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Solid Hazardous Waste Notes

New Yorks Fresh Kills Landfill = largest landfill in the world (closed in 2001) o People are planning to transform it into a world-class public park Love Canal (1842-1953): Hooker Chemical sealed multiple chemical wastes into steel drums and dumped into an old canal excavation o 1953: canal = filled. Sold to Niagara Falls school board for $1 o Inserted a disclaimer denying liability for the wastes o 1957: HC warned school not to disturb the site due to toxic waste o 1959: an elementary school, playing fields, and home were built -> disrupts the clay cap that covers the wastes o 1976: residents complained of chemical smells and chemical burns from the site o Pres. Jimmy Carter declared it a federal disaster area o 1980: area = abandoned This event led to the creation of the Superfund law Waste= any discarded material for which no further sale or use is intended o Ex: residue, chemical by-products, unused virgin material, spill absorbent material Solid waste: any unwanted or discarded material we produce that is not a liquid or gas o Municipal solid waste (MSW): produce directly from homes. o Industrial solid waste: produced indirectly by industries that supply people with goods and services Industrial discharges subject to CWA regulations, including POTW Atomic Energy Act 1954 Waste stream: flow of waste as it moves from its sources toward disposal destinations Recovery (recycling, composting): next best strategy in waste management o Recycling: sends used goods to manufacture new goods o Composting: recovery of organic waste o All materials in nature are recycled Of the 251 million tons of trash/solid waste, in the U.S. in 2006 about 32.5 percent was either recycled or composted There are more percentage of paper and paper board being discarded in a municipal landfill than other materials E-waste consists of toxic and hazardous waste (PVC, lead, mercury, and cadmium) Only 10% of the e-waste that the U.S. produces gets recycles Since 1960, waste generated in U.S. increased by 2.8 times People in other countries would look for sellable parts in trashes China buy trash from U.S.

Open dumps: fields or holes in the ground where garbage is deposited and sometimes covered with soil. Mostly used in developing countries. Sanitary landfills: solid wastes are spread out in thin layers, compacted and covered daily with a fresh layer of clay or plastic foam. o Must meet national standards set by the EPA under the RCRA of 1976 o Waste is partially decomposed by bacteria and compresses under its own weight o By layering with soil, it reduces odor, speed decomposition, reduce infestation by pets o It must be capped and maintained when it is closed RCRA (resource conservation and recovery act) o To establish minimum national criteria under the RCRA o Subtitle D regulates non-hazardous waste Designs of landfills o Line: acts like a giant garbage bag-clay/synthetic/additional o Surface water infiltration: drained from the landfill o Leachate: liquid that migrates from within a land disposal site which has come in contact with solid waste. o Monitoring: Groundwater monitoring wells are installed around the landfill to monitor pollution migration. o Procedures: Waste is broken down and moved into the landfill. o Closure: Solid waste is layered with soil or clay and capped off. Globally, MSW is burned in over 1,000 large waste-to-energy incinerators, which boil water to make steam for heating water, or space, or for production of electricity. Landfill gas = a mix of gases that consists of roughly half methane o Can be collected, processed, and used like natural gas o When not used commercially, landfill gas is burned off in flares to reduce odors and greenhouse emissions Solution: reducing solid waste o Refuse: to buy items that we really dont need. o Reduce: consume less and live a simpler and less stressful life by practicing simplicity. o Reuse: rely more on items that can be used over and over. o Repurpose: use something for another purpose instead of throwing it away. o Recycle: paper, glass, cans, plasticsand buy items made from recycled materials. Since hazardous waste disposal is costly, it results in illegal and anonymous dumping by companies, o Creating health risks o Industrial nations illegally dump in developing nations o Basel Convention, an international treaty, should prevent dumping but it still happens Once a Superfund site is identified, EPA scientists evaluate: o How close the site is to human habitation o Whether wastes are currently confined or likely to spread o Whether the site threatens drinking water supplies Harmful sites are: o Placed on the EPAs National Priority List o Ranked according to the level of risk to human health that they pose o Cleaned up on a site-by-site basis as funds are available

The EPA is required to hold public hearings and inform area residents of tits findings and to receive feedback CERCLA operates under the polluter pays principle = polluting parties were to be charged for cleanup Two major federal laws regulate the management and disposal of hazardous waste in the U.S.: o RCRA o CERCLA Two major federal laws regulate the management and disposal of hazardous waste in the U.S.: Solid waste or combination of solid wastes A hazardous waste is o listed by 40 CFR Part 261; or o is characterized by analytical methodology EPA Criteria for Hazardous Waste o Toxicity o Persistence in the environment o Degradability in the environment o Bioaccumulation potential o Hazardous Characteristics: ignitibility, corrosivity, reactivity, Toxicity Characteristic Leachate Procedure (TCLP Hazardous Characteristics o Ignitibility: flashpoint less than 140oF (<140oF) o Corrosivity: pH less than 2.0 S.U. or greater than 12.5 S.U. (2.0 < S.U. < 12.5) o Reactivity: a combination of greater than 250 mg/kg of HCN and greater than 500 mg/kg of H2S Dioxins o Regulated by TSCA o Group of more than 70 different chlorinated dioxins o By-product of certain manufacturing processes o Carcinogen o Teratogen o Mutagen Bioaccumulators o Chlorinated Insecticides o Carbamates o Organophosphates o Herbicides o Metals Hydrogen sulfide: toxic gas o Ph below 7 = hydrogen sulfide is released Cyanides (-CN): commonly found in plating operations and sludges o Can cause instantaneous death (acutely toxic) Eight heavy metals according to RCRA o Arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, selenium, silver Lead is harmful to children o Commonly found in gasoline and household plants in about 100 countries Mercury is released into atmosphere when burning coal and incinerating waste

PCBS: group of chlorinated hydrocarbons Hazardous waste is treated according to the EPA o Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facilities (TSDF) are permitted to handle hazardous waste. o Transporters of hazardous waste are also permitted. Treatments for hazardous wastes o Landfill or Storage o Incineration or Destruction o Fuel Blending o Neutralization o Biological Treatment Incineration: heating many types of hazardous waste to high temperatures up to 2000 C in an incinerator can break them down and convert them to less harmful or harmless chemicals. Plasma torch: passing electrical current through gas to generate an electric arc and very high temperatures can create plasma. Deep-well disposal: liquid hazardous wastes are pumped under pressure into dry porous rock far beneath aquifers. Surface impoundments: excavated depressions such as ponds, pits, or lagoons into which liners are placed and liquid hazardous wastes are stored. Long-term retrievable storage: Some highly toxic materials cannot be detoxified or destroyed. Metal drums are used to stored them in areas that can be inspected and retrieved. Secure landfills: Sometimes hazardous waste are put into drums and buried in carefully designed and monitored sites There are only 23 commercial hazardous waste landfills Brownfields: an abandoned property that is potentially contaminated o More than 450,000 brownfields in the U.S. Phytoremediation: the use of living green plants for in situ risk reduction and/or removal of contaminants from contaminated soil, water, sediments, and air. o A term of several ways in which plants can be used to clean up contaminated soils and water o Advantages It is more economically viable using the same tools and supplies as agriculture It is less disruptive to the environment and does not involve waiting for new plant communities to recolonize the site Disposal sites are not needed It is more likely to be accepted by the public as it is more aesthetically pleasing then traditional methods It avoids excavation and transport of polluted media thus reducing the risk of spreading the contamination It has the potential to treat sites polluted with more than one type of pollutant o Disadvantages It is dependant on the growing conditions required by the plant (ie climate, geology, altitude, temperature) Large scale operations require access to agricultural equipment and knowledge Success is dependant on the tolerance of the plant to the pollutant

Contaminants collected in senescing tissues may be released back into the environment in autumn Contaminants may be collected in woody tissues used as fuel Time taken to remediate sites far exceeds that of other technologies Contaminant solubility may be increased leading to greater environmental damage and the possibility of leaching An international treaty calls for phasing out the use of harmful persistent organic pollutants (POPs). o POPs are insoluable in water and soluble in fat