An OVERVIEW on Land Pollution

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Wastes are a reality but can be recycled by nature when the ecosystems are in balance.

POPULATION

CARRYING CAPACITY
WASTES

POLLUTION

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Quantity Quality/kind

POLLUTER advantage

Careless disposal

Others bear the costs Public health Property Aesthetics

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To introduce students to the types, sources and effects of environmental pollution and some of the key strategies used in combating pollution. Topics include water and air quality management, solid waste management and noise pollution control. Aspects of pollution control legislation and its enforcement, environmental education and conservation will also be covered.

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Understand the major causes of environmental pollution and its impacts. Appreciate the range of pollution abatement strategies. Know something of the legislation designed to protect the environment, economic aspects of pollution and its control and the role of environmental education in pollution control.

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Types and sources of pollution Effects of pollution Pollution monitoring and assessment (environmental quality indices) Pollution abatement strategies and technologies Other environmental issues such as urban redevelopment, global climate change etc.

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Introduction of contaminants into an environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living organisms. Changes in the physical, biological and chemical conditions in the environment which harmfully affects the quality of life of plants and animals.

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WASTE

OTHERS

AIR

NOISE

WATER

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Pollution of the environment due to the release (into any environmental medium) from any process or substances which are capable of causing harm to man or any other living organisms supported by the environment.
UK Environmental Act 1990

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A substance or effect which 
adversely alters the environment by changing the

growth rate of species, interferes with the food chain; 
is toxic or interferes with health, comfort,

amenities, (aesthetic) or property values of people.
Porteous (2000) Dictionary of Environmental Science and Technology. John Wiley & Sons

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Introduced into the environment in significant amounts in the form of sewage, waste, effluent, accidental discharge, or as a by-product of a manufacturing process or other human activity. Substances: solid, semi-solid, liquid, gas or sub-molecular particle; waste energy: heat, noise , or vibration.

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Natural or synthetic 
e.g. CO2 and H2S vs. DDT and PCB

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Effect 
Different levels of biological organizations

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Properties 
Toxicity, persistence, mobility, biological or physical

properties
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Controllability

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Primary pollutant: 
A pollutant emitted directly into the

environment such as SO2 and CO
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Secondary pollutant: 
Formed from a primary pollutant as a

results of chemical changes such as photochemical and other reactions, e.g. ozone and NOx

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Point sources: Sources of pollution such as smokestacks, pipes, or accidental spills that are readily identified and stationary. 
Relatively easy to monitor and control

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Non-point sources: Sources of pollutants such as surface runoff that are diffused and intermittent and are influenced by factors such as land use, climate, hydrology, topography, native vegetation, and geology. 
Runoff from streets or fields in urban areas; rural

sources associated with agriculture and mining  Difficult to monitor and control

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Manmade sources Sources such as globally manmade pollutants from combustion, construction, mining, agriculture and warfare. Vehicles, chemicals, and sewages or wastes.

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For example, 
Acid rain; Ozone depletion & Greenhouse effects  Eutrophication & red tide (harmful algal bloom)  Ecotoxicology, carcinogenic & teratogenic* impacts  Interference with recreational activities; and  Reduction of drinking water quality

* teratogenic = malformations of an embryo or fetus.

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Land/ Solid Wastes Pollution Water Pollution Air Pollution Noise Pollution

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degradation of earth's land surfaces often caused by human activities and their misuse of land resources. Haphazard disposal of urban and industrial wastes, exploitation of minerals, and improper use of soil by inadequate agricultural practices are a few factors. Urbanization and industrialization are major causes of land pollution.

Sources of Land Pollution
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Wastes from Agriculture - waste matter produced by crop, animal manure, and farm residues. Wastes from Mining - piles of coal refuse and heaps of slag. Wastes from Industries - Industrial waste matter that can cause land pollution can include paints, chemicals, and so on.

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Solids from Sewage Treatment - Wastes that are left over after sewage has been treated, biomass sludge, and settled solids. Ashes - The residual matter that remains after solid fuels are burned. Garbage - waste matter from food that are decomposable and other waste matter that are not decomposable such as glass, metal, cloth, plastic, wood, paper, and so on.

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Erosion major cause of soil damage 
Removal of vegetation that holds the soil in place  Careless farming methods  Construction and land clearing projects  Road development  Real estate  Mining  Regular farming

Effects of Land Pollution
Respiratory diseases Skin diseases Lead to birth defects Various kinds of cancers

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Most visible form
Sources of photos: EPD

SOLID WASTES
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Most visible form heavy populated urban areas Refuse, trash or garbage 
Junk, cans,packaging materials, scrap metals,

papers  Road litter, river, dumps  unaesthetic
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Most serious problems facing populated cities

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Waste collection (public and private) Landfills Out of sight out of mind NIMBY not in my backyard Tragedy of the commons What s in it for me? Natural resources have to be dug from the ground Wastes have to be buried in the ground

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Unavoidable or is it? Know how to reduce and dispose Objective is for a clean and suitable environment

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Biodegradable wastes that can be acted upon by decomposers 
Food wastes, left-over vegetables, peelings  Fish or fowl entrails, seeds, soft shells, garden litter  Animal manure, human wastes

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Non-biodegradable products of modern technology that cannot be decomposed. 
Metals, cans, glass, plastics, bottles, styrofoam  Feathers, leather, hard shell and bones

According to the MMDA (Metro Manila Development Authority) ƒ 6,000 to 8,000 metric tons per day ƒ Dumpsites 
Payatas, San Mateo, Bulacan, etc.

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Bodies of water 
Pasig river, San Juan river, creeks, canals, etc.

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Segregation of biodegradable and non biodegradable wastes To phase out or not? That is the question!

Source: EPD

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Landfill a pit or hole where wastes are safely disposed of using soil to cover the waste material Incineration process of burning wastes Ocean dumping oldest method of wastes disposal. Water is moving and everything would be washed away.

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Cheapest method Sanitary landfill designed to contain refuse without creating nuisance or hazard to public health and safety 
Covering waste with soil is what makes it sanitary  Minimize entry of surface water  Minimize gas escape

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352 sanitary landfills is the solution to the garbage crisis Responsibility of local government to regulate, control and monitor proper disposal of wastes Sites have been identified and assessed to be morphologically ideal to health safety, drainage, soil and proximity to groundwater and surface water. Open dumps are unacceptable

Types of Solid Waste Disposed of at Landfills in 2004

The major categories are C&D waste and Domestic waste

Source: EPD 2004

Pressing Issues and solutions
The current landfills have 5-10 years life. It will take 10 years to develop and build new ones. Urgently need to identify new landfill sites, reduce waste loads and find new places to put construction waste. Household and other municipal waste loads have risen steadily, in line with the growth in population and wealth of the community. More people are expected to arrive in the cities in the coming decade.

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Source: EPD

Soil covering controls flies and moisture, reduces odor, fires and combustions, discourages scavenging and maintains esthetics.
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Trench landfill artificially excavated, low water table, adequate soil depth Area landfill natural depressions

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Good compaction Low permeability Resistant to wind Resistant to cracking when dry Support increasing land mass

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Benefit solves the garbage problem for the time being. Costs hazards 
Methane , mercury, hydrogen sulfide, nitrates and    

other toxins, etc. Systemic diseases and disorders, birth defects Air and water pollution Loss of land breeding ground for pests

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Explosives Hazardous wastes Biological and pathological wastes Sewage sludge Animal remains Syringes, needles Liquid wastes Oil containers, drums and barrels Telephone poles and railroad ties Radioactive substances

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One of the solutions to the garbage problem but no better than landfills No suitable areas for disposal sites Absence of air pollution and control devices Reduces volume by 50% but produces toxic gases Emission of more than 200 kinds of toxins Furans and dioxins deadliest compounds and persistent in living tissues 200,oooX more toxic than DDT

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Nationwide ban Medical wastes incinerators French proposal to set up the world s largest municipal waste incinerator rejected South Korea, Taiwan and Japan shifted from traditional burn and bury to active pollution prevention and disposal reduction

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Japan has the highest rate of cancer, infant mortality, birth defects compared to countries which are incinerator-free Cover-up to Japan s garbage problem

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Chemically carbon-based Difficult to break down by physical, chemical and biological means. Accumulates in the atmosphere

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By-products of burning and chemical manufacturing 
Dioxins and furans

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Agricultural pesticides 
DDT, aldrin, dieldrin, chordane,  endrin, mirex, heptachlor, toxaphene

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Industrial purposes 
Hexachlorbenzene (HCB)  Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

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2,500 metric tons of packaging materials, half a million cans, bottles and plastic containers are dumped every year Used as sewers potentially hazardous microorganism Biomagnifications Chemical pollution is difficult to remove Polluted water cannot be used for consumption and agriculture Recreation use becomes hazardous

In a coastal cleanup conducted in 1999  53% of debris collected were sachets and plastic bags  11% - Glass and foam plastic  19% - metal  7% - paper  6% - wood  3% - rubber  1% - cloth

Polluter Pay Concept
The Irish government has been taxing residents about 15 cents apiece for using plastic shopping bags since March 2002. ‡ A drastic reduction in plastic bag use waste associated with disposable bags ‡ Lower the consumption of disposable bags by 95 %, from 500 million bags to less than 25 million. ‡ Generate about $3.4 million in profits

BBC News Aug 21 2002

YOU CAN MAKE THE DIFFENCE

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