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What is MSW?. (Municipal Solid Waste!). MSW. Solid waste is any unwanted or discarded material that is not liquid or a gas Municipal Solid Waste: The total of all the materials thrown away from homes and commercial establishments Common terms: Trash, Refuse, Garbage

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what is msw

What is MSW?

(Municipal Solid Waste!)

  • Solid waste is any unwanted or discarded material that is not liquid or a gas
    • Municipal Solid Waste: The total of all the materials thrown away from homes and commercial establishments
  • Common terms: Trash, Refuse, Garbage
  • Goal of Solid Waste Management: reduce the amount of waste produced
    • Ideal = do not produce
    • Realistic?
we have a garbage problem
We have a garbage problem?
  • North America produces about 1/3 of the WORLD’s solid waste with less than 5% of the worlds population!
  • 98.5% = mining, oil and natural gas production, agriculture, sewage sludge and industrial activities
    • This solid waste is produced indirectly for your goods and services
    • What does this mean?

Mine Waste Piles

product garbage
Product Garbage
  • Lets look at your computer:
    • Made of 700 or more materials from mines, oil wells and chemical factories
    • Every 0.5 kg (1 lb) of electronics = ~ 3600 kg (8000lbs) of solid and liquid waste
    • Large amounts of energy are also required = burning of fossil fuels
remaining 1 5
Remaining 1.5%??
  • This is our MSW
    • Between 1960 and 2005, the total amount of MSW in North America each year increased 3-fold and is still rising
  • FACT: Each year North America generates enough MSW to fill a bumper-to-bumper convoy of garbage trucks encircling the globe almost 8 times?
  • Japan and most developed European countries produce about ½ as much MSW per person as NA, and most developing countries develop about ¼ to 1/10th
msw in canada and the us
MSW in Canada and the US
  • Paper products and organic matter make up the largest percentage of MSW in Canada and the US
    • Organics = 40%
    • Miscellaneous = 18%
    • Plastic = 9%
    • Metal = 4%
    • Glass = 3%
key canadian points
Key Canadian Points
  • MSW produced annually per Canadian = 383 kg or 30 green garbage bags
  • MSW diverted (recycled and other programs) = 21%
  • Percentage of paper recycled = 40%
  • Amount of e-wastes (computers, TV’s, cell phones) discarded each year = 140 000 tonnes
    • In NA, only about 2% of e-waste is recycled
our high waste economy
Our High-Waste Economy!
  • Want the stats? What do we throw away??
      • Enough aluminum to rebuild the entire commercial airline fleets of both CAN and US every 3 months
      • Enough tires each year to encircle the planet almost 3 times
      • Enough disposable diapers each year that if they were linked end to end they would reach to the moon and back 7 times
      • About 2 billion disposable razors, 130 million cell phones, 50 million computers, and 8 million television sets each year
      • Discarded carpet each year that could cover PEI
      • About 2.5 million nonreturnable plastic bottles every HOUR
      • About 670 000 metric tons (1.5 billion lbs) of edible food/year
      • Enough office paper each year to build a wall 3.5 m (11 feet) high across the country from the Atlantic to the Pacific
      • Some 186 billion pieces of junk mail (an average 660 per person) each year, about half of which is unopen
waste in nature
Waste in Nature?
  • I don’t think so!!!
  • Wastes of one organism become nutrients for other organisms
  • Human Waste? Has to go somewhere . . .
    • 1. Waste Management – the high waste approach
      • AKA: Disposal
    • 2. Waste Reduction – the low waste approach
      • AKA: Diversion
waste management
Waste Management
  • Views that waste production is an unavoidable product of economic growth
  • Attempt to manage resulting wastes in ways that reduce environmental harm
  • Methods: landfills, incineration, shipping
  • Basically = mixing of wastes and transferring them from one part of the environment to another
waste reduction
Waste Reduction
  • Recognizes that there is “no away!”
  • Views most solid waste as potential resources that we should be reusing, recycling, or composting
  • 5 R’s (In order of importance)
    • Rethink traditional strategies for dealing with wastes
    • Refuse to manufacture or purchase harmful products
    • Reduce packaging or other wasteful materials in products
    • Reuse products and buy reusable products like returnable bottles
    • Recycle products (including composting)