User Tools

Site Tools


wastewater
Snippet from Wikipedia: Wastewater

Wastewater (or waste water) is any water that has been contaminated by human use. Wastewater is "used water from any combination of domestic, industrial, commercial or agricultural activities, surface runoff or stormwater, and any sewer inflow or sewer infiltration". Therefore, wastewater is a byproduct of domestic, industrial, commercial or agricultural activities. The characteristics of wastewater vary depending on the source. Types of wastewater include: domestic wastewater from households, municipal wastewater from communities (also called sewage) and industrial wastewater. Wastewater can contain physical, chemical and biological pollutants.

Households may produce wastewater from flush toilets, sinks, dishwashers, washing machines, bath tubs, and showers. Households that use dry toilets produce less wastewater than those that use flush toilets.

Wastewater may be conveyed in a sanitary sewer that conveys only sewage. Alternatively, wastewater can be transported in a combined sewer that conveys both stormwater runoff and sewage, and possibly also industrial wastewater. After treatment at a wastewater treatment plant, treated wastewater (also called effluent) is discharged to a receiving water body. The terms "wastewater reuse" and "water reclamation" apply if the treated waste is used for another purpose. Wastewater that is discharged to the environment without suitable treatment can cause water pollution.

In developing countries and in rural areas with low population densities, wastewater is often treated by various on-site sanitation systems and not conveyed in sewers. These systems include septic tanks connected to drain fields, on-site sewage systems (OSS), vermifilter systems and many more.

, Germany]] Wastewater, also written as waste water, is any water that has been adversely affected in quality by anthropogenic influence. Municipal wastewater is usually conveyed in a combined sewer or sanitary sewer, and treated at a wastewater treatment plant. Treated wastewater is discharged into a receiving water via an effluent sewer. Wastewaters generated in areas without access to centralized sewer systems rely on on-site wastewater systems. These typically comprise a septic tank, drain field, and optionally an on-site treatment unit.

Sewage is the subset of wastewater that is contaminated with feces or urine, but is often used to mean any wastewater. Sewage includes domestic, municipal, or industrial liquid waste products disposed of, usually via a pipe or sewer (sanitary or combined), sometimes in a cesspool emptier.

Sewerage is the physical infrastructure, including pipes, pumps, screens, channels etc. used to convey sewage from its origin to the point of eventual treatment or disposal. It is found in all types of sewage treatment, with the exception of septic systems, which treat sewage on site.

Origin

Wastewater or sewage can come from (text in brackets indicates likely inclusions or contaminants):

Wastewater constituents

The composition of wastewater varies widely. This is a partial list of what it may contain:

Wastewater quality indicators

Any oxidizable material present in a natural waterway or in an industrial wastewater will be oxidized both by biochemical (bacterial) or chemical processes. The result is that the oxygen content of the water will be decreased. Basically, the reaction for biochemical oxidation may be written as:

:Oxidizable material + bacteria + nutrient + O2 → CO2 + H2O + oxidized inorganics such as NO3- or SO4

Oxygen consumption by reducing chemicals such as sulfides and nitrites is typified as follows:

:S + 2 O2 → SO4

:NO2- + ½ O2 → NO3-

Since all natural waterways contain bacteria and nutrients, almost any waste compounds introduced into such waterways will initiate biochemical reactions (such as shown above). Those biochemical reactions create what is measured in the laboratory as the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD). Such chemicals are also liable to be broken down using strong oxidizing agents and these chemical reactions create what is measured in the laboratory as the chemical oxygen demand (COD). Both the BOD and COD tests are a measure of the relative oxygen-depletion effect of a waste contaminant. Both have been widely adopted as a measure of pollution effect. The BOD test measures the oxygen demand of biodegradable pollutants whereas the COD test measures the oxygen demand of oxidizable pollutants.

The so-called 5-day BOD measures the amount of oxygen consumed by biochemical oxidation of waste contaminants in a 5-day period. The total amount of oxygen consumed when the biochemical reaction is allowed to proceed to completion is called the Ultimate BOD. Because the Ultimate BOD is so time consuming, the 5-day BOD has been almost universally adopted as a measure of relative pollution effect.

There are also many different COD tests of which the 4-hour COD is probably the most common.

There is no generalized correlation between the 5-day BOD and the ultimate BOD. Similarly there is no generalized correlation between BOD and COD. It is possible to develop such correlations for specific waste contaminants in a specific wastewater stream but such correlations cannot be generalized for use with any other waste contaminants or wastewater streams. This is because the composition of any wastewater stream is different. As an example an effluent consisting of a solution of simple sugars that might discharge from a confectionery factory is likely to have organic components that degrade very quickly. In such a case, the 5 day BOD and the ultimate BOD would be very similar since there would be very little organic material left after 5 days. However a final effluent of a sewage treatment works serving a large industrialised area might have a discharge where the ultimate BOD was much greater than the 5 day BOD because much of the easily degraded material would have been removed in the sewage treatment process and many industrial processes discharge difficult to degrade organic molecules.

The laboratory test procedures for the determining the above oxygen demands are detailed in many standard texts. American versions include the “Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater.”<ref>Clescerl, Leonore S.(Editor), Greenberg, Arnold E.(Editor), Eaton, Andrew D. (Editor). Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater (20th ed.) American Public Health Association, Washington, DC. ISBN 0-87553-235-7. This publication is also available on CD-ROM and online by subscription.</ref>

Sewage disposal

In some urban areas, sewage is carried separately in sanitary sewers and runoff from streets is carried in storm drains. Access to either of these is typically through a manhole. During high precipitation periods a sanitary sewer overflow can occur, forcing untreated sewage to flow back into the environment. This can pose a serious threat to public health and the surrounding environment.

Sewage may drain directly into major watersheds with minimal or no treatment. When untreated, sewage can have serious impacts on the quality of an environment and on the health of people. Pathogens can cause a variety of illnesses. Some chemicals pose risks even at very low concentrations and can remain a threat for long periods of time because of bioaccumulation in animal or human tissue.

Treatment

There are numerous processes that can be used to clean up wastewaters depending on the type and extent of contamination. There are two basic approaches: to use the waste in the water as a resource (such as constructed wetlands) or strictly as a pollution (such as the majority of today's treatment plants). Most wastewater is treated in industrial-scale energy intensive wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) which include physical, chemical and biological treatment processes. However, the use of septic tanks and other On-Site Sewage Facilities (OSSF) is widespread in rural areas, serving up to 20 percent of the homes in the U.S.<ref>U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C. (2008). "Septic Systems Fact Sheet." EPA publication no. 832-F-08-057.</ref>

The most important aerobic treatment system is the activated sludge process, based on the maintenance and recirculation of a complex biomass composed by micro-organisms able to absorb and adsorb the organic matter carried in the wastewater. Anaerobic wastewater treatment processes (UASB, EGSB) are also widely applied in the treatment of industrial wastewaters and biological sludge. Some wastewater may be highly treated and reused as reclaimed water. Increasingly, for most wastewaters ecological approaches using reed bed systems such as constructed wetlands are being used. Tertiary treatment is being increasingly applied and most common technologies are micro filtration or synthetic membranes. After membrane filtration, the treated wastewater is indistinguishable from waters of natural origin of drinking quality (without its minerals). Nitrates can be removed from wastewater by natural processes in wetlands but also via intensive microbial denitrification, for which a small amount of methanol is typically added to provide the bacteria with a source of carbon. Ozone wastewater treatment is also growing in popularity, and requires the use of an ozone generator, which decontaminates the water as ozone bubbles percolate through the tank but is energy intensive.

Disposal of wastewaters from an industrial plant is a difficult and costly problem. Most petroleum refineries, chemical and petrochemical plants<ref>

</ref><ref>

</ref> have onsite facilities to treat their wastewaters so that the pollutant concentrations in the treated wastewater comply with the local and/or national regulations regarding disposal of wastewaters into community treatment plants or into rivers, lakes or oceans. Constructed wetlands are being used in an increasing number of cases as they provided high quality and productive on-site treatment. Other industrial processes that produce a lot of waste-waters such as paper and pulp production has created environmental concern, leading to development of processes to recycle water use within plants before they have to be cleaned and disposed.<ref>J. F. Byrd, M. D. Ehrke, J. I. Whitfield. (1984) "New Bleached Kraft Pulp Plant in Georgia: State of the Art Environmental Control" Water pollution control federation 56(4): 378–385.</ref>

Reuse

Treated wastewater can be reused as drinking water, in industry (cooling towers), in artificial recharge of aquifers, in agriculture (70 percent of Israel's irrigated agriculture is based on highly purified wastewater)

and in the rehabilitation of natural ecosystems (Florida's Everglades).

Use of untreated wastewater by agriculture

Around 90% of wastewater produced globally remains untreated, causing widespread water pollution, especially in low-income countries. Increasingly, agriculture is using untreated wastewater for irrigation. Cities provide lucrative markets for fresh produce, so are attractive to farmers. However, because agriculture has to compete for increasingly scarce water resources with industry and municipal users, there is often no alternative for farmers but to use water polluted with urban waste directly to water their crops.

Health hazards of polluted irrigation water

There can be significant health hazards related to using the water in this way. Wastewater from cities can contain a mixture of chemical and biological pollutants. In low-income countries, there are often high levels of pathogens from excreta, while in emerging nations, where industrial development is outpacing environmental regulation, there are increasing risks from inorganic and organic chemicals. The World Health Organization, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), has developed guidelines for safe use of wastewater.

The International Water Management Institute has worked in India, Pakistan, Vietnam, Ghana, Ethiopia, Mexico and other countries on various projects aimed at assessing and reducing risks of wastewater irrigation. They advocate a ‘multiple-barrier’ approach to wastewater use, where farmers are encouraged to adopt various risk-reducing behaviours. These include ceasing irrigation a few days before harvesting to allow pathogens to die off in the sunlight, applying water carefully so it does not contaminate leaves likely to be eaten raw, cleaning vegetables with disinfectant or allowing fecal sludge used in farming to dry before being used as a human manure.<ref>Wastewater use in agriculture: ''Not only an issue where water is scarce!'' International Water Management Institute, 2010. Water Issue Brief 4</ref>

Etymology

The words “sewage” and “sewer” came from Old French essouier = “to drain”, which came from Latin exaquāre. Their formal Latin antecedents are exaquāticum and exaquārium.

Legislation

European Union

Council Directive 91/271/EEC on Urban Wastewater Treatment was adopted on 21 May 1991,<ref>http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:31991L0271:EN:NOT</ref> amended by the Commission Directive 98/15/EC.<ref>http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:31998L0015:EN:NOT</ref> Commission Decision 93/481/EEC defines the information that Member States should provide the Commission on the state of implementation of the Directive.<ref>http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:31993D0481:EN:NOT</ref>

United States

The Clean Water Act is the primary federal law in the United States governing water pollution.<ref>United States. Clean Water Act.

et seq. Pub.L. 92-500, October 18, 1972; as amended.</ref>

See also

References

Snippet from Wikipedia: Pollution

Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into the natural environment that cause adverse change. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat or light. Pollutants, the components of pollution, can be either foreign substances/energies or naturally occurring contaminants. Pollution is often classed as point source or nonpoint source pollution. In 2015, pollution killed 9 million people in the world.

Major forms of pollution include: Air pollution, light pollution, littering, noise pollution, plastic pollution, soil contamination, radioactive contamination, thermal pollution, visual pollution, water pollution.

problem on the coast of Guyana, 2010]]

Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into the natural environment that cause adverse change.<ref>

</ref> Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat or light. Pollutants, the components of pollution, can be either foreign substances/energies or naturally occurring contaminants. Pollution is often classed as point source or nonpoint source pollution.

Ancient cultures

Air pollution has always accompanied civilizations. Pollution started from the prehistoric times when man created the first fires. According to a 1983 article in the journal Science,soot found on ceilings of prehistoric caves provides ample evidence of the high levels of pollution that was associated with inadequate ventilation of open fires.”<ref>

</ref> The forging of metals appears to be a key turning point in the creation of significant air pollution levels outside the home. Core samples of glaciers in Greenland indicate increases in pollution associated with Greek, Roman and Chinese metal production,<ref>

</ref> but at that time the pollution was comparatively less and could be handled by nature.

Official acknowledgement

King Edward I of England banned the burning of sea-coal by proclamation in London in 1272, after its smoke became a problem.<ref name=“Pea-souper”>

</ref><ref name=“Deadly”>

</ref> But the fuel was so common in England that this earliest of names for it was acquired because it could be carted away from some shores by the wheelbarrow. Air pollution would continue to be a problem in England, especially later during the industrial revolution, and extending into the recent past with the Great Smog of 1952. London also recorded one of the earlier extreme cases of water quality problems with the Great Stink on the Thames of 1858, which led to construction of the London sewerage system soon afterward.

It was the industrial revolution that gave birth to environmental pollution as we know it today. The emergence of great factories and consumption of immense quantities of coal and other fossil fuels gave rise to unprecedented air pollution and the large volume of industrial chemical discharges added to the growing load of untreated human waste. Chicago and Cincinnati were the first two American cities to enact laws ensuring cleaner air in 1881. Other cities followed around the country until early in the 20th century, when the short lived Office of Air Pollution was created under the Department of the Interior. Extreme smog events were experienced by the cities of Los Angeles and Donora, Pennsylvania in the late 1940s, serving as another public reminder.<ref name=“Donora”>

</ref>

Modern awareness

Pollution became a popular issue after World War II, due to radioactive fallout from atomic warfare and testing. Then a non-nuclear event, The Great Smog of 1952 in London, killed at least 4000 people.<ref>1952: London fog clears after days of chaos (BBC News)</ref> This prompted some of the first major modern environmental legislation, The Clean Air Act of 1956.

Pollution began to draw major public attention in the United States between the mid-1950s and early 1970s, when Congress passed the Noise Control Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.<ref name=“issues”>

</ref>

]]

Severe incidents of pollution helped increase consciousness. PCB dumping in the Hudson River resulted in a ban by the EPA on consumption of its fish in 1974. Long-term dioxin contamination at Love Canal starting in 1947 became a national news story in 1978 and led to the Superfund legislation of 1980. Legal proceedings in the 1990s helped bring to light hexavalent chromium releases in California—the champions of whose victims became famous. The pollution of industrial land gave rise to the name brownfield, a term now common in city planning.

The development of nuclear science introduced radioactive contamination, which can remain lethally radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years. Lake Karachay, named by the Worldwatch Institute as the “most polluted spot” on earth, served as a disposal site for the Soviet Union throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Second place may go to the area of Chelyabinsk U.S.S.R. (see reference below) as the “Most polluted place on the planet”. <ref name=“Lenssen”>Lenssen, “Nuclear Waste: The Problem that Won't Go Away”, Worldwatch Institute, Washington, D.C., 1991: 15.</ref>

Nuclear weapons continued to be tested in the Cold War, sometimes near inhabited areas, especially in the earlier stages of their development. The toll on the worst-affected populations and the growth since then in understanding about the critical threat to human health posed by radioactivity has also been a prohibitive complication associated with nuclear power. Though extreme care is practiced in that industry, the potential for disaster suggested by incidents such as those at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl pose a lingering specter of public mistrust. One legacy of nuclear testing before most forms were banned has been significantly raised levels of background radiation.

International catastrophes such as the wreck of the Amoco Cadiz oil tanker off the coast of Brittany in 1978 and the Bhopal disaster in 1984 have demonstrated the universality of such events and the scale on which efforts to address them needed to engage. The borderless nature of atmosphere and oceans inevitably resulted in the implication of pollution on a planetary level with the issue of global warming. Most recently the term persistent organic pollutant (POP) has come to describe a group of chemicals such as PBDEs and PFCs among others. Though their effects remain somewhat less well understood owing to a lack of experimental data, they have been detected in various ecological habitats far removed from industrial activity such as the Arctic, demonstrating diffusion and bioaccumulation after only a relatively brief period of widespread use.

A much more recently discovered problem is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a huge concentration of plastics, chemical sludge and other debris which has been collected into a large area of the Pacific Ocean by the North Pacific Gyre. This is a less well known pollution problem than the others described above, but nonetheless has multiple and serious consequences such as increasing wildlife mortality, the spread of invasive species and human ingestion of toxic chemicals. Organizations such as 5 Gyres have researched the pollution and, along with artists like Marina DeBris, are working toward publicizing the issue.

Growing evidence of local and global pollution and an increasingly informed public over time have given rise to environmentalism and the environmental movement, which generally seek to limit human impact on the environment.

Forms of pollution

in Montreal Canada, is polluted.]]

The major forms of pollution are listed below along with the particular contaminant relevant to each of them:

Pollutants

A pollutant is a waste material that pollutes air, water or soil. Three factors determine the severity of a pollutant: its chemical nature, the concentration and the persistence.

Sources and causes

File:Ship Tracks Reveal Pollution's Effects on Clouds.ogv

Air pollution comes from both natural and human-made (anthropogenic) sources. However, globally human-made pollutants from combustion, construction, mining, agriculture and warfare are increasingly significant in the air pollution equation.<ref>Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, 1972</ref>

Motor vehicle emissions are one of the leading causes of air pollution.<ref>Environmental Performance Report 2001 (Transport, Canada website page)</ref><ref>State of the Environment, Issue: Air Quality (Australian Government website page)</ref><ref>Pollution and Society Marisa Buchanan and Carl Horwitz, University of Michigan</ref> China, United States, Russia, India<ref>http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/emis/tre_tp20.html</ref> Mexico, and Japan are the world leaders in air pollution emissions. Principal stationary pollution sources include chemical plants, coal-fired power plants, oil refineries,<ref name=Aqueous/> petrochemical plants, nuclear waste disposal activity, incinerators, large livestock farms (dairy cows, pigs, poultry, etc.), PVC factories, metals production factories, plastics factories, and other heavy industry. Agricultural air pollution comes from contemporary practices which include clear felling and burning of natural vegetation as well as spraying of pesticides and herbicides<ref>Silent Spring, R Carlson, 1962</ref>

About 400 million metric tons of hazardous wastes are generated each year.<ref>“Pollution”. Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2009.</ref> The United States alone produces about 250 million metric tons.<ref>“Chapter 23 – Solid, Toxic, and Hazardous Waste”</ref> Americans constitute less than 5% of the world's population, but produce roughly 25% of the world’s co2,<ref>“Revolutionary {{CO2}} maps zoom in on greenhouse gas sources”. Purdue University. April 7, 2008.</ref> and generate approximately 30% of world’s waste.<ref>

</ref><ref>Alarm sounds on US population boom. August 31, 2006. The Boston Globe.</ref> In 2007, China has overtaken the United States as the world's biggest producer of

,<ref>“China overtakes US as world's biggest {{CO2}} emitter”. Guardian.co.uk. June 19, 2007.</ref> while still far behind based on per capita pollution - ranked 78th among the world's nations.<ref>“Ranking of the world's countries by 2008 per capita fossil-fuel CO2 emission rates.”. CDIAC. 2008.</ref>

's downtown, China]] In February 2007, a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), representing the work of 2,500 scientists, economists, and policymakers from more than 120 countries, said that humans have been the primary cause of global warming since 1950. Humans have ways to cut greenhouse gas emissions and avoid the consequences of global warming, a major climate report concluded. But to change the climate, the transition from fossil fuels like coal and oil needs to occur within decades, according to the final report this year from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).<ref>

</ref>

Some of the more common soil contaminants are chlorinated hydrocarbons (CFH), heavy metals (such as chromium, cadmium–found in rechargeable batteries, and lead–found in lead paint, aviation fuel and still in some countries, gasoline), MTBE, zinc, arsenic and benzene. In 2001 a series of press reports culminating in a book called Fateful Harvest unveiled a widespread practice of recycling industrial byproducts into fertilizer, resulting in the contamination of the soil with various metals. Ordinary municipal landfills are the source of many chemical substances entering the soil environment (and often groundwater), emanating from the wide variety of refuse accepted, especially substances illegally discarded there, or from pre-1970 landfills that may have been subject to little control in the U.S. or EU. There have also been some unusual releases of polychlorinated dibenzodioxins, commonly called dioxins for simplicity, such as TCDD.<ref>

</ref>

Pollution can also be the consequence of a natural disaster. For example, hurricanes often involve water contamination from sewage, and petrochemical spills from ruptured boats or automobiles. Larger scale and environmental damage is not uncommon when coastal oil rigs or refineries are involved. Some sources of pollution, such as nuclear power plants or oil tankers, can produce widespread and potentially hazardous releases when accidents occur.

In the case of noise pollution the dominant source class is the motor vehicle, producing about ninety percent of all unwanted noise worldwide.

Effects

Human health

[http://earthtrends.wri.org/updates/node/325 World Resources Institute: August 2008 Monthly Update: Air Pollution's Causes, Consequences and Solutions] Submitted by Matt Kallman on Wed, 2008-08-20 18:22. Retrieved on April 17, 2009[http://www.waterhealthconnection.org/chapter3.asp waterhealthconnection.org Overview of Waterborne Disease Trends] By Patricia L. Meinhardt, MD, MPH, MA, Author. Retrieved on April 16, 2009[http://pubs.cas.psu.edu/FreePubs/pdfs/uo198.pdf Pennsylvania State University > Potential Health Effects of Pesticides.] by Eric S. Lorenz. 2007. />

Adverse air quality can kill many organisms including humans. Ozone pollution can cause respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, throat inflammation, chest pain, and congestion. Water pollution causes approximately 14,000 deaths per day, mostly due to contamination of drinking water by untreated sewage in developing countries. An estimated 500 million Indians have no access to a proper toilet,<ref>

</ref><ref>

</ref> and 580 Indians die of water-related pollution every day.<ref>

</ref> Nearly 500 million Chinese lack access to safe drinking water.<ref>“As China Roars, Pollution Reaches Deadly Extremes”. The New York Times. August 26, 2007.</ref> A 2010 analysis estimated that 1.2 million people died prematurely in a year in China because of air pollution.<ref>Air Pollution Linked to 1.2 Million Premature Deaths in China</ref> In 2007 it was estimated that in India, air pollution is believed to cause 527,700 fatalities.<ref>Chinese Air Pollution Deadliest in World, Report Says. National Geographic News. July 9, 2007.</ref> Studies have estimated that the number of people killed annually in the US could be over 50,000.<ref>

</ref>

Oil spills can cause skin irritations and rashes. Noise pollution induces hearing loss, high blood pressure, stress, and sleep disturbance. Mercury has been linked to developmental deficits in children and neurologic symptoms. Older people are majorly exposed to diseases induced by air pollution. Those with heart or lung disorders are at additional risk. Children and infants are also at serious risk. Lead and other heavy metals have been shown to cause neurological problems. Chemical and radioactive substances can cause cancer and as well as birth defects.

Environment

Pollution has been found to be present widely in the environment. There are a number of effects of this:

Environmental health information

The Toxicology and Environmental Health Information Program (TEHIP)<ref>

</ref> at the United States National Library of Medicine (NLM) maintains a comprehensive toxicology and environmental health web site that includes access to resources produced by TEHIP and by other government agencies and organizations. This web site includes links to databases, bibliographies, tutorials, and other scientific and consumer-oriented resources. TEHIP also is responsible for the Toxicology Data Network (TOXNET)<ref>

</ref> an integrated system of toxicology and environmental health databases that are available free of charge on the web.

TOXMAP is a Geographic Information System (GIS) that is part of TOXNET. TOXMAP uses maps of the United States to help users visually explore data from the United States Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Toxics Release Inventory and Superfund Basic Research Programs.

Regulation and monitoring

To protect the environment from the adverse effects of pollution, many nations worldwide have enacted legislation to regulate various types of pollution as well as to mitigate the adverse effects of pollution.

Pollution control

, east-central Victoria, Australia]]

in Pristina, Kosovo]]

]]

.]]

Pollution control is a term used in environmental management. It means the control of emissions and effluents into air, water or soil. Without pollution control, the waste products from consumption, heating, agriculture, mining, manufacturing, transportation and other human activities, whether they accumulate or disperse, will degrade the environment. In the hierarchy of controls, pollution prevention and waste minimization are more desirable than pollution control. In the field of land development, low impact development is a similar technique for the prevention of urban runoff.

Practices

Pollution control devices

Perspectives

The earliest precursor of pollution generated by life forms would have been a natural function of their existence. The attendant consequences on viability and population levels fell within the sphere of natural selection. These would have included the demise of a population locally or ultimately, species extinction. Processes that were untenable would have resulted in a new balance brought about by changes and adaptations. At the extremes, for any form of life, consideration of pollution is superseded by that of survival.

For humankind, the factor of technology is a distinguishing and critical consideration, both as an enabler and an additional source of byproducts. Short of survival, human concerns include the range from quality of life to health hazards. Since science holds experimental demonstration to be definitive, modern treatment of toxicity or environmental harm involves defining a level at which an effect is observable. Common examples of fields where practical measurement is crucial include automobile emissions control, industrial exposure (e.g. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) PELs), toxicology (e.g.

), and medicine (e.g. medication and radiation doses).

“The solution to pollution is dilution”, is a dictum which summarizes a traditional approach to pollution management whereby sufficiently diluted pollution is not harmful.<ref name=“Island”>

</ref><ref name=“What”>

</ref> It is well-suited to some other modern, locally scoped applications such as laboratory safety procedure and hazardous material release emergency management. But it assumes that the dilutant is in virtually unlimited supply for the application or that resulting dilutions are acceptable in all cases.

Such simple treatment for environmental pollution on a wider scale might have had greater merit in earlier centuries when physical survival was often the highest imperative, human population and densities were lower, technologies were simpler and their byproducts more benign. But these are often no longer the case. Furthermore, advances have enabled measurement of concentrations not possible before. The use of statistical methods in evaluating outcomes has given currency to the principle of probable harm in cases where assessment is warranted but resorting to deterministic models is impractical or infeasible. In addition, consideration of the environment beyond direct impact on human beings has gained prominence.

Yet in the absence of a superseding principle, this older approach predominates practices throughout the world. It is the basis by which to gauge concentrations of effluent for legal release, exceeding which penalties are assessed or restrictions applied. One such superseding principle is contained in modern hazardous waste laws in developed countries, as the process of diluting hazardous waste to make it non-hazardous is usually a regulated treatment process.<ref name=“The”>

</ref> Migration from pollution dilution to elimination in many cases can be confronted by challenging economical and technological barriers.

Greenhouse gases and global warming

<!– Unsourced image removed:

2 by country in 1995. Data: United Nations Environment Programme. />

–> <!– Couldn't find a downloadable copy of the original image though I believe it was entirely in the public domain since other copies I've seen cite the DOE's EIA; the newer replacement image has fewer countries but is more chronologically extensive: –>

File:CO2-by-country--1990-2025.png|thumb|300px|Historical and projected CO2 emissions by country.
Source: Energy Information Administration.[ftp://ftp.eia.doe.gov/pub/oiaf/1605/cdrom/pdf/ggrpt/057304.pdf World Carbon Dioxide Emissions] (Table 1, Report DOE/EIA-0573, 2004, [[Energy Information Administration

)</ref><ref>Carbon dioxide emissions chart (graph on Mongabay website page based on Energy Information Administration's tabulated data)</ref>]] Carbon dioxide, while vital for photosynthesis, is sometimes referred to as pollution, because raised levels of the gas in the atmosphere are affecting the Earth's climate. Disruption of the environment can also highlight the connection between areas of pollution that would normally be classified separately, such as those of water and air. Recent studies have investigated the potential for long-term rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide to cause slight but critical increases in the acidity of ocean waters, and the possible effects of this on marine ecosystems.

Most polluted places in the developing world

The Blacksmith Institute, an international non-for-profit organization dedicated to eliminating life-threatening pollution in the developing world, issues an annual list of some of the world's worst polluted places. In the 2007 issues the ten top nominees, already industrialized countries excluded, are located in Azerbaijan, China, India, Peru, Russia, Ukraine and Zambia.<ref>

</ref>

See also

References

Pollution

Snippet from Wikipedia: Waste

Waste (or wastes) are unwanted or unusable materials. Waste is any substance which is discarded after primary use, or is worthless, defective and of no use. A by-product by contrast is a joint product of relatively minor economic value. A waste product may become a by-product, joint product or resource through an invention that raises a waste product's value above zero.

Examples include municipal solid waste (household trash/refuse), hazardous waste, wastewater (such as sewage, which contains bodily wastes (feces and urine) and surface runoff), radioactive waste, and others.

s), Payatas, Philippines.]]

Waste and wastes are terms for unwanted materials. Examples include municipal solid waste (household trash/refuse), wastewater (such as sewage, which contains bodily wastes, or surface runoff), radioactive waste, and others. The term is often subjective (because waste to one person is not necessarily waste to another) and sometimes objectively inaccurate (for example, to send scrap metals to a landfill is to inaccurately classify them as waste, because they are recyclable). The terms can have various connotations, including pejorative tone (for example, “this spoiled food is nothing but waste now”) or a squandering of potential (for example, “growing residential lawns in the desert is a waste of water”).

Litter refers to waste disposed of improperly.

Definitions

United Nations Environment Programme

According to the Basel Convention, <blockquote>“'Wastes' are substances or objects, which are disposed of or are intended to be disposed of or are required to be disposed of by the provisions of national law”<ref name=“Basel Convention”>“Basel Convention.” 1989. www.basel.int</ref></blockquote>

Legal definition of waste.]]

United Nations Statistics Division, ''Glossary of Environment Statistics''

<blockquote>“Wastes are materials that are not prime products (that is products produced for the market) for which the initial user has no further use in terms of his/her own purposes of production, transformation or consumption, and of which he/she wants to dispose. Wastes may be generated during the extraction of raw materials, the processing of raw materials into intermediate and final products, the consumption of final products, and other human activities. Residuals recycled or reused at the place of generation are excluded.”<ref name=“UNSD Glossary of Environment Statistics”>“Glossary of Environment Statistics.” 1997. UNSD. 1997. unstats.un.org</ref></blockquote>

European Union

Under the Waste Framework Directive, the European Union defines waste as “an object the holder discards, intends to discard or is required to discard.”<ref>European Directive 75/442/EC, as amended</ref>

Types

There are many waste types defined by modern systems of waste management, notably including:

Reporting

There are many issues that surround reporting waste. It is most commonly measured by size or weight, and there is a stark difference between the two. For example, organic waste is much heavier when it is wet, and plastic or glass bottles can have different weights but be the same size.<ref name=“Solid Waste Management”>“Solid Waste Management.” 2005. United Nations Environment Programme. Chapter III: Waste Quantities and Characteristics, 31-38. unep.or.jp</ref> On a global scale it is difficult to report waste because countries have different definitions of waste and what falls into waste categories, as well as different ways of reporting. Based on incomplete reports from its parties, the Basel Convention estimated 338 million tonnes of waste was generated in 2001.<ref name=“International Waste Activities”>“International Waste Activities.” 2003. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 12 Oct 2009. epa.gov</ref> For the same year, OECD estimated 4 billion tonnes from its member countries.<ref name=“Improving Recycling Markets”>“Improving Recycling Markets.” OECD Environment Program. Paris: OECD, 2006. oecd.org</ref> Despite these inconsistencies, waste reporting is still useful on a small and large scale to determine key causes and locations, and to find ways of preventing, minimizing, recovering, treating, and disposing waste.

Costs

Environmental costs

Innappropriately managed waste can attract rodents and insects, which can harbour gastrointestinal parasites, yellow fever, worms, the plague and other conditions for humans, and exposure to hazardous wastes, particularly when they are burned, can cause various other diseases including cancers. Toxic waste materials can contaminate surface water, groundwater, soil, and air which causes more problems for humans, other species, and ecosystems.<ref name=“Diaz”>Diaz, L. et al. Solid Waste Management, Volume 2. UNEP/Earthprint, 2006.</ref> Waste treatment and disposal produces significant green house gas (GHG) emissions, notably methane, which are contributing significantly to global climate change.<ref name=“International Waste Activities” />

Social costs

Waste management is a significant environmental justice issue. Many of the environmental burdens cited above are more often borne by marginalized groups, such as racial minorities, women, and residents of developing nations. NIMBY (not in my back yard) is the opposition of residents to a proposal for a new development because it is close to them.<ref>Wolsink, M. “Entanglement of interests and motives: Assumptions behind the NIMBY-theory on Facility Siting.” Urban Studies 31.6 (1994): 851-866.</ref> However, the need for expansion and siting of waste treatment and disposal facilities is increasing worldwide. There is now a growing market in the transboundary movement of waste, and although most waste that flows between countries goes between developed nations, a significant amount of waste is moved from developed to developing nations.<ref>Ray, A. “Waste management in developing Asia: Can trade and cooperation help?” The Journal of Environment & Development 17.1 (2008): 3-25.</ref>

Economic costs

The economic costs of managing waste are high, and are often paid for by municipal governments;<ref>“Muck and brass: The waste business smells of money.” The Economist. 2009 02 28. pp. 10-12.</ref> money can often be saved with more efficiently designed collection routes, modifying vehicles, and with public education. Environmental policies such as pay as you throw can reduce the cost of management and reduce waste quantities. Waste recovery (that is, recycling, reuse) can curb economic costs because it avoids extracting raw materials and often cuts transportation costs. “Economic assessment of municipal waste management systems – case studies using a combination of life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle costing (LCC)”.<ref> Journal of Cleaner Production 13 (2005): 253-263.</ref> The location of waste treatment and disposal facilities often has an impact on property values due to noise, dust, pollution, unsightliness, and negative stigma. The informal waste sector consists mostly of waste pickers who scavenge for metals, glass, plastic, textiles, and other materials and then trade them for a profit. This sector can significantly alter or reduce waste in a particular system, but other negative economic effects come with the disease, poverty, exploitation, and abuse of its workers.<ref>Wilson, D.C.; Velis, C.; Cheeseman, C. “Role of informal sector recycling in waste management in developing countries.” Habitat International 30 (2006): 797-808.</ref>

Education and awareness

Education and awareness in the area of waste and waste management is increasingly important from a global perspective of resource management. The Talloires Declaration is a declaration for sustainability concerned about the unprecedented scale and speed of environmental pollution and degradation, and the depletion of natural resources. Local, regional, and global air pollution; accumulation and distribution of toxic wastes; destruction and depletion of forests, soil, and water; depletion of the ozone layer and emission of “green house” gases threaten the survival of humans and thousands of other living species, the integrity of the earth and its biodiversity, the security of nations, and the heritage of future generations. Several universities have implemented the Talloires Declaration by establishing environmental management and waste management programs, e.g. the waste management universityproject. University and vocational education are promoted by various organizations, e.g. WAMITAB and Chartered Institution of Wastes Management.

<gallery> Veg waste Hyd Market.jpg|1 Weapon scraps.JPG|2 Agobox.jpg|3 Hospital waste.JPG|4 Garbage in a Tricycle.jpg|5 </gallery>

  1. Vegetable waste being dumped in a market in Hyderabad
  2. Weapon scraps
  3. Agobox; Bio-medical Waste
  4. Waste collected in a tricycle.

See also

References

External links

Wikiquote is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation that seeks to create a collection of quotes from people and creative works.

External links

Snippet from Wikipedia: Recycling

Recycling is the process of converting waste materials into new materials and objects. The recyclability of a material depends on its ability to reacquire the properties it had in its virgin state. It is an alternative to "conventional" waste disposal that can save material and help lower greenhouse gas emissions. Recycling can prevent the waste of potentially useful materials and reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, thereby reducing: energy usage, air pollution (from incineration), and water pollution (from landfilling).

Recycling is a key component of modern waste reduction and is the third component of the "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle" waste hierarchy. Thus, recycling aims at environmental sustainability by substituting raw material inputs into and redirecting waste outputs out of the economic system. There are some ISO standards related to recycling such as ISO 15270:2008 for plastics waste and ISO 14001:2015 for environmental management control of recycling practice.

Recyclable materials include many kinds of glass, paper, cardboard, metal, plastic, tires, textiles, batteries, and electronics. The composting or other reuse of biodegradable waste—such as food or garden waste—is also a form of recycling. Materials to be recycled are either delivered to a household recycling center or picked up from curbside bins, then sorted, cleaned, and reprocessed into new materials destined for manufacturing new products.

In the strictest sense, recycling of a material would produce a fresh supply of the same material—for example, used office paper would be converted into new office paper or used polystyrene foam into new polystyrene. This is accomplished when recycling certain types of materials, such as metal cans, which can become a can again and again, indefinitely, without losing purity in the product. However, this is often difficult or too expensive (compared with producing the same product from raw materials or other sources), so "recycling" of many products or materials involves their reuse in producing different materials (for example, paperboard) instead. Another form of recycling is the salvage of certain materials from complex products, either due to their intrinsic value (such as lead from car batteries, or gold from printed circuit boards), or due to their hazardous nature (e.g., removal and reuse of mercury from thermometers and thermostats).

File:Recycling symbol.svg

Recycling is a process to change (waste) materials into new products to prevent waste of potentially useful materials, reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, reduce energy usage, reduce air pollution (from incineration) and water pollution (from landfilling) by reducing the need for “conventional” waste disposal, and lower greenhouse gas emissions as compared to plastic production.<ref>

</ref><ref name=“gar”/> Recycling is a key component of modern waste reduction and is the third component of the “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” waste hierarchy.

There are some ISO standards related to recycling such as ISO 15270:2008 for plastics waste and ISO 14001:2004 for environmental management control of recycling practice.

Recyclable materials include many kinds of glass, paper, metal, plastic, textiles, and electronics. Although similar in effect, the composting or other reuse of biodegradable waste—such as food or garden waste—is considered recycling.<ref name=“gar”>

</ref> Materials to be recycled are either brought to a collection center or picked up from the curbside, then sorted, cleaned, and reprocessed into new materials bound for manufacturing.

In the strictest sense, recycling of a material would produce a fresh supply of the same material—for example, used office paper would be converted into new office paper, or used foamed polystyrene into new polystyrene. However, this is often difficult or too expensive (compared with producing the same product from raw materials or other sources), so “recycling” of many products or materials involves their reuse in producing different materials (e.g., paperboard) instead. Another form of recycling is the salvage of certain materials from complex products, either due to their intrinsic value (e.g., lead from car batteries, or gold from computer components), or due to their hazardous nature (e.g., removal and reuse of mercury from various items). Critics dispute the net economic and environmental benefits of recycling over its costs, and suggest that proponents of recycling often make matters worse and suffer from confirmation bias. Specifically, critics argue that the costs and energy used in collection and transportation detract from (and outweigh) the costs and energy saved in the production process; also that the jobs produced by the recycling industry can be a poor trade for the jobs lost in logging, mining, and other industries associated with virgin production; and that materials such as paper pulp can only be recycled a few times before material degradation prevents further recycling. Proponents of recycling dispute each of these claims, and the validity of arguments from both sides has led to enduring controversy.

History

Origins

Recycling has been a common practice for most of human history, with recorded advocates as far back as Plato in 400&nbsp;BC. During periods when resources were scarce, archaeological studies of ancient waste dumps show less household waste (such as ash, broken tools and pottery)—implying more waste was being recycled in the absence of new material.<ref name=“guide”>

</ref>

]] In pre-industrial times, there is evidence of scrap bronze and other metals being collected in Europe and melted down for perpetual reuse.<ref name=“economisttruth”/> In Britain dust and ash from wood and coal fires was collected by 'dustmen' and downcycled as a base material used in brick making. The main driver for these types of recycling was the economic advantage of obtaining recycled feedstock instead of acquiring virgin material, as well as a lack of public waste removal in ever more densely populated areas.<ref name=“guide”/> In 1813, Benjamin Law developed the process of turning rags into 'shoddy' and 'mungo' wool in Batley, Yorkshire. This material combined recycled fibres with virgin wool. The West Yorkshire shoddy industry in towns such as Batley and Dewsbury, lasted from the early 19th century to at least 1914.

Industrialization spurred demand for affordable materials; aside from rags, ferrous scrap metals were coveted as they were cheaper to acquire than was virgin ore. Railroads both purchased and sold scrap metal in the 19th century, and the growing steel and automobile industries purchased scrap in the early 20th century. Many secondary goods were collected, processed, and sold by peddlers who combed dumps, city streets, and went door to door looking for discarded machinery, pots, pans, and other sources of metal. By World War I, thousands of such peddlers roamed the streets of American cities, taking advantage of market forces to recycle post-consumer materials back into industrial production.<ref name=“cash”>

</ref>

Beverage bottles were recycled with a refundable deposit at some drink manufacturers in Great Britain and Ireland around 1800, notably Schweppes.<ref>

</ref> An official recycling system with refundable deposits was established in Sweden for bottles in 1884 and aluminium beverage cans in 1982, by law, leading to a recycling rate for beverage containers of 84–99 percent depending on type, and average use of a glass bottle is over 20 refills.

Wartime

Resource shortages caused by the world wars, and other such world-changing occurrences greatly encouraged recycling.<ref>Out of the Garbage-Pail into the Fire: fuel bricks now added to the list of things salvaged by science from the nation's waste, Popular Science monthly, February 1919, page 50-51, Scanned by Google Books: http://books.google.com/books?id=7igDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA50</ref> Massive government promotion campaigns were carried out in World War II in every country involved in the war, urging citizens to donate metals and conserve fibre, as a matter of significant patriotic importance. For example in 1939, Britain launched its Paper Salvage campaign to encourage the recycling of materials to aid the war effort. Resource conservation programs established during the war were continued in some countries without an abundance of natural resources, such as Japan, after the war ended.

Post-war

The next big investment in recycling occurred in the 1970s, due to rising energy costs. Recycling aluminium uses only 5% of the energy required by virgin production; glass, paper and metals have less dramatic but very significant energy savings when recycled feedstock is used.<ref name=“economistrecycle”/>

As of 2014, the European Union has about 50 % of world share of the waste and recycling industries, with over

companies making

employed persons and a turnover of €24 billion.<ref>European Commission, Recycling.</ref> Countries have to reach recycling rates of at least 50 %, while the lead countries are around 65 % and the EU average is 39 % as of 2013.<ref>Recycling rates in Europe, European Environment Agency.</ref>

Legislation

Supply

For a recycling program to work, having a large, stable supply of recyclable material is crucial. Three legislative options have been used to create such a supply: mandatory recycling collection, container deposit legislation, and refuse bans. Mandatory collection laws set recycling targets for cities to aim for, usually in the form that a certain percentage of a material must be diverted from the city's waste stream by a target date. The city is then responsible for working to meet this target.<ref name=“gar”/>

Container deposit legislation involves offering a refund for the return of certain containers, typically glass, plastic, and metal. When a product in such a container is purchased, a small surcharge is added to the price. This surcharge can be reclaimed by the consumer if the container is returned to a collection point. These programs have been very successful, often resulting in an 80 percent recycling rate. Despite such good results, the shift in collection costs from local government to industry and consumers has created strong opposition to the creation of such programs in some areas.<ref name=“gar”/>

A third method of increase supply of recyclates is to ban the disposal of certain materials as waste, often including used oil, old batteries, tires and garden waste. One aim of this method is to create a viable economy for proper disposal of banned products. Care must be taken that enough of these recycling services exist, or such bans simply lead to increased illegal dumping.<ref name=“gar”/>

Government-mandated demand

Legislation has also been used to increase and maintain a demand for recycled materials. Four methods of such legislation exist: minimum recycled content mandates, utilization rates, procurement policies, recycled product labeling.<ref name=“gar”/>

Both minimum recycled content mandates and utilization rates increase demand directly by forcing manufacturers to include recycling in their operations. Content mandates specify that a certain percentage of a new product must consist of recycled material. Utilization rates are a more flexible option: industries are permitted to meet the recycling targets at any point of their operation or even contract recycling out in exchange for [trade]able credits. Opponents to both of these methods point to the large increase in reporting requirements they impose, and claim that they rob industry of necessary flexibility.<ref name=“gar”/><ref name=“DeLong”>

</ref>

Governments have used their own purchasing power to increase recycling demand through what are called “procurement policies.” These policies are either “set-asides,” which earmark a certain amount of spending solely towards recycled products, or “price preference” programs which provide a larger budget when recycled items are purchased. Additional regulations can target specific cases: in the United States, for example, the Environmental Protection Agency mandates the purchase of oil, paper, tires and building insulation from recycled or re-refined sources whenever possible.<ref name=“gar”/>

The final government regulation towards increased demand is recycled product labeling. When producers are required to label their packaging with amount of recycled material in the product (including the packaging), consumers are better able to make educated choices. Consumers with sufficient buying power can then choose more environmentally conscious options, prompt producers to increase the amount of recycled material in their products, and indirectly increase demand. Standardized recycling labeling can also have a positive effect on supply of recyclates if the labeling includes information on how and where the product can be recycled.<ref name=“gar”/>

Recycling consumer waste

Collection

A number of different systems have been implemented to collect recyclates from the general waste stream. These systems lie along the spectrum of trade-off between public convenience and government ease and expense. The three main categories of collection are “drop-off centres,” “buy-back centres,” and “curbside collection”.<ref name=“gar”/>

Drop-off centres

Drop-off centres require the waste producer to carry the recyclates to a central location, either an installed or mobile collection station or the reprocessing plant itself. They are the easiest type of collection to establish, but suffer from low and unpredictable throughput.

Buy-back centres

Buy-back centres differ in that the cleaned recyclates are purchased, thus providing a clear incentive for use and creating a stable supply. The post-processed material can then be sold on, hopefully creating a profit. Unfortunately, government subsidies are necessary to make buy-back centres a viable enterprise, as according to the United States' National Waste & Recycling Association, it costs on average US$50 to process a ton of material, which can only be resold for US$30.<ref name=“gar”/>

Curbside collection

Curbside collection encompasses many subtly different systems, which differ mostly on where in the process the recyclates are sorted and cleaned. The main categories are mixed waste collection, commingled recyclables and source separation.<ref name=“gar”/> A waste collection vehicle generally picks up the waste.

]] At one end of the spectrum is mixed waste collection, in which all recyclates are collected mixed in with the rest of the waste, and the desired material is then sorted out and cleaned at a central sorting facility. This results in a large amount of recyclable waste, paper especially, being too soiled to reprocess, but has advantages as well: the city need not pay for a separate collection of recyclates and no public education is needed. Any changes to which materials are recyclable is easy to accommodate as all sorting happens in a central location.<ref name=“gar”/>

In a commingled or single-stream system, all recyclables for collection are mixed but kept separate from other waste. This greatly reduces the need for post-collection cleaning but does require public education on what materials are recyclable.<ref name=“gar”/><ref name=“economisttruth”/>

Source separation is the other extreme, where each material is cleaned and sorted prior to collection. This method requires the least post-collection sorting and produces the purest recyclates, but incurs additional operating costs for collection of each separate material. An extensive public education program is also required, which must be successful if recyclate contamination is to be avoided.<ref name=“gar”/>

Source separation used to be the preferred method due to the high sorting costs incurred by commingled collection. Advances in sorting technology (see sorting below), however, have lowered this overhead substantially—many areas which had developed source separation programs have since switched to comingled collection.<ref name=“economisttruth”/>

Distributed Recycling

For some waste materials such as plastic, recent technical devices called recyclebots<ref name=“RPJ”>Christian Baechler, Matthew DeVuono, and Joshua M. Pearce, “Distributed Recycling of Waste Polymer into RepRap FeedstockRapid Prototyping Journal, 19(2), pp. 118-125 (2013). open access</ref> enable a form of distributed recycling. Preliminary life-cycle analysis(LCA) indicates that such distributed recycling of HDPE to make filament of 3-D printers in rural regions is energetically favorable to either using virgin resin or conventional recycling processes because of reductions in transportation energy <ref name=“LCA”>M. Kreiger, G. C. Anzalone, M. L. Mulder, A. Glover and J. M Pearce (2013). Distributed Recycling of Post-Consumer Plastic Waste in Rural Areas. MRS Online Proceedings Library, 1492, mrsf12-1492-g04-06 doi:10.1557/opl.2013.258. open access</ref>

Sorting

]]

, Scotland, with separate containers for paper, plastics and differently colored glass.]] Once commingled recyclates are collected and delivered to a central collection facility, the different types of materials must be sorted. This is done in a series of stages, many of which involve automated processes such that a truckload of material can be fully sorted in less than an hour.<ref name=“economisttruth”/> Some plants can now sort the materials automatically, known as single-stream recycling. In plants a variety of materials are sorted such as paper, different types of plastics, glass, metals, food scraps, and most types of batteries.<ref>

</ref> A 30 percent increase in recycling rates has been seen in the areas where these plants exist.<ref>ScienceDaily. (2007). Recycling Without Sorting Engineers Create Recycling Plant That Removes The Need To Sort.</ref>

Initially, the commingled recyclates are removed from the collection vehicle and placed on a conveyor belt spread out in a single layer. Large pieces of corrugated fiberboard and plastic bags are removed by hand at this stage, as they can cause later machinery to jam.<ref name=“economisttruth”/>

File:Recycling Viedo.webm

Next, automated machinery separates the recyclates by weight, splitting lighter paper and plastic from heavier glass and metal. Cardboard is removed from the mixed paper, and the most common types of plastic, PET (#1) and HDPE (#2), are collected. This separation is usually done by hand, but has become automated in some sorting centers: a spectroscopic scanner is used to differentiate between different types of paper and plastic based on the absorbed wavelengths, and subsequently divert each material into the proper collection channel.<ref name=“economisttruth”/>

Strong magnets are used to separate out ferrous metals, such as iron, steel, and tin-plated steel cans (“tin cans”). Nonferrous metals are ejected by magnetic eddy currents in which a rotating magnetic field induces an electric current around the aluminium cans, which in turn creates a magnetic eddy current inside the cans. This magnetic eddy current is repulsed by a large magnetic field, and the cans are ejected from the rest of the recyclate stream.<ref name=“economisttruth”/>

Finally, glass must be sorted by hand on the basis of its color: brown, amber, green, or clear.<ref name=“economisttruth”/>

This process of recycling as well as reusing the recycled material proves to be advantageous for many reasons as it reduces amount of waste sent to landfills, conserves natural resources, saves energy, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and helps create new jobs. Recycled materials can also be converted into new products that can be consumed again such as paper, plastic, and glass.<ref>

</ref>

The City and County of San Francisco's Department of the Environment offers one of the best recycling programs to support its city-wide goal of Zero Waste by 2020.<ref>

</ref> San Francisco's refuse hauler, Recology, operates an effective recyclables sorting facility in San Francisco, which helped San Francisco reach a record-breaking diversion rate of 80%.<ref>http://www.sfenvironment.org/news/press-release/mayor-lee-announces-san-francisco-reaches-80-percent-landfill-waste-diversion-leads-all-cities-in-north-america</ref>

Recycling industrial waste

Although many government programs are concentrated on recycling at home, a large portion of waste is generated by industry. The focus of many recycling programs done by industry is the cost-effectiveness of recycling. The ubiquitous nature of cardboard packaging makes cardboard a commonly recycled waste product by companies that deal heavily in packaged goods, like retail stores, warehouses, and distributors of goods. Other industries deal in niche or specialized products, depending on the nature of the waste materials that are present.

The glass, lumber, wood pulp, and paper manufacturers all deal directly in commonly recycled materials. However, old rubber tires may be collected and recycled by independent tire dealers for a profit.

Levels of metals recycling are generally low. In 2010, the International Resource Panel, hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) published reports on metal stocks that exist within society<ref>''Metal Stocks in Society: Scientific Synthesis'' 2010, International Resource Panel, United Nations Environment Programme</ref> and their recycling rates.<ref>''The Recycling Rates of Metals: A Status Report'' 2010, International Resource Panel, United Nations Environment Programme</ref> The Panel reported that the increase in the use of metals during the 20th and into the 21st century has led to a substantial shift in metal stocks from below ground to use in applications within society above ground. For example, the in-use stock of copper in the USA grew from 73 to 238&nbsp;kg per capita between 1932 and 1999.

The report authors observed that, as metals are inherently recyclable, the metals stocks in society can serve as huge mines above ground (the term “urban mining” has been coined with this idea in mind<ref>

</ref>). However, they found that the recycling rates of many metals are very low. The report warned that the recycling rates of some rare metals used in applications such as mobile phones, battery packs for hybrid cars and fuel cells, are so low that unless future end-of-life recycling rates are dramatically stepped up these critical metals will become unavailable for use in modern technology.

The military recycles some metals. The U.S. Navy's Ship Disposal Program uses ship breaking to reclaim the steel of old vessels. Ships may also be sunk to create an artificial reef. Uranium is a very dense metal that has qualities superior to lead and titanium for many military and industrial uses. The uranium left over from processing it into nuclear weapons and fuel for nuclear reactors is called depleted uranium, and it is used by all branches of the U.S. military use for armour-piercing shells and shielding.

The construction industry may recycle concrete and old road surface pavement, selling their waste materials for profit.

Some industries, like the renewable energy industry and solar photovoltaic technology in particular, are being proactive in setting up recycling policies even before there is considerable volume to their waste streams, anticipating future demand during their rapid growth.<ref>N.C. McDonald and J. M. Pearce, “Producer Responsibility and Recycling Solar Photovoltaic Modules”, Energy Policy 38, pp. 7041–7047(2010). Open access available</ref>

Recycling of plastics is more difficult, as most programs can't reach the necessary level of quality. Recycling of PVC often results in downcycling of the material, which means only products of lower quality standard can be made with the recycled material. A new approach which allows an equal level of quality is the Vinyloop process. It was used after the London Olympics 2012 to fulfill the PVC Policy.<ref>

</ref>

e-Waste recycling

E-waste is a growing problem, accounting for 20-50 million metric tons of global waste per year according to the EPA. Many recyclers do not recycle e-waste or do not do so responsibly. The e-Stewards certification was created to ensure recyclers are held to the highest standards for environmental responsibility and to give consumers an easy way to identify responsible recyclers. e-Cycle, LLC, was the first mobile recycling company to be e-Stewards certified.

Plastic recycling

Plastic recycling is the process of recovering scrap or waste plastic and reprocessing the material into useful products, sometimes completely different in form from their original state. For instance, this could mean melting down soft drink bottles and then casting them as plastic chairs and tables.<ref>"Eco"-plastic: recycled plastic</ref>

Physical Recycling

Some plastics are remelted to form new plastic objects, for example PET water bottles can be converted into clothing grade polyester. A disadvantage of this type of recycling is that in each use and recycling cycle the molecular weight of the polymer can change further and the levels of unwanted substances in the plastic can increase.

Chemical Recycling

For some polymers it is possible to convert them back into monomers, for example PET can be treated with an alcohol and a catalyst to form a dialkyl terephthalate. The terephthalate diester can be used with ethylene glycol to form a new polyester polymer. Thus it is possible to make the pure polymer again.

Waste Plastic Pyrolysis to fuel oil

Another process involves the conversion of assorted polymers into petroleum by a much less precise thermal depolymerization process. Such a process would be able to accept almost any polymer or mix of polymers, including thermoset materials such as vulcanized rubber tires and the biopolymers in feathers and other agricultural waste. Like natural petroleum, the chemicals produced can be made into fuels as well as polymers. RESEM Technology<ref>

</ref> plant of this type exists in Carthage, Missouri, USA, using turkey waste as input material. Gasification is a similar process, but is not technically recycling since polymers are not likely to become the result. Plastic Pyrolysis can convert petroleum based waste streams such as plastics into quality fuels, carbons. Given below is the list of suitable plastic raw materials for pyrolysis:

  • Mixed plastic (HDPE, LDPE, PE, PP, Nylon, Teflon, PS, ABS, FRP etc.)
  • Mixed waste plastic from waste paper mill
  • Multi Layered Plastic

Recycling codes

In order to meet recyclers' needs while providing manufacturers a consistent, uniform system, a coding system is developed. The recycling code for plastics was introduced in 1988 by plastics industry through the Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc.<ref>Plastic Recycling codes, American Chemistry</ref> Because municipal recycling programs traditionally have targeted packaging—primarily bottles and containers—the resin coding system offered a means of identifying the resin content of bottles and containers commonly found in the residential waste stream.<ref>About resin identification codes American Chemistry</ref>

Plastic products are printed with numbers 1–7 depending on the type of resin. Type 1 plastic, PET (or PETE): polyethylene terephthalate, is commonly found in soft drink and water bottles. Type 2, HDPE: high-density polyethylene is found in most hard plastics such as milk jugs, laundry detergent bottles, and some dishware. Type 3, PVC or V (vinyl), includes items like shampoo bottles, shower curtains, hoola hoops, credit cards, wire jacketing, medical equipment, siding, and piping. Type 4, called LDPE, or low-density polyethylene, is found in shopping bags, squeezable bottles, tote bags, clothing, furniture, and carpet. Type 5 is PP which stands for polypropylene and makes up syrup bottles, straws, Tupperware, and some automotive parts. Type 6 is PS: polystyrene and makes up meat trays, egg cartons, clamshell containers and compact disc cases. Type 7 includes all other plastics like bulletproof materials, 3- and 5-gallon water bottles, and sunglasses.<ref>

</ref> Types 1 and 2 are the most commonly recycled.

Cost–benefit analysis

Environmental effects of recycling<ref>Unless otherwise indicated, this data is taken from

}}, which attributes, “Garbage Solutions: A Public Officials Guide to Recycling and Alternative Solid Waste Management Technologies, as cited in Energy Savings from Recycling, January/February&nbsp;1989; and&nbsp;Worldwatch 76 Mining Urban Wastes: The Potential for Recycling, April 1987.”</ref>

Material Energy savings Air pollution savings
Aluminium 95%<ref name=“gar”/><ref name=“economistrecycle”/> 95%<ref name=“gar”/><ref name='WasteOnline'>

</ref>

Cardboard 24% &nbsp;—
Glass 5–30% 20%
Paper 40%<ref name=“economistrecycle”/> 73%
Plastics 70%<ref name=“economistrecycle”/> &nbsp;—
Steel 60%<ref name=“economisttruth”/> &nbsp;—

There is some debate over whether recycling is economically efficient. It is said

that dumping 10,000 tons of waste in a landfill creates six jobs, while recycling 10,000 tons of waste can create over 36 jobs. However, the cost effectiveness of creating the additional jobs remains unproven. According to the U.S. Recycling Economic Informational Study, there are over 50,000 recycling establishments that have created over a million jobs in the US.<ref>

</ref> Two years after New York City declared that implementing recycling programs would be “a drain on the city,” New York City leaders realized that an efficient recycling system could save the city over $20 million.<ref>

</ref> Municipalities often see fiscal benefits from implementing recycling programs, largely due to the reduced landfill costs.<ref>Lavee D. (2007). Is Municipal Solid Waste Recycling Economically Efficient? Environmental Management.</ref> A study conducted by the Technical University of Denmark according to the Economist found that in 83 percent of cases, recycling is the most efficient method to dispose of household waste.<ref name=“economisttruth”>

</ref><ref name=“economistrecycle”>

</ref> However, a 2004 assessment by the Danish Environmental Assessment Institute concluded that incineration was the most effective method for disposing of drink containers, even aluminium ones.<ref name=Vigso2004>

</ref>

Fiscal efficiency is separate from economic efficiency. Economic analysis of recycling do not include what economists call externalities, which are unpriced costs and benefits that accrue to individuals outside of private transactions. Examples include: decreased air pollution and greenhouse gases from incineration, reduced hazardous waste leaching from landfills, reduced energy consumption, and reduced waste and resource consumption, which leads to a reduction in environmentally damaging mining and timber activity. About 4,000 minerals are known, of these only a few hundred minerals in the world are relatively common.<ref>“Minerals and Forensic Science” (PDF). University of Massachusetts Lowell, Department of Environmental, Earth, & Atmospheric Sciences.</ref> At current rates, current known reserves of phosphorus will be depleted in the next 50 to 100 years.<ref>“Phosphorus Famine: The Threat to Our Food Supply”. Scientific American. June 2009</ref><ref>“Peak Everything?”. Reason Magazine. April 27, 2010.</ref> Without mechanisms such as taxes or subsidies to internalize externalities, businesses will ignore them despite the costs imposed on society.

To make such nonfiscal benefits economically relevant, advocates have pushed for legislative action to increase the demand for recycled materials.<ref name=“gar”/> The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has concluded in favor of recycling, saying that recycling efforts reduced the country's carbon emissions by a net 49 million metric tonnes in 2005.<ref name=“economisttruth”/> In the United Kingdom, the Waste and Resources Action Programme stated that Great Britain's recycling efforts reduce CO<sub>2</sub> emissions by 10–15 million tonnes a year.<ref name=“economisttruth”/> Recycling is more efficient in densely populated areas, as there are economies of scale involved.<ref name=“gar”/>

Certain requirements must be met for recycling to be economically feasible and environmentally effective. These include an adequate source of recyclates, a system to extract those recyclates from the waste stream, a nearby factory capable of reprocessing the recyclates, and a potential demand for the recycled products. These last two requirements are often overlooked—without both an industrial market for production using the collected materials and a consumer market for the manufactured goods, recycling is incomplete and in fact only “collection”.<ref name=“gar”/>

Many

economists favor a moderate level of government intervention to provide recycling services. Economists of this mindset probably view product disposal as an externality of production and subsequently argue government is most capable of alleviating such a dilemma.

Trade in recyclates

Certain countries trade in unprocessed recyclates. Some have complained that the ultimate fate of recyclates sold to another country is unknown and they may end up in landfills instead of reprocessed. According to one report, in America, 50–80 percent of computers destined for recycling are actually not recycled.<ref>

</ref><ref>

</ref> There are reports of illegal-waste imports to China being dismantled and recycled solely for monetary gain, without consideration for workers' health or environmental damage. Although the Chinese government has banned these practices, it has not been able to eradicate them.<ref>

</ref> In 2008, the prices of recyclable waste plummeted before rebounding in 2009. Cardboard averaged about £53/tonne from 2004–2008, dropped to £19/tonne, and then went up to £59/tonne in May 2009. PET plastic averaged about £156/tonne, dropped to £75/tonne and then moved up to £195/tonne in May 2009.<ref>Hogg M. Waste outshines gold as prices surge. Financial Times.

</ref> Certain regions have difficulty using or exporting as much of a material as they recycle. This problem is most prevalent with glass: both Britain and the U.S. import large quantities of wine bottled in green glass. Though much of this glass is sent to be recycled, outside the American Midwest there is not enough wine production to use all of the reprocessed material. The extra must be downcycled into building materials or re-inserted into the regular waste stream.<ref name=“gar”/><ref name=“economisttruth”/>

Similarly, the northwestern United States has difficulty finding markets for recycled newspaper, given the large number of pulp mills in the region as well as the proximity to Asian markets. In other areas of the U.S., however, demand for used newsprint has seen wide fluctuation.<ref name=“gar”/>

In some U.S. states, a program called RecycleBank pays people to recycle, receiving money from local municipalities for the reduction in landfill space which must be purchased. It uses a single stream process in which all material is automatically sorted.<ref>Bonnie DeSimone. (2006). Rewarding Recyclers, and Finding Gold in the Garbage. New York Times.</ref>

Criticisms and responses

</ref>

Much of the difficulty inherent in recycling comes from the fact that most products are not designed with recycling in mind. The concept of sustainable design aims to solve this problem, and was laid out in the book “ Remaking the Way We Make Things” by architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart. They suggest that every product (and all packaging they require) should have a complete “closed-loop” cycle mapped out for each component—a way in which every component will either return to the natural ecosystem through biodegradation or be recycled indefinitely.<ref name=“economisttruth”/> While recycling diverts waste from entering directly into landfill sites, current recycling misses the dissipative components. Complete recycling is impracticable as highly dispersed wastes become so diluted that the energy needed for their recovery becomes increasingly excessive. “For example, how will it ever be possible to recycle the numerous chlorinated organic hydrocarbons that have bioaccumulated in animal and human tissues across the globe, the copper dispersed in fungicides, the lead in widely applied paints, or the zinc oxides present in the finely dispersed rubber powder that is abraded from automobile tires?”<ref name=autogenerated2>

</ref>

As with environmental economics, care must be taken to ensure a complete view of the costs and benefits involved. For example, paperboard packaging for food products is more easily recycled than most plastic, but is heavier to ship and may result in more waste from spoilage.<ref name=“Tierney”>

</ref>

{{anchor|Saves energy}} Energy and material flows

The amount of energy saved through recycling depends upon the material being recycled and the type of energy accounting that is used. Emergy (spelled with an m) analysis, for example, budgets for the amount of energy of one kind (exergy) that is required to make or transform things into another kind of product or service. Using emergy life-cycle analysis researchers have concluded that materials with large refining costs have the greatest potential for high recycle benefits. Moreover, the highest emergy efficiency accrues from systems geared toward material recycling, where materials are engineered to recycle back into their original form and purpose, followed by adaptive reuse systems where the materials are recycled into a different kind of product, and then by-product reuse systems where parts of the products are used to make an entirely different product.<ref name=“Brown03”/>

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) states on its website that “a paper mill uses 40 percent less energy to make paper from recycled paper than it does to make paper from fresh lumber.”<ref>Energy Information Administration Recycling Paper & Glass. Retrieved 18 October 2006.</ref> Some critics argue that it takes more energy to produce recycled products than it does to dispose of them in traditional landfill methods, since the curbside collection of recyclables often requires a second waste truck. However, recycling proponents point out that a second timber or logging truck is eliminated when paper is collected for recycling, so the net energy consumption is the same. An Emergy life-cycle analysis on recycling revealed that fly ash, aluminum, recycled concrete aggregate, recycled plastic, and steel yield higher efficiency ratios, whereas the recycling of lumber generates the lowest recycle benefit ratio. Hence, the specific nature of the recycling process, the methods used to analyse the process, and the products involved affect the energy savings budgets.<ref name=“Brown03”>

</ref>

It is difficult to determine the amount of energy consumed or produced in waste disposal processes in broader ecological terms, where causal relations dissipate into complex networks of material and energy flow. For example, “cities do not follow all the strategies of ecosystem development. Biogeochemical paths become fairly straight relative to wild ecosystems, with very reduced recycling, resulting in large flows of waste and low total energy efficiencies. By contrast, in wild ecosystems, one population’s wastes are another population’s resources, and succession results in efficient exploitation of available resources. However, even modernized cities may still be in the earliest stages of a succession that may take centuries or millennia to complete.”<ref name=“Decker00”>

(Archive is

).</ref>

How much energy is used in recycling also depends on the type of material being recycled and the process used to do so. Aluminium is generally agreed to use far less energy when recycled rather than being produced from scratch. The EPA states that “recycling aluminum cans, for example, saves 95 percent of the energy required to make the same amount of aluminum from its virgin source, bauxite.”<ref>Environmental Protection Agency Frequently Asked Questions about Recycling and Waste Management. Retrieved 18 October 2006.</ref><ref>

</ref> In 2009 more than half of all aluminium cans produced came from recycled aluminium.<ref>

</ref>

</ref>

Economist Steven Landsburg has suggested that the sole benefit of reducing landfill space is trumped by the energy needed and resulting pollution from the recycling process.<ref name=“landsburg”>Landsburg, Steven A. The Armchair Economist. p. 86.</ref> Others, however, have calculated through life cycle assessment that producing recycled paper uses less energy and water than harvesting, pulping, processing, and transporting virgin trees.<ref>Selke 116</ref> When less recycled paper is used, additional energy is needed to create and maintain farmed forests until these forests are as self-sustainable as virgin forests.

Other studies have shown that recycling in itself is inefficient to perform the “decoupling” of economic development from the depletion of non-renewable raw materials that is necessary for sustainable development.<ref name=“Grosse10”>

</ref> The international transportation or recycle material flows through “…different trade networks of the three countries result in different flows, decay rates, and potential recycling returns.”<ref name=“Sahni11”>

</ref>

As global consumption of a natural resources grows, its depletion is inevitable. The best recycling can do is to delay, complete closure of material loops to achieve 100 percent recycling of nonrenewables is impossible as micro-trace materials dissipate into the environment causing severe damage to the planets ecosystems.<ref name=“Steffen10”>

</ref><ref name=“Zaman11”>

</ref><ref name=“Huesemann11”>

</ref> Historically, this was identified as the metabolic rift by Karl Marx, who identified the unequal exchange rate between energy and nutrients flowing from rural areas to feed urban cities that create effluent wastes degrading the planets ecological capital, such as loss in soil nutrient production.<ref name=“Clark09”>

</ref><ref name=“Foster11”>

</ref> Energy conservation also leads to what is known as Jevon's paradox, where improvements in energy efficiency lowers the cost of production and leads to a rebound effect where rates of consumption and economic growth increases. <ref name=“Huesemann11” /><ref name=“Alcott05”>

</ref>

{{anchor|Saves money}} Costs

The amount of money actually saved through recycling depends on the efficiency of the recycling program used to do it. The Institute for Local Self-Reliance argues that the cost of recycling depends on various factors around a community that recycles, such as landfill fees and the amount of disposal that the community recycles. It states that communities start to save money when they treat recycling as a replacement for their traditional waste system rather than an add-on to it and by “redesigning their collection schedules and/or trucks.”<ref>Waste to Wealth The Five Most Dangerous Myths About Recycling. Retrieved October 18, 2006.</ref>

In some cases, the cost of recyclable materials also exceeds the cost of raw materials. Virgin plastic resin costs 40 percent less than recycled resin.<ref>United States Department of Energy Conserving Energy&nbsp;– Recycling Plastics. Retrieved 10 November 2006.</ref> Additionally, a United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study that tracked the price of clear glass from July 15 to August 2, 1991, found that the average cost per ton ranged from $40 to $60,<ref>Environmental Protection Agency Markets for Recovered Glass. Retrieved 10 November 2006.</ref> while a USGS report shows that the cost per ton of raw silica sand from years 1993 to 1997 fell between $17.33 and $18.10.<ref>United States Geological Survey Mineral Commodity Summaries. Retrieved 10 November 2006.</ref>

In a 1996 article for The New York Times, John Tierney argued that it costs more money to recycle the trash of New York City than it does to dispose of it in a landfill. Tierney argued that the recycling process employs people to do the additional waste disposal, sorting, inspecting, and many fees are often charged because the processing costs used to make the end product are often more than the profit from its sale.<ref>

</ref> Tierney also referenced a study conducted by the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) that found in the six communities involved in the study, “all but one of the curbside recycling programs, and all the composting operations and waste-to-energy incinerators, increased the cost of waste disposal.”<ref name=“A”>New York Times Recycling... Is Garbage (nytimes.com Published 30 June 1996) Recycling... Is Garbage (article reproduced) Recycling... Is Garbage (article reproduced). Retrieved 18 October 2006.</ref>

Tierney also points out that “the prices paid for scrap materials are a measure of their environmental value as recyclables. Scrap aluminum fetches a high price because recycling it consumes so much less energy than manufacturing new aluminum.”

However, comparing the market cost of recyclable material with the cost of new raw materials ignores economic externalities—the costs that are currently not counted by the market. Creating a new piece of plastic, for instance, may cause more pollution and be less sustainable than recycling a similar piece of plastic, but these factors will not be counted in market cost. A life cycle assessment can be used to determine the levels of externalities and decide whether the recycling may be worthwhile despite unfavorable market costs. Alternatively, legal means (such as a carbon tax) can be used to bring externalities into the market, so that the market cost of the material becomes close to the true cost.

In a 2007 article, Michael Munger, chairman of political science at Duke University, wrote that “if recycling is more expensive than using new materials, it can't possibly be efficient…. There is a simple test for determining whether something is a resource… or just garbage… If someone will pay you for the item, it's a resource…. But if you have to pay someone to take the item away,… then the item is garbage.”<ref>

</ref>

In a 2002 article for The Heartland Institute, Jerry Taylor, director of natural resource studies at the Cato Institute, wrote, “If it costs X to deliver newly manufactured plastic to the market, for example, but it costs 10X to deliver reused plastic to the market, we can conclude the resources required to recycle plastic are 10 times more scarce than the resources required to make plastic from scratch. And because recycling is supposed to be about the conservation of resources, mandating recycling under those circumstances will do more harm than good.”<ref>Recycling: It's a bad idea in New York The Heartland Institute, May 1, 2002</ref>

Working conditions

who earn their living by collecting and sorting garbage and selling them for recycling]] The recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment in India and China generates a significant amount of pollution. Informal recycling in an underground economy of these countries has generated an environmental and health disaster. High levels of lead (Pb), polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs), polychlorinated dioxins and furans, as well as polybrominated dioxins and furans (PCDD/Fs and PBDD/Fs) concentrated in the air, bottom ash, dust, soil, water and sediments in areas surrounding recycling sites.<ref name=“Sepúlveda10”>

</ref> Critics also argue that while recycling may create jobs, they are often jobs with low wages and terrible working conditions.<ref>Heartland Institute Recycling: It's a bad idea in New York. Retrieved 18 October 2006.</ref> These jobs are sometimes considered to be make-work jobs that don't produce as much as the cost of wages to pay for those jobs. In areas without many environmental regulations and/or worker protections, jobs involved in recycling such as ship breaking can result in deplorable conditions for both workers and the surrounding communities

{{anchor|Saves trees}} Environmental impact

Economist Steven Landsburg, author of a paper entitled “Why I Am Not an Environmentalist,” <ref>http://www.shrubwalkers.com/prose/list/not.html

</ref> has claimed that paper recycling actually reduces tree populations. He argues that because paper companies have incentives to replenish their forests, large demands for paper lead to large forests, while reduced demand for paper leads to fewer “farmed” forests.<ref name=autogenerated1>Landsburg, Steven A. The Armchair Economist. p. 81.</ref>

<!– if you have a problem with the valid sourced statements below, note your specific grievances in the talk page do not just remove them –> When foresting companies cut down trees, more are planted in their place. Most paper comes from pulp forests grown specifically for paper production.<ref name=“A”/><ref name=“FM”>The Free Market Don't Recycle: Throw It Away!. Retrieved 4 November 2006.</ref><ref name=“RPC”>Regulatory Policy Center WASTING AWAY: Mismanaging Municipal Solid Waste. Retrieved November 4, 2006.</ref><ref name=“JWR”>Jewish World Review The waste of recycling. Retrieved 4 November 2006.</ref> Many environmentalists point out, however, that “farmed” forests are inferior to virgin forests in several ways. Farmed forests are not able to fix the soil as quickly as virgin forests, causing widespread soil erosion and often requiring large amounts of fertilizer to maintain while containing little tree and wild-life biodiversity compared to virgin forests.<ref name=“baird”>Baird, Colin (2004) Environmental Chemistry (3rd ed.) W. H. Freeman ISBN 0-7167-4877-0</ref> Also, the new trees planted are not as big as the trees that were cut down, and the argument that there will be “more trees” is not compelling to forestry advocates when they are counting saplings.

In particular, wood from tropical rainforests is rarely harvested for paper. Rainforest deforestation is mainly caused by population pressure demands for land.<ref>

</ref>

With many materials that can be recycled, such as fossil fuels and metals, there is only a finite amount of those resources, and people continue to use more of them all. Report asserts to reduce the current usage greatly and reuse them much more efficiently. For example, only 1% of rare earth metals are reused.<ref>

</ref> Those materials cannot easily be recovered when a product that contains them (such as a cell phone) is deposited in a landfill compared to if it was recycled.

Possible income loss and social costs

In some prosperous and many less prosperous countries in the world, the traditional job of recycling is performed by the entrepreneurial poor such as the karung guni, Zabaleen, the rag-and-bone man, waste picker, and junk man. With the creation of large recycling organizations that may be profitable, either by law or economies of scale,<ref>

</ref><ref>Mission Police Station

</ref> the poor are more likely to be driven out of the recycling and the remanufacturing market. To compensate for this loss of income to the poor, a society may need to create additional forms of societal programs to help support the poor.<ref name=“PBS NewsHour 2010”>PBS NewsHour, February 16, 2010. Report on the Zabaleen</ref> Like the parable of the broken window, there is a net loss to the poor and possibly the whole of a society to make recycling artificially profitable through law. However, as seen in Brazil and Argentina, waste pickers/informal recyclers are able to work alongside governments, in fully or semi-funded cooperatives, allowing informal recycling to be legitimized as a paying government job.<ref name=“Medina, M. 2000 51–69”>

</ref>

Because the social support of a country is likely less than the loss of income to the poor doing recycling, there is a greater chance that the poor will come in conflict with the large recycling organizations.<ref>

</ref><ref>

</ref> This means fewer people can decide if certain waste is more economically reusable in its current form rather than being reprocessed. Contrasted to the recycling poor, the efficiency of their recycling may actually be higher for some materials because individuals have greater control over what is considered “waste.”<ref name=“PBS NewsHour 2010”/>

One labor-intensive underused waste is electronic and computer waste. Because this waste may still be functional and wanted mostly by the poor, the poor may sell or use it at a greater efficiency than large recyclers.

Many recycling advocates believe that this laissez-faire individual-based recycling does not cover all of society’s recycling needs. Thus, it does not negate the need for an organized recycling program.<ref name=“PBS NewsHour 2010”/> Local government often consider the activities of the recycling poor as contributing to property blight.

Public participation in recycling programmes

“Between 1960 and 2000, the world production of plastic resins increased 25-fold, while recovery of the material remained below 5 percent.”<ref name=“Moore08”>

</ref>

Many studies have addressed recycling behaviour and strategies to encourage community involvement in recycling programmes. It has been argued <ref>[Schackelford, T.K. (2006) “Recycling, evolution and the structure of human personality”. Personality and Individual Differences 41 1551–1556 ]</ref> that recycling behaviour is not natural because it requires a focus and appreciation for long term planning, whereas humans have evolved to be sensitive to short term survival goals; and that to overcome this innate predisposition, the best solution would be to use social pressure to compel participation in recycling programmes. However, recent studies have concluded that social pressure is unviable in this context.<ref>

</ref> One reason for this is that social pressure functions well in small group sizes of 50 to 150 individuals (common to nomadic hunter–gatherer peoples) but not in communities numbering in the millions, as we see today. Another reason is that individual recycling does not take place in the public view.

In a study done by social psychologist Shawn Burn,<ref>Burn, Shawn. “Social Psychology and the Stimulation of Recycling Behaviors: The Block Leader Approach.” Journal of Applied Social Psychology 21.8 (2006): 611–629.</ref> it was found that personal contact with individuals within a neighborhood is the most effective way to increase recycling within a community. In his study, he had 10 block leaders talk to their neighbors and persuade them to recycle. A comparison group was sent fliers promoting recycling. It was found that the neighbors that were personally contacted by their block leaders recycled much more than the group without personal contact. As a result of this study, Shawn Burn believes that personal contact within a small group of people is an important factor in encouraging recycling. Another study done by Stuart Oskamp <ref>Oskamp, Stuart. “Resource Conservation and Recycling: Behavior and Policy.” Journal of Social Issues 51.4 (1995): 157–177. Print.</ref> examines the effect of neighbors and friends on recycling. It was found in his studies that people who had friends and neighbors that recycled were much more likely to also recycle than those who didn’t have friends and neighbors that recycled.

Many schools have created recycling awareness clubs in order to give young students an insight on recycling. These schools believe that the clubs actually encourage students to not only recycle at school, but at home as well.

See also

References

Further reading

  • Ackerman, Frank. (1997). Why Do We Recycle?: Markets, Values, and Public Policy. Island Press. ISBN 1-55963-504-5, ISBN 978-1-55963-504-2
  • Ayres, R.U. (1994). “Industrial Metabolism: Theory and Policy”, In: Allenby, B.R., and D.J. Richards, ‘’The Greening of Industrial Ecosystems’’. National Academy Press, Washington, DC, pp. 23-37.
  • Braungart, M., and W. McDonough (2002). ‘’Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things’’. North Point Press, ISBN 0865475873.
  • Huesemann, Michael H., and Joyce A. Huesemann (2011).''Technofix: Why Technology Won’t Save Us or the Environment'', “Challenge #3: Complete Recycling of Non-Renewable Materials and Wastes”, New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada, ISBN 0865717044, pp.&nbsp;135–137.
  • Porter, Richard C. (2002). The Economics of Waste. Resources for the Future. ISBN 1-891853-42-2, ISBN 978-1-891853-42-5

External links

<!–

| PLEASE BE CAUTIOUS IN ADDING MORE LINKS TO THIS ARTICLE. Wikipedia |
| is not a collection of links nor should it be used for advertising. |
|         |
|  Excessive or inappropriate links WILL BE DELETED.  |
| See [[Wikipedia:External links]] & [[Wikipedia:Spam]] for details. |
|         |
| If there are already plentiful links, please propose additions or |
| replacements on this article's discussion page, or submit your link |
| to the relevant category at the Open Directory Project (dmoz.org) |
| and link back to that category using the {{dmoz}} template.  |
===

=========–>

Recycling Waste management concepts Water conservation Energy conversion

wastewater.txt · Last modified: 2020/03/12 18:39 (external edit)