Waste management

Waste management is the process by which the waste products emerging from the daily human activities are collected, segregated and then processed. Human activities in a day produce a large amount of waste. Wastes is to be managed effectively to preserve the environment and protect the natural resources.

This management helps in recycling of the waste into useful products for utilization. Collection:

This process involves collecting the waste materials from the residential areas and dumping in the landfills.  Landfills is vast piece of abandoned land far away from residential localities.  The waste materials collected is dumped in these places, from where they can be utilized for future activities.

Segregation:
Segregation of waste is done in to three categories namely recyclable, non-recyclable, and hazardous waste. Basic segregation of waste should start from the home itself.

Recycling :
Recyclable waste can then be transported to various industries to produce different products from them. Some example of this waste is paper, glass and wood. Hazardous waste materials are either dumped deep in the landfills, so as to reduce any harmful effect on the environment.

Find out more about recycling here.

Energy recovery:
Biogas is produced from the organic waste such as dead plants, kitchen waste and animal fecal matters. These types of fuel are used for heating purpose in the boiler or for cooking in the kitchen.

Find out more about biomass programs by clicking here.

In summary, waste management helps in decreasing the consumption of natural resources and protects the environment.

Having a successful career in waste management

For a successful career in waste management, a bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences or waste management provides a good head start. However, your ability to succeed as a waste management expert or professional relies on continuing education and certification. This will ensure that you are updated on the latest rules and laws of the industry. There are online consultants and programs that offer the training that is required for licensing and certification, while distance learning programs and local colleges offer courses that enable you stay updated. Management of dangerous materials such as medical waste, hazardous waste or radioactive wastes requires more specific training.

Education on waste management does not end when you obtain a degree in environmental engineering. You have to continue with networking, continuing education and professional certification so as to expand your business practices and professional knowledge base. On top of these, you should ensure that you attend seminars on waste management to provide you with more courses on continuing education which will enable you to learn more industry practices.

Students from abroad who study at an overseas university and attend overseas seminars and conferences need international student insurance to cover potential health costs and medical bills.

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Waste Management Companies

Public Waste Management companies are available in all countries offering the disposal of waste from businesses in an environmentally friendly manner. Managing waste the proper manner is crucial and experts assess the waste streams of businesses and develop the correct disposal and recycling solutions to business owners and home owners.

Online websites will guide you to pick the correct and suitable waste management service for your area. Online services enable you to request the correct service with easily navigated website. Individuals choose their industry by category such as Construction, Municipalities, Sustainable services, Industrial, Manufacturing, Commercial, Food & Retail, and more. Home pickups can be by Bagster bag, Recycle by Mail, Dumpsters or Curb side Pickup.
Some of the Top Waste Management Companies in the USA includes:
• Waste Industries USA delivers services in the energy and environmental sectors and a solid waste company. Areas covered are Tennessee, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina. They cater for the needs of individuals, industrial businesses, commercial sector in collection, transportation and disposal and recycling of waste.
• Waste Management Inc. offers services to North America, Canada and Mexico. Undoubtedly are they the largest recycling company in North America and serve a customer base of over 20 million, offering services to commercial and municipalities as well as industrial. Waste Age 100 lists the top and largest waste management companies annually and for the last 4 years running they still remain the largest.
• Wheelabrator Technologies Inc. is experts in harnessing environmentally sound and safe conversion of solid waste generated in municipal sectors. Services are also provided in waste collection, transportation of waste, processing of waste always using environmentally sustainable techniques.
Some of the other large companies as listed by Waste Age 100 as the largest recyclers of waste in the U.S. are:
Republic Services Inc.
Clean Harbors
Veolia Environmental Services North America Corp
Progressive Waste Solutions
Stericycle Inc.
Covanta Energy Corporation
Waste Connections Inc.
Recology Inc.
Rumpke Consolidated Companies Inc.
Casella Waste Systems Inc.

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Recycling Laws in the USA

Approximately 360 million tonnes of garbage are produced in America, is what a recent survey states. Solid waste is estimated at 100 million tonnes recycled per year and increases yearly. The Waste Management Law does not play a big role in resource recovery and resource conservation. The recovery rate is only about 30% and significantly less than most other countries. Market forces drove the managing waste by recycling before the solid waste legislation of state and federal laws.
Paper drives was often held in the collection of paper and scrap metal dealers bought metal scrap before solid waste law was implemented. Waste management is regulated by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and covers a recycling legislation and solid waste legislation. Open dumps are abolished and guidelines are set in place for managing waste, both solid and hazardous waste management.
Recycling was still not encouraged earlier despite the title RCRA carried and they concentrated more on waste management than recycling. During the 1980’s the two states, New Jersey and Rhode Island took a comprehensive approach towards recycling as they had a shortage of land available for landfilling of solid waste and hazardous waste materials. In the 1990 Rhode Island even built a special facility for the processing of recyclables. Other states followed suite and the state legislation stipulated that recycling must fall into different categories, namely, providing recycling opportunities to states, planning for recycling or mandatory source separation.
Many states however do not fit into any one of those three categories, such as Wisconsin without any recycling goals. Landfilling is instead banned and the State rewards governments with good recycling habits, without making it a law. A national recycling goal was set at a very low 35%, with some states such as Massachusetts reaching an astonishing 70% of recycled waste. Other state goals are set at 50% recycling of waste in order to drive all states in the US to actively participate in waste recycling for proper, economical, efficient and safe waste management.

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Hazardous Solid Waste and Management

Waste is declared hazardous if the potential exists to be harmful or dangerous to the environment or human health. It can be sludge’s, gases, solids or liquids and discarded from industrial, commercial or household products. It includes pesticides, cleaning materials, electronics, paints, oils or by-products during a manufacturing product or process. Waste management methods are specialized and different to the processing of non-hazardous waste. Different types of Hazardous Solid Wastes are:
• Household Hazardous waste – Includes leftover and used household products containing reactive, ignitable, toxic and corrosive constituents. Light bulbs, pesticides, batteries, cleaners, paints, oil and medical waste are examples. Managing waste that contains potentially hazardous ingredients are specialized and different collection methods are used as specified by the EPA.
• Industrial Hazardous Waste – Industrial facilities, processing units, manufacturing plants, maintenance units, workshops, chemical plants and nuclear facilities all falling under the category. It gets broken down into four different list in regards to safety of removal and disposal of waste:
? F-list – managing waste generated from manufacturing or industrial processes and usually no specific source waste.
? K – list – managing waste from industrial such as wood treatment, petroleum refining, inorganic pigment of chemicals, pesticide manufacturing, veterinary pharmaceuticals, metal production plant and coke production.
? P –list and U –list – Commercial chemical products intended to be discarded or discarded with container residues, listed generic names, and off-specification species or spill residues. P – List is acute hazardous waste and U- list contains toxic waste. The Hazardous Waste Listings lists the full list of which falls under what category or list.
• Universal Waste – Mercury-containing products, pesticides, batteries and light bulbs are declared as universal waste to streamline waste management to facilitate proper storage, collection, treatment and disposal. This will increase recycling and recovery rates and reduce the use of incinerators and use of landfills.
• Characteristic Waste – Specific characteristics of corrosiveness, toxicity, ignitability and reactivity defines the waste management of lead and mercury for example. Toxic wastes, gases, explosives and lithium-sulphur batteries falls under this category as it may be harmful when ingested or inhaled.
• Mixed Waste – Managing waste that contain hazardous and radioactive components make regulation complicated. Mixed waste falls under three categories which are Low Level Mixed, High Level Mixed and Mixed Trans Uranic Waste. This usually comes from nuclear power plants, medical diagnostic testing, biotechnology development, pharmaceutical development, hospitals and pesticide research.

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Solid Waste Policy and types of Non-Hazardous Solid Waste

These types of policies are essential in the effective management of waste and inputs are taken into consideration from government agencies, businesses, research organisations, citizens, community organisations and stakeholders. Environmental departments of all states in the U.S. are encouraged in the development and implementation of waste management.
Solid waste used to refer only to non-hazardous waste, but state regulations and (RCRA) Resource Conservation & Recovery Act identify hazardous waste under the same policy. Different types of non-hazardous solid waste are:
• Municipal Solid Waste – this includes not only household garbage, but also horticulture, road sweeping, commercial waste and institutional entities.
• Animal and Agricultural Waste – crop residue after harvest as well as secondary residues from fibre, feed and food production. Animal waste includes production operation waste, dead animals, wastewater, manure and urine and all waste generated from feedlots and farms. The mismanagement of animal waste causes environmental problems such as water pollution.
• Industrial Waste – Iron and steel, organic and inorganic chemicals, clay, stone, plastics and resins, concrete, glass, food, paper and pulp. The waste management of industrial waste are processed differently and apart from municipal solid waste as it is processed separately of landfilled.
• Treatment Waste – consists of metal scraps, coproducts, by-products or sludge. Sludge can be solid, liquid or semi-solid waste from municipal, industrial or commercial wastewater plant, air pollution facility or water supply treatment facility. Electric arc furnace dust is included as treatment waste. Scrap metal includes, scrap mobiles, machine shop turnings, metal tanks, containers, wire and sheet metal.
• Construction and Demolition Waste – All debris from demolitions, renovations and construction of roads, buildings and bridges. It is often heavy materials and proper waste management procedures must be adhered to for the improvement of resources.
• Medical waste – materials from all health care facilities and includes funeral homes, blood banks, veterinarians, dentists physicians’ offices and laboratories.
• Special Waste – it has its own category because of human an environmental risks involved and includes; fossil fuel combustion, uranium waste, phosphate rock mining waste, gas and oil drilling oil production brine and muds, mining waste and cement kiln dust.

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WHAT HAPPENS TO OUR WASTE?

There is a lot of confusion about what happens to our waste. In this section we explain the methods currently used and give an easily understandable explanation of the benefits achieved.

  • Integrated Waste Management (As Gaeilge)
  • Recycling
  • Composting is Easy (As Gaeilge)
  • Biological Treatment (As Gaeilge)
  • Incineration (As Gaeilge)
  • Landfill (As Gaeilge)
  • Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)
  • Gaeilge/Béarla Glossary of Environmental Terms
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