Pollution prevention and minimization
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Pollution Prevention and Minimization. Pollution Prevention. Though an obvious concept, this has been one of the most difficult concepts to implement Congress mandated that the production of waste should, in general , be prevented rather than controlled

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Pollution Prevention and Minimization

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Pollution prevention and minimization

Pollution Preventionand Minimization


Pollution prevention

Pollution Prevention

  • Though an obvious concept, this has been one of the most difficult concepts to implement

  • Congress mandated that the production of waste should, in general, be prevented rather than controlled

  • This is one of guiding principles of RCRA


Rcra goals revisited

RCRA Goals (revisited)

  • Protect human health and the environment from the potential hazards of waste disposal

  • Conserve energy and natural resources

  • Reduce the amount of waste generated

  • Ensure that wastes are managed in an environmentally sound manner


Waste reduction

Waste Reduction

  • Means decreasing the generation of waste to reduce its;

    • handling

    • treatment

    • disposal

  • This is a better way of reducing risk to the environment, human health, and specifically the health of workers in industry


Waste minimization

Waste Minimization

  • A broad term, that includes;

    • Waste reduction

    • Recycling

    • Waste treatment processes that eliminate (or destroy) the waste material (ex. incineration in some cases)

  • These are actions taken that reduce the volume or toxicity (or both) of waste


Solid waste reduction

Solid Waste Reduction

  • What are some of the types of solid waste generated in the U.S.?

    • Residential, includes; food waste, packaging, ash, construction debris, electronics, ?

    • Commercial, includes; food waste, packaging, ash, demolition debris, some hazardous waste, ?

    • Municipal, includes; same generally as above

    • Sewage Treatment Plants, includes; residual sludge

    • Agriculture, includes; spoiled food waste, rubbish, and some hazardous waste


Solid waste reduction1

Solid Waste Reduction

  • Which of these previously identified wastes can be reduced and how?

  • Let’s take them by type and discuss


Hazardous waste reduction

Hazardous Waste Reduction

  • EPA has set up a hierarchy for hazardous waste management (in order of preference)

    • Source reduction

    • Recycling

    • Treatment

    • Landfill (no longer generally accepted)

  • EPA has tried to build into this system a series of incentives and impediments (especially under RCRA) to encourage this hierarchy for waste management


Approaches to waste reduction

Approaches to Waste Reduction

  • Generally these have been spelled out industrial use in terms of hazardous waste reduction, however they are also applicable to solid waste

    • Good operating practices

    • Changes in technology

    • Material substitution

    • Product modification


Good operating practices

Good Operating Practices

  • These are procedures when changed that reduce the amount of waste generated

  • In some cases this can be accomplished by cost-accounting, or through inventory and material handling practices

  • In other cases segregating waste can accomplish this goal, how?


Changes in technology

Changes in Technology

  • These are changes in how a process is preformed that will result in less waste being produced

  • Examples include;

    • Changes in physical operations like handling/moving materials so that less spilling or waste is generated

    • Additional automation, that reduces human input thus potentially reducing error and thus waste generation


Material substitution

Material Substitution

  • This is a change that has different starting materials used (sometimes in the form of purer materials)

  • These materials would be chosen on the basis on how much waste, or toxicity of the waste, that is generated in their use

  • Possible examples of this are;

    • printing dyes

    • chrome plating materials

    • Changing the formulation of pressure-treated wood


Product modification

Product Modification

  • Changing the product that is being produced to reduce waste generation

  • Examples of this include;

    • Replacing CFC’s with FC’s in coolant and refrigeration units

    • Replacing creosote posts with concrete

    • Producing longer-lasting products in general

      • How could that be encouraged?


Iso international standards organization

ISO – International Standards Organization

  • This is a voluntary group of guidelines that organizations (heavy industry, commercial and non-profit) meet

  • These standards are designed to eliminate trade barriers between countries due to conflicting environmental standards

    • To this end, ISO 9000 standards have been replaced with ISO 14000 standards

  • Companies that demonstrate compliance with ISO 14000 to external auditors will be able to have their compliance ‘certified”


Iso 14000

ISO 14000

  • The standard for companies includes

    • A commitment from management to improve environmental performance

    • Establish procedures to identify environmental impacts that their organization

    • Complete an initial environmental review their current position in terms of; regulatory requirements, environmental impacts, liabilities, and contractual activities

    • Establishment of an environmental policy that addresses the above

    • Development of internal environmental performance criteria and objectives

    • Et cetera

  • Currently ISO 14000 has effectively become a condition of doing business in Europe and many companies in the U.S. are ISO 14000 certified

  • It is a growing service offered in the environmental field


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