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Methods of Waste Disposal

The Landfill is the most popularly used method of waste disposal used today. This process of
waste disposal focuses attention on burying the waste in the land. Landfills are found in all areas.
There is a process used that eliminates the odors and dangers of waste before it is placed into the
ground. While it is true this is the most popular form of waste disposal it is certainly far from the
only procedure and one that may also bring with it an assortment of space.
This method is becoming less these days although, thanks to the lack of space available and the
strong presence of methane and other landfill gases, both of which can cause numerous
contamination problems. Many areas are reconsidering the use of landfills.
Incineration or combustion is a type disposal method in which municipal solid wastes are burned
at high temperatures so as as to convert them into residue and gaseous products. The biggest
advantage of this type of method is that it can reduce the volume of solid waste to 20 to 30
percent of the original volume, decreases the space they take up and reduce the stress on
landfills. This process is also known as thermal treatment where solid waste materials are
converted by Incinerators into heat, gas, steam and ash. Incineration is something that is very in
countries where landfill space is no longer available, which includes Japan.
Recovery and Recycling
Resource recovery is the process of taking useful discarded items for a specific next use. These
discarded items are then processed to extract or recover materials and resources or convert them
to energy in the form of useable heat, electricity or fuel.
Recycling is the process of converting waste products into new products to prevent energy usage
and consumption of fresh raw materials. Recycling is the third component of Reduce, Reuse and
Recycle waste hierarchy. The idea behind recycling is to reduce energy usage, reduce volume of
landfills, reduce air and water pollution, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and preserve natural
resources for future use.
Plasma gasification
Plasma gasification is another form of waste management. Plasma is a primarily an electrically
charged or a highly ionized gas. Lighting is one type of plasma which produces temperatures that
exceed 12,600 F . With this method of waste disposal, a vessel uses characteristic plasma
torches operating at +10,000 F which is creating a gasification zone till 3,000 F for the
conversion of solid or liquid wastes into a syngas.

During the treatment solid waste by plasma gasification, the wastes molecular bonds are broken
down as result of the intense heat in the vessels and the elemental components. Thanks to this
process, destruction of waste and dangerous materials is found. This form of waste disposal
provides renewable energy and an assortment of other fantastic benefits.
Composting is a easy and natural bio-degradation process that takes organic wastes i.e. remains
of plants and garden and kitchen waste and turns into nutrient rich food for your plants.
Composting, normally used for organic farming, occurs by allowing organic materials to sit in
one place for months until microbes decompose it. Composting is one of the best method of
waste disposal as it can turn unsafe organic products into safe compost. On the other side, it is
slow process and takes lot of space.
and turns it to
Waste to Energy (Recover Energy)
Waste to energy(WtE) process involves converting of non-recyclable waste items into useable
heat, electricity, or fuel through a variety of processes. This type of source of energy is a
renewable energy source as non-recyclable waste can be used over and over again to
create energy. It can also help to reduce carbon emissions by offsetting the need for energy from
fossil sources. Waste-to-Energy, also widely recognized by its acronym WtE is the generation of
energy in the form of heat or electricity from waste.
Avoidance/Waste Minimization
The most easier method of waste management is to reduce creation of waste materials thereby
reducing the amount of waste going to landfills. Waste reduction can be done through recycling
old materials like jar, bags, repairing broken items instead of buying new one, avoiding use of
disposable products like plastic bags, reusing second hand items, and buying items that uses less
designing.Recycling and composting are a couple of the best methods of waste management.
Composting is so far only possible on a small scale, either by private individuals or in areas
where waste can be mixed with farming soil or used for landscaping purposes. Recycling is
widely used around the world, with plastic, paper and metal leading the list of the most
recyclable items. Most material recycled is reused for its original purpose.
environmental laws in the philippines
1. Republic Act No. 9003: Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000
2. Republic Act No. 9072: National Caves and Cave Resources Management and Protection Act
3. Republic Act No. 9147: Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act
4. Republic Act No. 9237: Mount Apo Protected Act of 2003
5. Republic Act No. 9275: Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004
6. Republic Act No. 9281: Amending Sections 109 and 112 of Agriculture and Fisheries
Modernization Act of 1997 (RA 8435)

7. DENR Adm. Order No. 2003-30: Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for the
Philippine Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) System
Impacts of Solid Waste
Solid waste disposal is one of those rare endeavors where success breeds anonymity. To the credit of local waste
management agencies and contractors, their service is highly inconspicuous in northeastern Illinois. This low profile
belies the importance and complexity of efficient trash collection, and veils many impacts of municipal solid waste
(MSW) policy from our everyday lives.
Like other environmental elements, waste does not follow regional borders. From an email survey that we conducted
of the solid waste professionals in the region, there was a general feeling that rural areas were burdened with waste
exported from urbanized areas and were therefore left to deal with the various impacts associated with disposal,
particularly landfilling.

To better analyze these impacts, this report divides them into four categories: environmental, economic and landuse-related. Each will be described in detail and linked to potential strategies for maximizing the efficiency,
capacity, and environmental stewardship of our waste management services well into 2040.

Hazardous gas emissions: In 1987, the EPA estimated that the nation's 7,124 landfills
emitted 15 million tons of methane per year and 300,000 tons of other gases like
toluene and methylene chloride (Philips, 1998). As mentioned earlier in the report,
methane is a powerful greenhouse gas and landfills contributed 23% of total
emissions in 2006 (USEPA, 2008). In addition to its effect in the ozone layer, methane
is also a highly combustible gas that may be responsible for various explosion
hazards in and around landfills.

Water Quality/Contamination: There is no expert consensus about the impact of MSW

on surface and groundwater sources. Some argue that even common MSW items
such as newspaper pose a significant risk to water quality, while others argue that
the effect of landfills on groundwater would be negligible if hazardous materials (e.g.
motor oil, paint, chemicals, incinerator ashes) were prohibited from the sites
(Johnson, 1978 and DeLong, 1993). Experts also argue that while leachate is a clear
environmental liability, the frequency and severity of leachate-related problems is
uncertain and can be minimized through proper siting and sealing measures.
However, if leachate does seep into groundwater, it can be the source of many
contaminants, specifically organic compounds that may decrease the oxidationreduction potential and increase the mobility of toxic metals (Kelly, 2002). Locally,
some solid waste managers catch errant leachate and pump it back into the landfill.
This process helps keep it from seeping away and actually hastens the decomposition
of the landfill contents.

Energy Consumption: As a community's tolerance for landfills decreases, they are

moved farther from densely populated areas, requiring collection trucks to drive
farther distances to unload. Also, the complexity of collection routes can affect
energy consumption. This frequent and lengthy travel by gas-consuming vehicles is
also detrimental to air quality and results in increased green house gases.

Natural Habitat Degradation: As land is claimed for landfills, it is no longer hospitable

to many plants and wildlife. Often, this fertility cannot be completely reclaimed, even
after the landfill is capped.

Biodegradation: Responsibly sited and managed landfills are often preferred over
other waste disposal methods, such as incineration, because, aside from being more
economical, they allow most waste to decay safely and naturally. Conversely, the
positive effects of biodegradation are often overstated when, in reality, landfills tend
to mummify their contents, severely prolonging oxidation and natural breakdown
processes (DeLong, 1993).

The Illinois State Water Survey found that the Calumet region of South Chicago is heavily polluted with heavy metals, organic compou
rates of change in Kane and McHenry Counties that were attributed to rapid changes in land use. This could potentially be a result of ol


Siting Resistance and Regulation: No one wants to live near a landfill, and as regions
urbanize, it becomes more difficult to find land that is suitable for dumping and
amenable to the surrounding population. Couple this with increasing regulation, and
it becomes more difficult to efficiently and diplomatically site a landfill. This difficulty
often causes politicians to postpone siting new landfills by encouraging alternative
means of solid waste disposal (DeLong, 1993).

Disposal Costs: Unlike recycling, which requires reprocessing used materials, or

composting, which requires intensive sorting, landfill dumping needs far less money
and effort. This superior efficiency is a major reason that landfilling dominates the
waste disposal industry, even when other methods are more environmentally sound.
Landfill operators and waste management companies have traditionally benefited
from the facilities due to the tipping or disposal fees that garbage haulers (whether
public or private) pay per tonnage to deposit their waste. Counties charge a hosting
fee from the landfill and that is generally used to fund the county solid waste
management department and to enhance alternative waste disposal such as
recycling and composting as well as promoting public awareness of the importance of
the 3R's- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Do you feel you are paying too much, too little or a reasonable amount for solid waste disposal in your community?

Land Use

Siting: When siting a landfill, the following issues must be addressed (Phillips, 1998):

Airport Safety: landfills attract birds, which can threaten aircraft.

Floodplains: if a landfill must be sited in a floodplain, extra steps must be

taken to ensure that its contents will not flow from the site during a flood.

Wetlands: while wetlands should always be avoided when locating landfills,

exceptions may be allowed if there is no alternative site in the area, and if the
environmental impact is proven to be minimal.

Unstable Areas: landfills should not be sited in areas threatened by mudslides

or other forms of earth movement.

The above restrictions mean that landfills will compete with other types of land uses for valuable and scarce land.
With current fuel costs, hauling waste to far-flung areas makes it unprofitable to operators as well as to residents
who have to pay for collection.
Although landfills and transfer stations provide an important municipal service, they have historically been
associated with breach of environmental justice because they have often been located in low income areas and in
communities of color (National Environmental Justice Advisory Council, 2000). More prevalent in New York City,
Washington DC, Atlanta and San Francisco, among others, these issues of environmental justice were centered upon
the fact that the waste came from outside the communities where the facilities were located, that they resulted in
negative impacts such as degraded health and environmental conditions and compromised community revitalization
plans and economic activity.