themselves to countries where they have better technology to dispose of it safely. The hazardous waste disposal industry also provides employment opportunities and income for poorer countries. ? There are convincing arguments both for and against. What do you think of the different viewpoints? How do you think the problem should be dealt with? 3. A hazardous-waste site is going to be placed in your community. What information would you want to know about the site? How would you go about getting the information you need? Would you oppose it? Why or why not?
  4. 4. Ecology and Sustainable Development Hand-outs Nurmukhanbetova G.A. Cand.Sc. (Biology 4. Do you agree with the statement: “Victims of improper hazardous-waste disposal practices should be compensated by a victims compensation fund developed by taxing the producers of toxic waste”. 5. Describe the three basic approaches to solving the solid waste problem. Give examples of each one. Which is (are) the most sustainable? Why? 6. Describe the pros and cons of landfilling, incineration, source reduction, composting, reuse, and recycling. 7. What shifts in activities would result from changing the linear production-consumption system to a cyclic one? How will this affect jobs? In your opinion, are the proposed shifts necessary? How can we soften the blow of such change?