Chapter 14 Solid & Hazardous Waste ENVI-1020 Environmental Science Dr. Holm
Chapter 14 Solid & Hazardous Waste ENVI-1020 Environmental Science Dr. Holm ENVI 1020 - 001
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Cory Garfunkel on Tuesday April 26, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ENVI 1020 - 001 at Auburn University taught by Robert F. Holm in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 47 views. For similar materials see Fundamentals of Environmental Science in Science at Auburn University.
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Date Created: 04/26/16
Chapter 14 Solid & Hazardous Waste **“‘Solid wastes’ are the discarded leftovers of our advanced consumer society. This growing mountain of garbage and trash represents not only an attitude of indifference toward valuable natural resources, but also a serious economic & public health problem.” — President Jimmy Carter** Solid Waste Definition—Any garbage, refuse, or sludge from a wastewater treatment plant, water supply treatment plant, or air pollution control facility & other discarded material, including solid, liquid, semisolid, or contained gaseous material resulting from industrial, commercial, mining, & ag. operations, & from community activities Total U.S. Solid Waste generation 2013 (254 Million Tons, before recycling) o Paper-27% Food-14.6% o Yard trimmings-13.5% Plastics-12.8% o Metals-9.1% Rubber/leather/textiles-9% o Wood-6.2% Glass-4.5% o Other-3.3% All have gone up in total tonnage per decade (since 1960’s) except glass, yard-work We recycled ~82 million tons of this waste or ~32.5%. Much of the trash we didn’t need in the first place (i.e. junk mail, excess plastic bottles, excess foam peanuts) st E-Waste is a serious 21 century waste management problem o Fastest growing part of our waste stream (< 10% of computers currently recycled) o Lead, mercury, cadmium, & other rare and/or toxic metals that will pollute if not recovered o U.S. & China #1 and #2 in world in e-waste generation Solid Waste Management Hierarchy o Incineration w/o Energy Recovery (LEAST PREFERRED) o Combustion with Energy Recovery Heat from fireboils watersteam used to heat buildings or generate electricity o Recycling/Composting o Source Reduction & Reuse (MOST PREFERRED) Methods of Waste Disposal o Source Reduction o Recycling Always advisable, but market prices fluctuate wildly & contamination is possible Benefits (Based on 2013 U.S. 83 Million tons recycled) 182 Million metric tons of CO₂ not emitted (33 million passenger cars) For every ton newspaper recycled, we save 18 trees, 3 m³ of landfill space, & use 60% less energy o Gov’t recycled 223,000 tons4 million trees & $7.4 million saved Cleaner land, air, & water, better overall health, more sustainable economy %age of Municipal Solid Waste recycled up from 6.4% in 1960 to 32.5% in 2013 o Landfills # of Landfills in U.S. has steadily declined from ~8,000 in 1988 to 1,754 in 2006 Permits harder to obtain, more people, no one wants to live near one Responsibly Retired landfill (deep to shallow)—Bedrock, Compacted low- permeability clay, plastic layer, waste, impermeable clay cap with outgassing pipe & leaching collection/drainage system Trash covered each day by layers of dirt and impermeable plastic tarp Prevents human & animal scavenging, leaching, and pollution o Incineration Advantages Reduced trash volume, less need for landfills, low water pollution Disadvantages High cost, Air Pollution (esp. dioxins), highly toxic ash, encourages wasting o Composting Natural decomposition to break down organic material; 3,800 current U.S. facilities (plus homeowners/farmers who also compost) Municipal Solid Waste Disposal (MSW) o Landfills-MSW, industrial waste, construction & demolition debris, and bioreactors o Combustion/Incineration-waste volume reduced in controlled burning process Hazardous Waste, RCRA, & CERCLA Management of solid waste (garbage), hazardous waste, & underground oil products or chemical storage tanks regulated by 1976 U.S. Congress’ Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA) RCRA o Defines hazardous wastes – Part 261 o Establishes cradle-to-grave manifest system At every stage of the hazardous waste generation, transport, storage, treatment, & disposal process, there is documentation of what & how much hazardous waste there is being generated, transported, etc. and everyone is on the same page o Establishes standards Generators Transporters Disposal Sites o Enforcement through a permitting system o Authorization of state programs o Omissions (which may be regulated by other Acts/Agencies) radioactive wastes, domestic hazardous & toxic wastes, mining wastes, oil & gas drilling wastes, liquid waste with organic compounds, cement kiln dust, wastes from small businesses & industries What is Hazardous Waste? o Even when used properly, many chemicals can still harm human health & the environment o When these hazardous substances or materials are disposed, they become hazardous waste Most often by-products of manufacturing process –left-over material left Sometimes domestic, ex. old batteries, bug spray cans, & paint thinner o Types—One or more of these characteristics makes something hazardous Corrosive —Can wear away (corrode) or destroy a substance; Most acids are corrosives that can eat through metal, burn skin on contact, & give off vapors that burn the eyes. Ex: Acids and bases Combustible —Ignitable material that can burst into flames easily; Poses a fire hazard; Can irritate the skin, eyes, & lungs; May give off harmful vapors. Ex: Gasoline, paint, and furniture polish, alcohols, benzene, peroxides Reactive —Can explode or create poisonous gas when combined with other chemicals; Chlorine bleach & ammonia are reactive & create a poisonous gas when they come into contact with each other. Ex: Ether, cyanide (CN) Toxic —Can poison people & other life; Can cause illness & even death if swallowed or absorbed through skin; Ex: Pesticides, weed killers, many household cleaners Hazardous Waste Statistics o Approx. 275 million tons of hazardous waste generated per year in U.S. (~2.4% of total solid waste) o ~2/3 of hazardous wastes generated in 10 states where most manufacturing located o 71% from chemical and petroleum industry; 22% from metal industry, 7% other o ¼ of Americans live within 4 miles of a Superfund hazardous waste site o There are Superfund sites and many other hazardous waste sites in every state Treatment, Storage, & Disposal of Hazardous Waste o Treatment is any process that changes the physical, chemical, or biological character of a waste to make it less hazardous; hazardous waste generally must be treated before disposal o Examples: Biological treatment Carbon adsorption Deactivation Incineration—high temp. burning (rapid oxidation) of waste, usually at 1600-2500° F Industrial Furnace: includes cement kilns, lime kilns, coke ovens, blast furnaces, smelting furnaces, etc. Neutralization Vitrification—Using high temps. to melt hazardous waste into molten glass Storage of Hazardous Waste o Containers—most common hazardous waste container is the 55-gallon drum o Tanks, Waste Piles, & Surface Impoundments Disposal Methods for Hazardous Waste o Landfill, Surface impoundment, Waste pile, Land treatment unit, Injection well, Salt dome formation, Salt bed formation, Underground mine or cave, Underground injection well Illegal Hazardous Waste Dumping o This practice expanded geographically during the 60’s and 70’s Used to be a huge problem, but thankfully not as much anymore in America o Midnight dumping….open lagoons….surface storage….burial o Companies handled their own waste Bury on their own land or Contract haulers to take it to ???? Encourage clandestine dumping in streams, lakes, wetlands, gravel pit, abandoned farms, unsecured properties o Private depots where waste can dropped off o Elizabeth, New Jersey: 50,000 drums of chemical waste left by a bankrupt chemical company o Valley of the Drums near Louisville, KY—100,000 drums with > 100 different toxic chemicals from 1960’s until late 70’s. Clean-up effort officially took 7 years and lots of $$helped secure passage of Superfund bill; cleanup resumed in 2008 as more evidence appeared Environmental Problems Caused by Hazardous Wastes o Most hazardous waste is disposed on landbiggest problem is contaminated groundwater 100,000 industrial landfill sites & 180,000 surface impoundments Nearly 2% of North America’s underground aquifers could be contaminated Prohibitively costly to restore water to original state & often not physically possible o Love Canal (north of Buffalo, NY) 1892—William T. Love proposed a canal for navigation and hydropower Only one mile of the canal built, used for swimming and recreation 1920—Land sold at public auction; became a municipal and chemical disposal site Hooker Chemical Company dumps over 20,000 tons of chemicals until 1953, including benzene (leukemia) & dioxin (other cancers) 1953—Hooker covered site with dirt & clay & sold land to Niagara Falls Board of Education for $1.00 1955—99th St. Elementary School opened & homes were built on 16-acre rectangular site 1960’s-1970’s—repeated complaints to city Aug. 1978 - the NY Health Dept. recommended temporary relocation of pregnant women and young children; President Carter declared a federal emergency 1980’s—Human Health issues documented 17 pregnancies in 1979—2 normal, 9 defects, 2 stillborn, 4 miscarriages Broken chromosomes, Neurological Problems 1980—Declared Superfund Site 1990’s—Resettlement of area begins Dump site covered with a new clay cap & surrounded by a drainage system that pumps leaking wastes to a new treatment plant After 15 years of court battles, OxyChem (parent company of Hooker) agreed to $98 million settlement & agreed to pay NY $7.1 million for site clean-up Because of difficulty of linking exposure of specific chemicals to specific health threats, the long term health effects on Love Canal remain unknown & controversial CERCLA (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, & Liability Act of 1980) o Response and Remedial Actions Air sparging, Bioremediation of Chlorinated Solvents, Capping, Containment, In Situ (in position/on site) Oxidation, Multi-Phase Extraction, Natural Attenuation, Permeable Reactive Barriers, Phytoremediation, Soil Removal, Soil Vapor Extraction, Solvent Extraction, Thermal Treatment: Ex Situ (off site) or In Situ o National Contingency Plan (NCP) Assessment criteria Cleanup criteria National Priority List (NPL) Currently 1,240 sites listed on Superfund NPL; additional 317 have been delisted, & 61 new sites have been proposed o Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs) o Financing cleanups-Superfund Originally funded through taxes on chemical & petroleum industries; now via general fund Haz-Mat Response Teams wearing “Level A” protective suits are what we think of when we think of hazardous waste clean-up Brownfields— Real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant o 450,000 in the U.S. (mostly run-down, abandoned, old hazardous buildings in inner-cities o Cleaning up & reinvesting in these properties increases local tax bases, facilitates job growth, utilizes existing infrastructure, takes development pressures off of undeveloped, open land, and both improves and protects the environment
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