APES Unit 13 Toxic Wastes

Love Canal Case Study
Hooker Chemical sealed chemical wastes into steel drums and dumped into an old Canal (aka Love Canal) and then sold the land to the Niagara Falls School Board for $1, where an elementary school and homers were built. The Clay cap covering the waste was disturbed and chemicals were exposed. This causes the Superfund Law in 1980, which forced polluters to pay for cleaning up abandoned toxic waste dumps.
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act 1980
Aka the Superfund law, forced polluters to pay for cleaning up abandoned toxic waste dumps. Created in response to Love canal
Solid waste (definition)
Any unwanted or discarded material we produce that is not a liquid or gas
Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) (definition)
Waste produced by the home (35% is from paper!)
Industrial Solid Waste (definition)
Produced indirectly by industries that supply people with goods and services (this makes up 98.5% of all waste produced in the US)
Which makes up a larger portion of Solid waste: Municipal or Industrial?
Industrial (mining agriculture, and industry produce the most) while Municipal only produces about 1.5% of all waste
Hazardous (toxic) Waste (definition)
Threatens human health or the environment because it is toxic, chemically active, corrosive, or flammable.
Types of solid waste
(A) Municipal and (B) Industrial
US’s waste compared to the worlds
Produces about a 1/3 of the worlds solid waste and buries half of it in landfills
E-Waste (definition)
Toxic and hazardous waste such as PVC, Lead, Mercury and Cadmium (US produces almost half of the world’s e-waste but only recycles 10% of it)
Integrated Waste Management (what are the steps)
(A) Primary/first Priority – Change industrial process to eliminate use of harmful chemicals , purchase different products, reduce packaging used, make products last longer.
(B) Secondary/Second Priority – Reuse, Repair, Recycle, Compost
(C) Last/Waste Management – Treat waste to redyce toxicity, incinerate waste, bury waste in landfills, release waste into environment for dispersal or dilution.
Integrated Waste Management (definition)
Strategies for reducing and managing waste.
How to reduce solid waste
(A) Refuse – to buy items that we really don’t need
(B) Reduce – consume less and live a simpler and less stressful life by practicing simplicity
(C) Reuse – rely more on items that can be used over and over
(D) Repurpose – use something for another purpose instead of throwing it away
(E) Recycle – paper, glass, cans, plastics
Primary Recycling (Closed loop)
Materials are turned into new products of the same type (paper to newspaper)
Secondary recycling (definition)
Materials are converted into different products (used tires into rubberized road surfaces)
Pre-consumer recycling (definition)
Recycled materials from waste in created in making the product (waste aluminum after cans were punched out are recycled to make more aluminum sheets)
Postconsumer recycling
Recycled materials from after you use the product and are then recycled.
3 ways to recycle
(A) Mix all the materials (both recyclable and no recyclable) together and then separate them out later
(B) Single stream recycling – all plastic, paper, aluminum, etc. goes into one container
(C) Pay as you go!
Trash incinerators
Trash is burned and that heats up water and spins a turbine to create energy
Open Dumps
Fields or holes in ground where garbage is deposited and covered with soil (in developing countries)
Sanitary landfills
Solid waste are spread out in thin layers, compacted and covered daily with a layer of clay or plastic foam
“Cradle to grave” Responsibility laws
in place in many European Countries, requires companies to take back various consumer products and dispose of them properly after their costumer is done using them. To pay for this, a recycling tax is paid on purchase
Primary (Closed Loop) Recycling
Materials such as aluminum cans are recycled into new products of the same type
Secondary Recycling
Waste materials are converted into different products
Types of recyclable wastes
(A) Preconsumer/Internal waste (waste made by the manufacturing process and (B) Postconsumer/external waste (waste made by the use of the product). Internal waste makes up the majority
Material-Recovery Facilities (aka MRF’s or “Murfs”)
Machines separate waste to recover recyclable materials from household wastes. These plants are expensive and can emit toxic air pollutants if not run properly.
Recycling Advantages
(A) Reduces waste energy and mineral usage
(B) reduces green house emissions
(C) Reduces Solid waste
(D) Saves landfill space
(E) Can save money for items such as paper, metals, and some plastics

(F) Important part of economy

Recycling Disadvantages
(A) Can cost more when there is readily available landfill space
(B) reduces profits for landfill and incinerator owners
(C) Source separation is inconvenient
Waste-to-Energy Incineration Disadvantages
Expensive, Produces hazardous waste such as CO2 and other air pollutants, Encourages waste production
Waste-to-Energy Incineration Advantages
Reduces trash volume while producing energy, concentrates hazardous substances into ash for burial, Low cost by selling Energy
Disadvantage of landfills
(A) Noise, traffic and dust
(B) Releases Methane and CO2 unless they are collected
(C) Output approach encourages waste production
(D) Will eventually leak
What two laws regulate management and disposal of hazardous waste in US?
(A) Resource Conservation and Recovery Act – forces companies to have a cradle-to-the-grave system (aka you have to return the product back to the company after they are done using it so the company can recycle it) to keep track of waste)
(B) Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (aka superfund) – paid for by the tax payers when the companies can’t afford it, forces companies to clean out the hazardous waste sites that they have abandoned
Whats the best thing to do to reduce hazardous waste (go back into the slide)
Best: produce less waste
Next step = replacing the waste you do produce into less hazardous substances
Next Step = put the waste you do produce in perpetual storage
Methods of reducing hazardous substances
Physical methods – using charcoal or resins to separate out harmful chemicals
Chemical – using chemical reactions that can convert hazardous chemicals to less harmful or harmless chemicals.
Biological – two types Bioremediation and Phytoremediation
Bioremediation
Bacteria or enzymes help destroy toxic and hazardous waste or convert them to more benign substances
Phytoremediation
Using natural or engineered plants to destroy toxic and hazardous waste or convert them to more benign substances
Advantages of Phytoremidiation
(A) Easy to establish
(B) Inexpensive
(C) Can reduce material dumped into landfills

(D) Produces little air pollution compared to incineration

(E) Low energy use

Disadvantages of Phytoremidiation
(A) Slow (can take several growing
seasons)
(B) Effective only
at depth plant
roots can
reach

(C) Some toxic organic chemicals may evaporate from plant leaves

(D) Some plants can become toxic to
animals

Types of Phytoremediation
(A) Rhizofiltration – roots of plants such as sunflowers with dangling roots on bonds or in green houses can absorb pollutants such as radioactive uranium and cesium 127 and various other substances
(B) Phytostablization – willows and poplar trees can absorb chemicals and keep them reaching ground water or nearby surface water
(C) Phytodegradation – plants such as poplars can absorb toxic chemicals and break them down into less harmful compounds, which they store or release slowly into air
(D) Phytoextraction – Indian mustard plants and brake ferns absorb toxic metals such as lead, arsenic, and others store them in their leaves. These plants then can be recycled.
Rhizofiltration (Definition)
Type of phytoremediation, roots of plants such as sunflowers with dangling roots on bonds or in green houses can absorb pollutants such as radioactive uranium and cesium 127 and various other substances
Phytostablization (Definition)
Type of phytoremediation, Willows and poplar trees can absorb chemicals and keep them reaching ground water or nearby surface water
Phytodegradation (Definition)
Type of phytoremediation, plants such as poplars can absorb toxic chemicals and break them down into less harmful compounds, which they store or release slowly into air
Phytoextraction (Definition)
Type of phytoremediation, Indian mustard plants and brake ferns absorb toxic metals such as lead, arsenic, and others store them in their leaves. These plants then can be recycled.
Incineration
Heating many types of hazardous waste to high temperatures, up to 2000 degrees C – 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. The plasma process can be carried out in a torch which can decompose liquid or solid hazardous organic material.
Long term retrievable storage
Some highly toxic materials cannot be detoxified or destroyed. Put in Metal drums are used to store them in areas that can be inspected and retrieved
Secure landfills
Hazardous waste are put into drums and stored below ground at secure landfills
Long term storage of hazardous waste (types)
(A) Deep-well disposal – liquid hazardous wastes are pumped under pressure into dry, porous rock far beneath aquifers
(B) Surface impoundments – excavated depressions
Advantages of deep underground wells
(a) Safe method if sites are chosen carefully
(B) wastes can be retrieved if problems develop
(C) easier to do
(D) Low cost
Disadvantages of deep underground wells
(A) Leaks or spills at surface, (B) Existing fractures or earthquakes can allow wastes to escape into groundwater, (C) Doesn’t change public perception about waste management
Surface impoundments
excavated depressions such as ponds, pits, or lagoons into which liners are placed and liquid hazardous wastes are stored.
Advantages of Surface impoundments
(A) Low construction and operating costs
(B) Can be built quickly

(C) Wastes can be retrieved if necessary

(D) Can store wastes indefinitely with secure double liners

Disadvantages of Surface impoundments
(A) Groundwater contamination from leaking liners (or no lining)
(B) Air pollution from volatile organic compounds
(C) Disruption and leakage from earthquakes
(D) Overflow from flooding
(E) Promotes waste
production
Lead poisoning Case study Prevention and control
Miller? where in book is this
Environmental Justice
Means everyone is entitled to protection from environmental hazards without discrimination such as Polluting Factories, hazardous waste dumps, incinerators, and landfills located in communities populated by poor and minorities
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs)
They are insoluble in water but soluble in fat and every person has detectable levels of POPs. The US hasn’t signed on with the international treaty
How is mercury found in humans?
Mercury is released into the environment mostly by burning coal and incinerating wastes and can build to high levels in some types of fish.
What country requires refilling of their soda bottles
In Finland 95% of soft drink and alcoholic beverages are refillable
“Dirty Dozen”
12 most notorious persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Ex: DDT, PCBs, dioxins, furans and other pesticides
lead poisoning
Symptoms of this include cognitive deficit, learning disabilities, hearing impairment & growth delays. Can also cause fetal malformation, low birth weight & premature birth if ingested by pregnant women.
Mercury Poisoning
lead to birth defects, neurological disorders, and kidney damage