Waste Disposal & Water Treatment
Austin Lee and Akshita Pillai
Waste management is the collection, transport, processing or disposal, managing and monitoring of waste materials.
Trash or garbage—consists of everyday items we use and then throw away, such as product packaging, grass clippings, furniture, clothing, bottles, food scraps, newspapers, appliances, paint, and batteries. This comes from our homes, schools, hospitals, and businesses.
Waste management practices can differ for developed and developing nations, for urban and rural areas, and for residential and industrial producers.
Different ways to manage. Source reduction is designing products to reduce the amount of waste that will later need to be thrown away. Recycling: is the recovery of useful materials, such as paper, glass, plastic, and metals, from the trash to use to make new products, reducing the amount of new raw materials needed. Composting: involves collecting organic waste and storing it under conditions designed to help it break down naturally. This resulting compost can then be used as a natural fertilizer.
Landfill: The disposal of refuse and other waste material by burying it and covering it over with soil.
- pollution to local environments
- contamination to groundwater
- soil contamination
- Methane generated by decaying organic waste
- harboring diseases
- injure wildlife
- simple nuisance problems (e.g., dust, odor, or noise pollution).
Modern landfills are well-engineered facilities that are located, designed, operated, and monitored to ensure compliance with federal regulations.
How are we regulating and ensuring our landfills have less impact on the environment
- Location restrictions—ensure that landfills are built in suitable geological areas away from faults, wetlands, floodplains, or other restricted areas.
- Composite liners requirements
- Operating practices—include compacting and covering waste frequently with several inches of soil help reduce odor; control litter, insects, and rodents; and protect public health
- Groundwater monitoring requirements—requires testing groundwater wells to determine whether waste materials have escaped from the landfill.
Some materials may be banned from disposal in municipal solid waste landfills including common household items such as paints, cleaners/chemicals, motor oil, batteries, and pesticide
Waste Water Treatment
Wastewater is "used water". It includes substances such as human waste, food scraps, oils, soaps and chemicals. Businesses and industries also contribute their share of used water that must be cleaned. Wastewater also includes storm runoff.
We treat waste water because clean water is essential for fisheries and aquatic life.
If it is not properly cleaned, water can carry disease. Since we live, work and play so close to water, harmful bacteria have to be removed to make water safe.
If wastewater is not properly treated, then the environment and human health can be negatively impacted. These impacts can include harm to fish and wildlife populations, oxygen depletion, beach closures and other restrictions on recreational water use, restrictions on fish and shellfish harvesting and contamination of drinking water.
The major aim of wastewater treatment is to remove as much of the suspended solids as possible before the remaining water is discharged back to the environment.
Physical methods include processes where no gross chemical or biological changes are carried out and strictly physical phenomena are used to improve or treat the wastewater.
Chemical treatment consists of using some chemical reaction or reactions to improve the water quality.
Biological treatment methods use microorganisms, mostly bacteria, in the biochemical decomposition of wastewaters to stable end products.