You are on page 1of 44

Announcements Nov 8

Nov. 13 (next Monday) - review

Nov. 15 (next Wednesday) - Exam 3

Nov. 17 (next Friday) - no class

Rocket fuel chemical found in water, produce December 1, 2004 WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government has found traces of a rocket fuel chemical in organic milk in Maryland, green leaf lettuce grown in Arizona and bottled spring water from Texas and California. Sufficient amounts of perchlorate can affect the thyroid, potentially causing delayed development and other problems. But Environmental Protection Agency official Kevin Mayer called for calm, saying in an interview Tuesday: "Alarm is not warranted. That is clear." Asked whether that level of chemical in milk was worrisome, Mayer, the EPA's regional perchlorate coordinator for Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada, said, "The answer is, we don't know yet."


10 September, 2004

UN warns of pesticide 'time-bomb

Stockpiles have built up as pesticide products have been banned. The UN has warned that huge stockpiles of toxic chemical waste from obsolete pesticides are a "time bomb" for East Europe and the developing world. Its Food and Agriculture Organization has urged assistance for the disposal of the chemicals, which it says are often stored at unmanaged sites. Such stockpiles threaten the health of rural communities, says the FAO.

Solid/Hazardous Wastes
Lecture Objectives:

What do we do with our garbage? What are the problems with hazardous waste? What happened at Love Canal?

Introduction to Waste Management

Solid Waste objects or particles that accumulate on the site where they are produced. Municipal Solid Waste (Garbage) amounts to 230 million tons in U.S. annually (equivalent to 3
billion humans!!).

US Domestic Waste

Disposable Decades

Mid-1950s emphasis on a disposable lifestyle

Wave of the future Way to reduce household duties.

Convenience was sold to prosperous post-war (WWII) consumers.

Convenience quickly changed to necessity. TV dinners first marketed in 1953.

Nature of the Problem

U.S. volume of garbage has increased more than 50% since 1960 (although stabilized since 1990) . Countries with higher standard of living produce more waste. Traditional Methods (dumping and burning) are no longer accepted. Urban areas running out of places to put garbage

Methods of Waste Disposal

Landfills Incineration Source reduction Composting Recycling


Most municipal solid waste in US is deposited in landfills Source of groundwater pollution Number of municipal landfills is declining.

Some closed for violations, other because full New landfills costly and often resisted - NIMBY

Sanitary Landfills

Reducing the Number of Landfills


Prior to 1940, incineration was common in North America and western Europe.


incinerators were eliminated because of foul odors and gritty smoke


about 15% of U.S. municipal solid waste is incinerated.

Incinerator Types

Refuse-Derived Fuel - Refuse is sorted to remove recyclable and unburnable materials.

Higher energy content than raw trash.

Mass Burn - Everything smaller than major furniture and appliances loaded into furnace.

Creates air pollution problems.

Reduces disposal volume by 80-90%.

EPA has found alarmingly high toxin levels in incinerator ash.


Reduce volume 90%, weight 75% Heat from burning converted to electricity


Create air pollution Concentrates toxins in ash More costly than landfills, as long as space available


Harnessing natural decomposition to transform organic material into compost About 3800 composting facilities currently in use in the United States. Landscape Recycling Center 1210 E. University Ave., Urbana 344-LEAF (5323)

Source Reduction

Most fundamental method of reducing waste is to prevent it from being produced (Waste Prevention).

Reduce and reuse Individuals and Industry

Saves natural resources. Reduces waste toxicity Reduces costs


Recycling initiatives have grown rapidly in US

By 2000, 9,000 U.S. cities had implemented curbside recycling programs. Urbanas curbside program began in 1986

Bottle Bills (10 states)

Mandatory recycling laws (15 states)

Recycling Benefits

Resource Conservation Pollution Reduction

Crushed glass reduces energy required to manufacture new glass by 50%. One Sunday edition of N.Y. times consumes 62,000 trees. Only 40% of North American paper is recycled. Over 60% of aluminum cans recycled.



Saves money, raw materials, and land. Encourages individual responsibility. Reduces pressure on disposal systems.

Japan recycles about half of all household and commercial wastes.

Lowers demand for raw resources. Reduces energy consumption and air pollution.

US Recycling Rates

Recycling Concerns

Plastics are recyclable, but technology differs from plastic to plastic.

Industry is researching new technologies.

Economics are of concern.

demand for products must keep pace with growing supply

What Can You Do?

Buy durable items and repair them Buy recycled goods and recycle them

Buy beverages in refillable containers

Rechargeable batteries Reduce junk mail

Lobby for trash separation and recycling

Choose items with minimal packaging & reduce number of bags used Compost yard and food waste
quick links


Hazardous Wastes

Hazardous Wastes Dangerous byproducts of industrial, business, or household activities for which there is no immediate use. Numerous types and forms:

Heavy metals Organic wastes Old Computers Batteries Liquids, solids, sludge

1) Ignitable? 2) Corrosive? 3) Explosive?

4) Toxic?

Defining Hazardous Waste

U.S. Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) 1976:

Cause or significantly contribute to an increase in mortality or an increase in serious irreversible, or incapacitating reversible, illness; or pose a substantial present or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, disposed of, or otherwise managed.

Many chemical compounds have not been tested adequately for adverse affects!!

Issues Involved in Setting Regulations

Identification of Hazardous &Toxic Materials Setting Exposure Limits

Nearly all substances are toxic in sufficient quantities. Species-Specific Thresholds.


vs. Chronic Toxicity


of massive doses (acute) and small doses over time (chronic) differ.

effects of chemical mixtures. Most toxicity studies done on a single compound.

Environmental Problems Caused By Hazardous Wastes

Because most hazardous wastes are disposed on or in land, most serious effect is contaminated groundwater.

100,000 industrial landfill sites 180,000 surface impoundments Nearly 2% of North Americas underground aquifers could be contaminated. Once polluted, prohibitively costly to restore water to original state; often not even physically possible

Health Risks

Each year, roughly 1,000 new chemicals are produced and distributed. 70,000 already in daily use. Main problem is often improper handling and disposal IEPA household hazardous waste collection (217) 782-6761

Mercury Thermostats/Thermometers, Antifreeze, Solvents, Metal Polishes, Drain Cleaners, Cleaning Products, Paint Removers, Oil-Based Paints (no water-based paints), Aerosol Paints, Paint Thinners, Fluorescent Bulbs, Hobby Chemicals, Pool Chemicals, Fungicides, Furniture Strippers, Used Oils, Insecticides, Herbicides, Pesticides, Weed Killers, Lawn Chemicals, Old Gasoline, Used Motor Oil, Household/Automotive Batteries, Propane Tanks (20 & 20 lb. cylinders), and Fire Extinguishers

Hazardous Waste Dumps: A Legacy of Abuse

Prior to 1976, hazardous waste was essentially unregulated. Most common disposal solution was to bury or dump the wastes without concern for environmental or health risks.

Hazardous Waste Dumps

When sites became full or unnecessary, they were simply abandoned.


North America alone, currently over 25,000 sites containing hazardous waste.

has highest number of dumps needing immediate attention.

Federal Legislation

Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA).

Modified in 1984 by Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act.

Aimed at rapid containment, cleanup, or remediation of abandoned toxic waste sites. Toxic Release Inventory - Requires 20,000 manufacturing facilities to report annually on releases of more than 300 toxic materials.

EPA Superfund Sites (Since 1980)

Sites contaminated by hazardous waste and identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a candidate for cleanup because it poses a risk to human health and/or the environment. 1,300 Superfund sites across the country In Illinois: 40 active, 5 proposed, 2 cleaned

Superfund Sites

Total costs for hazardous waste cleanup in the US are estimated between $370 billion and $1.7 trillion.

For years, most of the funding has gone to legal fees, but this situation has improved over past several years.

Studies of Superfund sites reveal minorities tend to be over-represented in these neighborhoods.
Household Hazardous Waste Collections The Illinois EPA coordinates one-day household hazardous waste collections each year in the spring and fall.

Love Canal
1892 -- William T. Love proposed a canal for navigation and hydropower
Only one mile of the canal built, used for swimming and recreation

1920 land sold at public auction

became a municipal and chemical disposal site.

Hooker Chemical Company dumped over 20,000 tons of chemicals until 1953.

Including: benzene -- causes leukemia dioxin causes cancer

1953 - Hooker covered the site with dirt and clay and sold the land to the Niagara Falls Board of Education for $1.00

1955 - the 99th Street elementary school opened and homes were built on the 16-acre rectangular site

1960s-1970s repeated complaints to city

1976 -- Calspan Corporation hired as consultant April, 1978 Report in newspaper about toxic chemicals Aug. 2, 1978 - the NY State Department of Health recommended temporary relocation of pregnant women and young children

Aug. 7, 1978, President Jimmy Carter declared a federal emergency at Love Canal

1980s -- Human Heath issues documented Of 17 pregnancies in 1979 2 normal, 9 birth defects, 2 stillborn, 4 miscarriages Broken chromosomes Neurological Problems 1980 Superfund Site

1990s resettlement of area begins

Managing Hazardous Wastes

EPA pollution prevention hierarchy:

1. Reduce amount of pollution at the source. 2. Recycle wastes whenever possible. 3. Treat wastes to reduce hazard and/or volume. 4. Dispose of wastes on land or incinerate them as last resort.

Points to Know Dec. 3


2) 3)



Know the 5 methods of waste disposal. Which is the most common method in the US, and what are two problems with this method? What are some recycling initiatives in the US? What can you do to help reduce the amount of solid waste generated? What are the environmental problems and health risks caused by hazardous wastes? What is the main source of these problems? Know the general story of the Love Canal.