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Environmental Science. Chapter 17 Solid/Hazardous Waste. Key Concepts. Solid waste Solid waste solutions Reducing solid waste Hazardous waste Hazardous waste regulations Hazardous waste solutions. Fig. 17-2, p. 390. Solid Waste. Defn : anything discarded in solid form Sources:

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environmental science

Environmental Science

Chapter 17

Solid/Hazardous Waste

key concepts
Key Concepts
  • Solid waste
  • Solid waste solutions
  • Reducing solid waste
  • Hazardous waste
  • Hazardous waste regulations
  • Hazardous waste solutions
solid waste
Fig. 17-2, p. 390Solid Waste
  • Defn: anything discarded in solid form
  • Sources:
    • Municipal garbage = 1.5%
    • Industry and Agriculture = 97.5%
      • Includes: mining, oil and natural gas production, agricultural activities, industrial processes
technology revolution
Technology Revolution
  • Average 50-lb computer and 10-in monitor requires:
    • ~530 lbs fossil fuel
    • ~50 lbs chemicals
    • ~3300 lbs water
  • Problem: technology is advancing so fast that there is the desire/need to rapidly discard old computers for better, faster new ones
  • Solutions: provide incentives to extend the life of computers, increase ability to upgrade computers, better recycling programs for old computers/parts
technology revolution1
Technology Revolution
  • Development of flat screen TVs are making older CRT (cathode-ray tube) TVs obsolete
  • Problems:
    • Each CRT TV contains about 4 to 8 pounds of lead, cadmium, mercury and other substances which may leach into groundwater if disposed of in landfills
    • Few parts can be resold
    • Recycling costs about $20-30 per set
  • Solutions:
    • Donate to charities
    • Internalize the cost of new TVs to fund recycling programs (ex: California, Maine)
solid waste solutions
Solid Waste Solutions

1st Priority

2nd Priority

Last Priority

Waste Management

Primary Pollution

and Waste Prevention

Secondary Pollution

and Waste Prevention

• Reduce products

• Repair products

• Recycle

• Compost

• Buy reusable and

recyclable products

• Treat waste to reduce


• Incinerate waste

• Bury waste in


• Release waste into

environment for

dispersal or dilution

• Change industrial

process to eliminate

use of harmful


• Purchase different


• Use less of a harmful


• Reduce packaging

and materials in


• Make products that

last longer and are

recyclable, reusable,

or easy to repair

Fig. 17-3, p. 391

pollution prevention industrial ecosystem
Pollution Prevention: Industrial Ecosystem


Pharmaceutical plant

Local farmers



Waste heat

Waste heat

Waste heat

Fish farming

Waste heat

Electric Power plant

Oil refinery

Fly ash

Surplus natural gas


natural gas



Waste heat




Cement manufacturer

Sulfuric acid


Wallboard factory

Fig. 17-5,p. 393

Area homes

reducing solid waste
Reducing Solid Waste
  • Sustainability six
    • Consume less
    • Redesign manufacturing processes
    • Produce less waste and pollution
    • Repair, reuse, remanufacture, compost, and recycle
    • Design products to last longer
    • Eliminate, reuse, recycle, or reduce packaging
what can you do
What Can You Do?

What Can You Do?

Solid Waste

  • Follow the four R's of resource use: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.
  • Ask yourself whether you really need a particular item.
  • Rent, borrow, or barter goods and services when you can.
  • Buy things that are reusable, recyclable, or compostable, and be sure to reuse, recycle, and compost them.
  • Do not use throwaway paper and plastic plates, cups, and eating utensils, and other disposable items when reusable or refillable versions are available.
  • Use e-mail in place of conventional paper mail.
  • Read newspapers and magazines online.
  • Buy products in concentrated form whenever possible.

Fig. 17-4, p. 391

hazardous waste
Hazardous Waste
  • Main sources of hazardous wastes are mining and electric power plants
  • Legal definition:
    • Any solid or liquid that:
      • Contains one or more of the 39 toxic compounds above established levels;
      • Catches fire easily;
      • Is reactive or unstable; or
      • Is capable of eroding metal containers
  • Yet, this does not include such items as radioactive wastes, mining wastes or wastes from small businesses
harmful chemicals in your home
Harmful Chemicals in Your Home

What Harmful Chemicals Are In Your Home?


• Disinfectants

• Drain, toilet, and

window cleaners

• Spot removers

• Septic tank cleaners


• Latex and oil-based paints

• Paint thinners, solvents,

and strippers

• Stains, varnishes,

and lacquers

• Wood preservatives

• Artist paints and inks


• Dry-cell batteries

(mercury and cadmium)

• Glues and cements


• Pesticides

• Weed killers

• Ant and rodent killers

• Flea powders


• Gasoline

• Used motor oil

• Antifreeze

• Battery acid

• Solvents

• Brake and transmission


• Rust inhibitor and

rust remover

Fig. 17-13, p. 402

hazardous waste regulation
Hazardous Waste Regulation
  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976
    • EPA identified and set standards for management of hazardous waste
    • Companies that store, treat or dispose of more than 220 pounds of hazardous wastes per month must be permitted
    • Companies must record all information about wastes from where it was produced to where it was disposed
  • Superfund Act of 1980
    • Identifies old hazardous waste dump sites or leaking underground tanks
    • Cleans up those sites and affected groundwater
    • Attempts to locate responsible parties to pay for the clean-up

For a list of sites by county in Florida:


hazardous waste solutions
Hazardous Waste Solutions
  • Bioremediation
  • Phytoremediation
  • Incineration
  • Deep-well disposal
  • Surface impoundments
  • Secure landfills
  • Aboveground buildings
  • Prevention is better than disposal or cleanup
what can you do1
What Can You Do?

What Can You Do?

Hazardous Waste

  • Use pesticides in the smallest amount possible.
  • Use less harmful substances instead of commercial chemicals for most household cleaners. For example, use liquid ammonia to clean appliances and windows; vinegar to polish metals, clean surfaces, and remove stains and mildew; baking soda to clean household utensils, deodorize, and remove stains; borax to remove stains and mildew.
  • Do not dispose of pesticides, paints, solvents, oil, antifreeze, or other products containing hazardous chemicals by flushing them down the toilet, pouring them down the drain, burying them, throwing them into the garbage, or dumping them down storm drains.

Fig. 17-20, p. 406

let s compare counties
Let’s Compare Counties…

*Latest figures from 2001

Florida DEP website