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Sources and Types of Solid Wastes

Sources and Types of Solid Wastes

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Published by: arzadd on May 19, 2009
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SOURCES AND TYPES OF SOLID WASTESSourceTypical waste generatorsTypes of solid wastes
Single and multifamily dwellingsFood wastes, paper, cardboard, plastics, textiles, leather, yard wastes, wood, glass,metals, ashes, special wastes (e.g., bulky items, consumer electronics, whitegoods, batteries, oil, tires), and household hazardous wastes.).
Light and heavy manufacturing, fabrication, construction sites, power andchemical plants.Housekeeping wastes, packaging, food wastes, construction and demolitionmaterials, hazardous wastes, ashes, special wastes.
Stores, hotels, restaurants, markets, office buildings, etc.Paper, cardboard, plastics, wood, food wastes, glass, metals, special wastes,hazardous wastes.
Schools, hospitals, prisons, government centers.Same as commercial.
Construction and demolition
 New construction sites, road repair, renovation sites, demolition of buildingsWood, steel, concrete, dirt, etc.
Municipal services
Street cleaning, landscaping, parks, beaches, other recreational areas, water andwastewater treatment plants.Street sweepings; landscape and tree trimmings; general wastes from parks, beaches, and other recreational areas; sludge.
Process (manufacturing, etc.)
Heavy and light manufacturing, refineries, chemical plants, power plants, mineralextraction and processing.Industrial process wastes, scrap materials, off-specification products, slay, tailings.
Crops, orchards, vineyards, dairies, feedlots, farms.Spoiled food wastes, agricultural wastes, hazardous wastes (e.g., pesticides).
Typical components of municipal systems for source separation and materialsrecovery in industrialized countries are:source separation of different categories of waste from households, offices, shops,and institutions; collection at the curbside or drop-off by generators at bins or centers is subsidized by the government or private industries;collection of organics (kitchen and garden wastes) for large-scale composting; promotion of backyard composting through education and sometimes the provision of a small compost bin; and public subsidization of extensive and varied educational campaigns to sustain participation in all aspects of waste reduction.In many industrialized countries, source separation and curbside collection programs are heavily subsidized by municipal governments, private industries or foundations. When municipal funding is withdrawn, the scope of materialsrecovery may be greatly reduced. These countries usually have the institutionalcompetence and capacity in urban government to integrate local and regionalwaste management plans. Citizens tend to be highly aware of the problems and tocooperate in separation programs. Undeveloped or fluctuating markets for recyclable materials, however, continue to limit cost recovery and the diversion of materials from landfills.
Developing countries
Most urban places in the developing world have yet to experience the decline of traditional recovery of recyclables and the corresponding increase in post-consumer wastes, which, together with scarcity of dump space, have led manyaffluent cities to sponsor materials recovery.The engines of waste recovery and recycling in the poorer countries include:scarcity or expense of virgin materials, the occurrence of absolute poverty, theavailability of workers who will accept minimal wages, the frugal values of evenrelatively well-to-do households, and the large markets for used goods and products made from recycled plastics and metals. Wastes which would beuneconomical to recycle or of no use in affluent societies have a value (e.g.,coconut shells and dung used as fuel). If one takes into account the use of compostfrom dumps sites as well as materials recovery, in countries like India, Vietnam,and China, the majority of municipal wastes of all kinds are ultimately utilized.Waste reduction that could be achieved by legislation and protocols (such asagreements to change packaging) is not, at present, a high priority in thesecountries, although some are now moving in this direction. Because unskilledlabor costs are low and there is a high demand for manufacturing materials,manufacturers can readily use leftovers as feedstock or engage in waste exchange.Residuals and old machines are sold to less advanced, smaller, industries. Public
health is benefitting from plastic and boxboard packaging that reducescontamination of foods, and much of the superior packaging is recovered andrecycled. This tumbler is used for making pulp from waste paper. This small recyclingfacility is typical of many others throuthout India.(credit: Warmer Bulletin)In offices and institutions, cleaners and caretakers organize the sale of paper, plastics, etc. At the household level, gifts of clothes and goods to relatives,charities, and servants are still significant in waste reduction. All cities and townshave markets for used goods. The greatest amount of materials recovery isachieved through networks of itinerant buyers, small and medium dealers, andwholesaling brokers. The extent to which the waste trading enterprises areregistered (ÒformalizedÓ) varies in developing regions: in Latin America andAsia there is more formal registration than in Africa. The system is adaptive tomarket fluctuations, as the lowest level workers form a dispensable labor cushion:they must find other work, if they can, when there is reduced demand for thematerials they sell.Because so many people are engaged in the activities of materials recovery, processing, and recycling, and alternative work is scarce, governments and socialwelfare organizations are often more sensitive to employment needs than toenvironmental considerations in waste management. Thus, they are prepared totrade off some environmental and public health risks against employmentgeneration.The accompanying box shows the main paths traveled by wastes in Bangalore,due, in large part, to the activities of informal traders and recyclers.Advantages of scarcity and frugal valuesFrom the point of view of waste reduction, the traditional practices of repair andreuse, and the sale, barter, or gift of used goods and surplus materials, are anadvantage to the poorer countries. Quantities of non-organic post-consumer wastes would be higher without them.These societies should be alert to socio-economic changes that threaten resource-conserving traditions. When standards of living rise, voluntary source separationtends to decline, unless (a) it is encouraged through an incentive program or (b)the opportunities for waste generators to sell recyclables remain very convenient.Small waste trading enterprises which provide convenient redemption centers for households, shops, and itinerant buyers are adversely affected by rising land

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