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I. II. Definition of Wastes Classification of Wastes A. Solid Waste B. Liquid Waste C. Sludge D. Hazardous Waste Waste Management A. Waste Management in Developed Nations 1. Solid Waste A) Landfills B) Recycling C) Incineration 2. Liquid Waste A) Management Plans B) Waste Water Treatment Facilities C) Injection Wells 3. Hazardous Waste A) Landfill B) Incineration B. Waste Management in Developing Nations 1. Solid Waste A) Landfills B) Recycling C) Incineration 2. Liquid Waste A) Management Plans B) Waste Water Treatment Facilities C) Injection Wells 3. Hazardous Waste A) Landfill B) Incineration C. Waste Management: The Philippine Setting 1. Solid Waste Management 2. Liquid Waste Management 3. Hazardous Waste Management
Threats of Improper Waste Management Initiatives for Liquid Waste Management
Review of Related Literature
Definition of Wastes
Waste can be described as "any substance or object the holder discards, intends to discard or is required to discard", as defined by the Waste Framework Directive (European Directive (WFD) 2006/12/EC), (amended by the new WFD (Directive 2008/98/EC, coming into force in December 2010). In the Philippines¶ Republic Act No. 9275 (An Act Providing For a Comprehensive Water Quality management and for Other Purposes), waste means ³any material either solid, liquid, semisolid, contained gas or other forms resulting from industrial, commercial, mining or agricultural operations, or from community and household activities that is devoid of usage and discarded.´
Classification of Wastes The classification of wastes varies and depends country by country. Waste can be divided into many different types. The most common method of classification is by their physical, chemical, and biological characteristics. 1. Solid Waste Solid waste is broadly defined as including non-hazardous industrial, commercial and domestic refuse including household organic trash, street sweepings, hospital and institutional garbage, and construction wastes; generally sludge and human waste are regarded as a liquid waste problem outside the scope of MSW (Zerbock, 2003).These are waste materials that contain less than 70% water. Example of this type of waste are the domestic or household garbage, some industrial wastes, some mining wastes, and oilfield wastes such as drill cuttings.
2. Liquid Waste These are usually wastewaters that contain less than 1%. This type of waste may contain high concentration of dissolved salts and metals. Liquid wastes are often classified into two broad types: sewage and toxic wastes. Generally, there are various types of liquid waste generated in urban centers: human excreta, domestics wastes produced in households, hospital wastes, industrial effluents, agricultural liquid wastes and nuclear wastes. When improperly handled and disposed of, liquid wastes pose a
serious threat to human health and the environment because of their ability to enter watersheds, pollute ground water and drinking water (US EPA, 2009).
3. Sludge It is a class of waste between liquid and solid. They usually contain between 3% and 25% solid, while the rest of the material is dissolved water.
4. Hazardous Waste Hazardous wastes are wastes which, by themselves or after coming into contact with other wastes, have characteristics, such as chemical reactivity, toxicity, corrosiveness or a tendency to explode, that pose a risk to human health or the environment. Hazardous wastes are generated from a wide range of industrial, commercial, agricultural, and to a much less extent, domestic activities. They may take the form of solids, liquids or sludges, and can pose both acute and chronic public health and environmental risks.
Waste Management A. Waste Management in Developed Countries Brought basically by their more developed industries and more advanced technology, developed nations have more efficient and standard liquid waste management plans. Developed countries, however, still employ different methods of waste disposal (which largely depends on a country¶s policies and preferences). The large amount of solid waste (including its collection, transfer and disposal) generated in developed nations has been generally assumed by municipal governments. The format varies, however, in most urban areas, where garbage is collected either by a government agency or private contractor, and this constitutes a basic and expected government function in the developed world. (Zerbock, 2003) 1. Solid Waste Management A) Landfill The placement of solid waste in landfills is probably the oldest and definitely the most prevalent form of ultimate garbage disposal (Zerbock, 2003). It is to be noted, however, that most landfills refer to nothing more than open dumps. Nonetheless, in the case of developed countries, waste disposal is often in the form of sanitary landfills, which differ from open dumps by their higher degree of engineering, planning and administration.
Landfills account for the disposal of 90% of the United States¶ solid wastes. It is also the most common disposal method in the United Kingdom where annually, approximately 111 million tones of controlled wastes are disposed in their 4000 landfill sites (Baker, 2005). In a modern landfill, refuse is spread thin, compacted layers covered by a layer of clean earth. Pollution of surface water and groundwater is minimized by lining and contouring the fill, compacting and planting the uppermost cover layer, diverting drainage, and selecting proper soil in sites not subject to flooding or high groundwater levels. The best soil for a landfill is clay because clay is less permeable than other types of soil. Materials disposed of in a landfill can be further secured from leakage by solidifying them in materials such as cement, fly ash from power plants, asphalt, or organic polymers (Bassis, 2005) Landfills can also be shifted to another use after their capacities have been reached. The city of Evanston, Illinois, built a landfill up into a hill and the now-complete ³Mt. Trashmore´ is a ski area. Golf courses built over landfill sites are also increasingly common (Montgomery, 2000).
B) Recycling or the 3R¶s Another method, which sets off before waste disposal is waste reduction through recycling or often coined as the 3 R¶s: reuse, reduce, and recycle. On the local or regional level, reducing wastes is accomplished through these methods by source separation and subsequent material recovery.
Currently, the United States recycles about 10% of its glass and 25% of its paper wastes; in countries such as Switzerland and the Netherlands, the proportion in the glass recycled approaches to 50% while Japan recycles 50% of its paper wastes (Montgomery, 2000).
C) Incineration Some countries, on the other hand, manage most of their solid waste through incinerators. Incineration, or the controlled burning of waste at high temperatures to produce steam and ash, is another waste disposal option and an alternative to landfilling (US Environmental Protection Agency, 2009). Incinerators are designed for the destruction of wastes and are commonly employed in developed nations who could afford the costs of the burning facilities, plus its operation and maintenance (Mc Cracken, 2005). This type of waste disposal is the second largest disposal method in most developed countries and ranks next to landfills in the United States and the United Kingdom. In the UK, approximately 5% of household waste, 75 % of commercial waste and 2% of industrial waste is disposed of through this method (Baker, 2005) In spite of its huge capital requirements, incineration presents to be a promising option for developed island nations whose small land area makes landfilling an unsuitable method for their waste disposal. Reduction by incineration, along with sanitary disposal of the residue, has been proven useful in
nations such as Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands (Lettsome 1998 as cited by Zerbock 2003). A further benefit of incineration can be realized if the heat generated thereby is recovered. For years, European cities have generated electricity using waste-disposal incinerators as sources of heat (Montgomery, 2000). There are negative issues, however, in the use of this burning method and much of that circulate around its safety for the environment and to the human health. It is argued that the combustion process creates air pollution, ash, and waste water, all of which must be properly managed using technical monitoring, containment, and treatment systems. Harmful pollutants are released into the environment whenever these by-products are not controlled (US EPA, 2009). Operators of these facilities must be well-trained and certified to ensure proper management. 2. Liquid Waste Management A) Management Plans Management of liquid waste in developed nations often follows rigorous steps and phases which commonly involves treatment processes. In British Columbia, municipalities are allowed to develop their Liquid Waste Management Plans. The country adopts a proactive strategy that intends to achieve their Ministry of Environment¶s long-term goal of achieving zero pollution. Part of that strategy includes: pollution prevention, Best Available Control Technology (BACT) and the principle of polluter pay. This strategy represents a major change in the traditional regulatory approach to
environmental protection, which attempted to deal with pollution after it occurred. The future emphasis will be on pollution prevention and on involving all stakeholders in an open and consultative approach to environmental protection (Environmental Protection Division, Ministry of Environment, Government of British Columbia, 2009).\
B) Wastewater Treatment The strategy employed by the government of British Columbia combines a number of processes and programs to achieve zero pollution. However, when it comes to liquid waste management, the simplest approach is to control the quality of wastewater at its point of treatment and discharge. This places regulation and control at the institutional level as treatment is normally conducted by a public agency. The quality of the discharge can then be regulated to fit the type of use. This alternative assumes that the treatment system is well managed and maintained and produces a reliable quality of effluent. This approach is utilized in the United States, Canada, and Europe and in many cases requires an advanced level of treatment technology ( Zerbock, 2003).
C) Injection wells In the USA, industrial wastes that are primarily liquid are usually disposed of in injection wells. Injection wells receiving aqueous wastes can be placed in highly permeable, underground geological formations. These formations
are well below 1000 m underground, which is lower than the depth of most aquifers used as sources of drinking water. Before injection, liquid wastes are filtered to remove suspended solids and skimmed for phased organic compounds. Filtration prevents the plugging of the injection formation. If the waste is reactive, it is converted to less reactive compounds before injection. 3. Hazardous Waste Management Much of the concern of many countries regarding their waste management circulates around the disposal of hazardous wastes. Due to their toxicity and large threat to human and environment health, this type of waste requires more stringent and sophisticated methods of disposal. Basically, the United States¶s federal regulations classify their waste into two types: hazardous and solid. In 1976, congress adopted the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the primary national law for addressing production waste (waste generated in the course of ongoing activity or business). In such act, the term µsolid¶ does not necessarily refer to a waste¶s physical property and thus the waste can also be a liquid or a contained gas (National Society of Professional Engineers, USA, 2009). The RCRA provides a stringent classification of hazardous wastes and the necessary treatment that such wastes should undergo. Under the law, a µcomprehensive national ³cradle-to-grave´ program for regulating the generation, transportation, treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous wastes is established. Such program includes a system for tracking the wastes¶ point sources and point of disposal, and a permitting system
to control the operation of treatment, storage and disposal facilities (US Environmental Protection Agency).
B. Waste Management in Developing Countries Although largely limited in terms of budget and technology as compared to the developed nations, developing countries also take their share in implementing waste management policies. 1. Solid Waste Management In developing countries, it is common for municipalities to spend 2050 percent of their available recurrent budget on solid waste management. Yet, it is also common that 30-60 percent of all the urban solid waste in developing countries is uncollected and less than 50 percent of the population is served. In some cases, as much as 80 percent of the collection and transport equipment is out of service, in need of repair or maintenance. In most developing countries, open dumping with open burning is the norm (The World Bank, 2009). A) Open Dumps Dumps are long-established method of waste disposal in many countries. Although this method have been largely phased-out in most developed countries and replaced by sanitary landfills, many developing nations still rely on this form of disposal. Open dumps are not much to be endorsed though. They are unsightly, unsanitary and generally smelly, they attract rats, insects and other pests; they are also fire hazards.
Still, behind these negative aspects, open dumps continue to be prevalent in countries like India, the Philippines and Indonesia.
B) Landfill is also a common method of solid waste disposal in most developing countries, although many of them harbors open dumps. C) Recycling In many developing countries and countries with economies in transition there are two types of recycling sectors, a formal sector and informal sector. Formal recycling sector, using efficient technologies and state-of-the-art recycling facilities are rare. As a result, recyclable materials are managed through various informal sectors with low-end management alternatives such as manual separation of recyclable components, burning of some components in open pits to recover precious metals, and dumping of residues into surface water bodies. This informal sector of the economy employs thousands of poor people who are not aware of the hazard of exposure or hazards that exist in some recyclable materials (Basel Convention Report Paper, 2009).
2. Liquid Waste Management In spite of the continuing efforts of many developing nations to cope with the standards of the developed nations, finance and technology plus policies still put limit to what they have generally achieved.
According to the World Resources Institute, it has been estimated that over 90% of the sewage in developing countries is discharged into surface waters with no treatment conducted. In India, with its 3,100plus cities and towns, only 209 have even partial sewage treatment (Montgomery, 2000).
4. Hazardous Waste Management In many countries, current emphasis is more on preventing and minimizing the production of hazardous wastes by adopting the µpollution prevention hierarchy¶. There are several problems that could be associated with poor disposal techniques and management. One of these problems could be the fact that many developing countries and countries with economies in transition do not have the expertise to manage hazardous wastes in an environmentally sound manner, and most may not employ proper technologies. Furthermore, many of these countries may not have a system and infrastructure to ensure that hazardous wastes are managed in a manner which will protect human health and the environment against the adverse effects which may result from such wastes. The governments often lack information about how much and what types of pollutants are released, and what risk they pose to people and the environment (Basel Convention Paper, 2009).
C. Waste Management: The Philippine Setting 1. Philippine Solid Waste Management In our country, solid waste management is embodied in RA 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000. This law provides ³the legal framework for the country¶s systematic, comprehensive and ecological solid waste management program that shall ensure protection of public health and the environment´ (Environmental Management Bureau-DENR, 2009).
2. Philippine Liquid Waste Management In the Philippine setting, disposal of wastewater is turning to be an enormous challenge. This is the concern of NEDA Board Resolution No. 5, series of 1994 which stated the national policy for urban sewerage and sanitation (Magtibay, 2006). The management of liquid wastes requires a coordinated system of policies which covers requisites on drainage, sewers, and wastewater treatment facilities. It is also a complex issue as it traverses across various sectors: domestic, industrial, agricultural, etc. Unfortunately, with the current situation of the country, with its political clashes and poverty situation, liquid waste management had largely been centered only in the private sectors (Contreras, 2005). Treatments are largely carried out by
industrial groups. Effective domestic liquid waste management occurs mostly in private households. In this area, policies once again govern the actions of the concerned agencies. The treatment and discharge of commercial wastewater (liquid waste generated by trading or business establishment and or any other related firms or companies) is regulated and monitored through the provisions of the DENR Administrative Order No. 2002-16 or the DENR-EMB National Environmental User¶s Fee of 2002, which authors the DENR Wastewater Discharge Permitting System.
5. Philippine Hazardous Waste Management Before the enactment of the Clean Air Act (which included in its provisions the banning of incinerators in the country), hazardous wastes such as medical and laboratory wastes are subjected to burning processes. Some of the wastes are also recycled. In 2003, hazardous waste management shifted to land fills and open dumping as an answer to the banning of burning. In a case study conducted in hospitals in the Cagayan Valley Region, Northern Luzon, the most common method of hazardous waste disposal in the area is through dumping. Results indicated that proper waste management is not fully implemented due to budget constraint (Bernardo, 2008).
D. Threats and Impacts of Improper Waste Management With the increase of population comes too the increase in consumption, and consequently, in the amount of wastes we generate. Through time, problems resulting from improper and irresponsible management of our wastes have arisen and continue to do so. Human and ecosystem health can be adversely affected by all forms of waste, from its generation to its disposal. Over the years, wastes and waste management responses such as policies, legal, financial, and institutional instruments; cradle-to-cradle or cradle-to-grave technological options; and socio-cultural practices have impacted on ecosystem health and human well-being. Examples are evident in all countries. A popular example of how improper waste management and lack of coordination in policies can bring huge environmental and human impacts is the ³Love Canal Incident´. The Love Canal is an area situated at Niagara Falls, New York. In 1953, the Hooker Chemical Company, then the owners and operators of the property, covered the canal with earth and sold it to the city for one dollar. In the late '50s, about 100 homes and a school were built at the site. Twenty five years after the Hooker Chemical Company stopped using the Love Canal as an industrial dump, 82 different compounds, 11 of them suspected carcinogens, have been percolating upward through the soil, their drum containers rotting and leaching their contents into the backyards and basements of 100 homes and a public school built on the banks of
the canal. What followed was a catastrophe that caused several deaths, birth defects and abnormalities, lawsuits and ultimately, the evacuation of the residents. Locally, here in the Philippines, the 2001 Smoky Mountain tragedy in the Payatas Dumpsite is a constant reminder of how disastrous the country¶s waste management has been regarding the case of that open dumpsite. The collapse of that ³mountain of trash´ due to the severe rainfall had claimed the lives of many people, both young and old. Aside from such disaster caused by the irresponsible management of a former dumping site, wastewater discharges, as shown by studies, can also bring harmful impacts to coastal areas and other bodies of water. In Fiji Island, for example, it has been concluded that the disposal of untreated human and domestic waste has been the major contributor to the degradation of the island¶s marine environment. Development to the island had brought a shift in species dominance from hard coral to macro-algae (Mosley and Aalbersberg, 2005 as cited in the 2005 WHO Liquid Waste Monitoring Project). There is also no need to mention the numerous incidences of mine tail deposits and radioactive discharges in many rivers, lakes and shores that have undoubtedly caused detrimental effects to marine and even human life. The list goes on and on.
VII. Initiatives for Liquid Waste Management Waste management practices and policies over the last three decade have resulted in positive responses in terms of improvement of ecosystems. Some positive impacts of the responses identified are: (Information lifted from Sridhar and Baker, 2004) Waste recycling activities have been found to result in improved resource conservation and reduced energy consumption as well as reduction of heavy metal contamination of water sources. In the Baltic Sea, the mercury levels of fish caught were reduced by 60% due to stringent pollution control measures. Major rivers such as the Thames have supported biodiversity, as is evident from the reappearance of salmon after rigorous pollution control measures. The ten-year µµclean river¶¶ program initiated by the Singapore government in 1977 at a cost of US $200 million has brought life back to the Singapore River and the Kallang Basin, with increased dissolved oxygen levels ranging from 2 to 4 mg per liter (UNEP 1997). Phasing out of lead from gasoline has reduced lead emissions from vehicular sources. Wetlands have been widely reported to absorb significant amounts of anthropogenic pollutants. Ferti-irrigation practices have significantly improved the economic base of low- income communities in urban areas. In the tropical countries in particular, controlled and judicious use of aquatic weeds such as water hyacinth (water hyacinth treatment plant for wastewater) and blue green algae (waste stabilization ponds) for treating small wastewater flows helped in improving environmental sanitation and the by-products provided protein and mineral needs of livestock.