Peer Reviewed Journal: Treatment Options Solid Waste

Pages: 10 (3110 words)  ·  Style: Harvard  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Transportation - Environmental Issues  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] Here in this paper we will be using the term open dump to only refer to the disposal sites that are uncontrolled, and which are also the center of discussion here.

Usually leachate is associated with the open dumps and this is in liquid form. The production of leachate takes place in such as manner that when the percolation of rain through the waste dump present on the disposal site takes place, it creates leachate. This water gets accumulated at the bottom of the dump. The organic compounds and the inorganic constituents that are formed by the microbial activity and are present in the actual waste give rise to leachate. In leachate there are traces of the metal such as zinc, lead, manganese, copper and iron. Therefore, leachate contaminates the groundwater as well. The water gets contaminated by dumps as well when the allochthonous organic matter gets into the water through surface runoff because of which leachate is carried from the disposal site as well.

Discussion

Dangers from Solid Waste sites

A lot of serious health issues are created for the animals, humans and environment due to the way that the solid waste is disposed off in an uncontrolled manner. There are economic and different welfare losses that occur due to this improper manner in which the waste is disposed off (Zurbrugg, 2002). There are many different ways through which the environment is being degraded. When the soil comes into contact with the leachate and solid waste it gets contaminated.

The dumping sites that originally were located away from the communities are now coming closer and closer to the housing estates due to rapid urbanization which has decreased the distance between municipal boundaries and housing communities (Schertenleib & Meyer, 1992). Because of this public has started to oppose the existence of these dump sites more and more as they cause dust, odor and various other kinds of nuisances. The people who live near to the dumpsites have the chances of coming in contact with the diseases that are related with the dumps and their waste materials. There was a study conducted by Oyaro (2003) in which tests were performed on 328 children who lived closer to Dandora dumpsite. According to the study there were excess lead concentrations present in the blood of half of those children. These kids were also found to be suffering from asthma, skin infections, anemia and many other respiratory diseases. All of these diseases have an association with the toxins present at the dumpsite, which had rubber, chemicals, plastics, hospital waste and wood present in it (Environmental News Services, 2007; Oyaro, 2003).

Way Forward

The open dumping site present in sub-Saharan Africa will remain open even though it is causing a lot of health issues. The main reason behind this dumping site not closing down is the fact that many of the countries present in the region don't have enough resources to build a proper landfill. These countries have many other serious issues that they need to deal with like providing food to the starving people who don't have much to eat due to the repeated droughts. Therefore, building landfills isn't the top priority for these countries as; they have many other serious issues to deal with. However, some kind of efforts should be made to improve the conditions of these landfills as; they are proving to cause serious health risks.

Following are some of the suggestions that can be adopted by them to improve the conditions of these landfills:

• Waste management Integration: Waste recycling, reduction, composting and reuse fall in the category of integrated waste management. Speaking from the point-of-view of ecology, compositing has proven to be an excellent method to recycle biodegradable waste (Zurbrugg, 2003). Although it should be kept in mind that small and large scale composting projects have failed due to the fact that no proper attention was paid to product quality and marketing of the projects. Establishing a target market and requirement for the compost product is very important. The composts should be made use of by the local authorities in their own municipal gardens and flower beds before they start looking for a market for the compost.

• Attitudes and awareness: The willingness of the people to participate in proper practices of waste management can be influenced by creating public awareness about the campaigns. It is very important to make the people know about the health and environmental issues that are associated with the improper waste management systems. The significance of making timely payments by the dumpsite users and the residents for the proper working of the waste management services should be realized by the people. Waste should be segregated by the people living in municipal areas so that its recycling could be assisted.

• Awareness and education campaigns: Regular campaigns should be organized and arranged in the schools and communities by the municipalities in order to build awareness among the residents regarding the waste management services and how they can be made efficient.

• Recovery of resource and recycling activities: The informal sector is responsible for these activities in the developing countries and they perform them in a very unsafe manner. This kind of recovery activities are hindered by the municipal authorities in a few cases. The attitudes of the local authorities towards the informal parties who recover these materials should be very positive as, they do use these recovered materials after all. Payments should be improved for the wastes that are bought by the companies from the scavengers.

• The fact needs to be realized by the municipalities that when it comes to the disposal of solid waste dumping is the most feasible option for the developing countries as it is affordable. However, proper dumping systems need to be regulated as; the current ones are causing a lot of health problems. The open dumping systems should be improved urgently. In some cases it might even be crucial to upgrade them to landfills of semi-controlled status. What this means is that the base should be compacted rather than lined properly so that the leachate can't infiltrate the ground water. Soil should be used to cover the waste regularly in order to stop disease vectors like flies from reaching the waste. The soil will also help in reducing the amount of odor released from the dumpsite as well. Fences should be put around the dumpsite as; they will help in keeping the animals away from the site as well as keep the material from spreading around. There should be a proper way to separate the inorganic and organic wastes so that recycling and reclamation can be made easier.

Conclusions

The under developed countries will keep on using the open dumping to dispose off their waste materials as, it is not possible for them to construct proper landfills due to the lack of availability of funds. Mostly very little attention is paid by the local authorities to the management of dump sites; this is mainly due to their lack of awareness about more advanced systems being present that enable them to dispose of the waste in a better manner. Therefore, it is important to create awareness among the local authorities as well as the residents to properly manage the dump sites so that these sites won't cause harmful health and environmental issues for the humans as well as the animals.

References

Canada Gazette (1998). Packaging and Transport Regulations, Canadian Nuclear Safety Act, Canada Gazette Part I, Oct, 1998.

Environmental News Service. (2007, October 10). Giant waste poisoning Nairobi children, environment. Environmental News Service. www.ens-newswire.com/ens/oct2007/2007-10-09-01.html

EPB 207 (2006). Saskatchewan's Drinking Water Quality Standards and Objectives (Summarized).

Ghosh, A., Mukiibi, M. And Ela, W. (2004). 'TCLP underestimates leaching of Arsenic from Solid residuals under landfill conditions'. Environmental Science and Technology, 38, pp. 4677-4682.

Ghosh, A., Mukiibi, M., Saez, A.E. And Ela, W. (2006). 'Leaching of arsenic from granular ferric hydroxide residuals under mature landfill conditions. Environmental Science and Technology, 40, pp. 6070-6075.

Health Canada (2006). Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality: Guideline Technical Document- Arsenic. Prepared by The Federal-Provincial-Territorial Committee on Drinking Water of the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Committee on Health and the Environment.

Jing, C., Liu, S., Patel, M. And Meng, X. (2005). 'Arsenic leachability in water treatment adsorbents'. Environmental Science and Technology, 39, pp. 5481-5487.

Oyaro, K. (2003, May 13). Month after dump scare, problems persist. InterPress Service News Agency. (Johannesburg). 13 May 2008. www.unep.org/cpi/briefs/2008May14.doc

Pinel-Raffaitin, P., Le Hecho, I., Amouroux, D. And Potin-Gautier, M. (2007). 'Distribution and fate of inorganic and organic arsenic species in landfill leachates and biogases'. Environmental Science & Technology, 41, pp. 4536-4541.

Schertenleib, R., & Meyer, W. (1992). Municipal solid waste management in developing countries: Problems and issues; Need for future research. IRCWD News, 26.

USEPA (2000). National Drinking Water Regulations; Arsenic and Clarifications to Compliance and New Source Contaminants Monitoring; Proposed Rule, 65:121, 38888-38983.

USEPA (2003). Managing Arsenic Risks to the Environment: Characterization of Waste, Chemistry, and Treatment and… [END OF PREVIEW]

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