The increase in urbanization has resulted in the overproduction of waste that has been causing negative impacts on the environment. What are the sustainable options for waste management and recycling? In this article, we’ll talk about various waste management techniques, equipment, and recycling solutions.

Waste management involves collecting, transporting, disposing of, recycling, and monitoring waste generated through human activities.

What Are the Common Waste Problems?

  1. Landfills

    Landfills are the most common method of waste disposal in the US, but they can contaminate groundwater and emit harmful gases such as methane.

  2. Illegal dumping

    Illegal dumping is a widespread problem, particularly in rural areas, and can cause environmental and health hazards.

  3. Incineration

    Incineration of waste can release toxic pollutants into the air, including dioxins and heavy metals.

  4. Electronic waste

    Electronic waste, such as old computers and cell phones, contain hazardous materials that can pollute the environment if not disposed of properly.

  5. Medical waste

    Improper disposal of medical waste, such as needles and other sharps, can pose a health risk to sanitation workers and the general public.

  6. Plastic waste

    Plastic waste is a major problem in the US, with only a small percentage being recycled and the rest ending up in landfills or the environment.

  7. Food waste

    Food waste is a growing problem in the US, with a significant portion of the food supply being discarded, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.

  8. Hazardous waste

    Hazardous waste, such as chemicals, pesticides, and batteries, require special handling and disposal to prevent contamination of the environment and public health risks.

To tackle these waste disposal problems, it is essential to promote sustainable waste management practices, including reducing waste generation, recycling, and adopting safe disposal methods.

What Are the Waste Management Solutions?

waste management - landfill miningLandfill – It involves having the waste buried in empty, deserted locations outside the city. Dumped waste is made to undergo compression to enhance the density and make the filling stable. It is later covered to discourage vermin growth. A gas extraction system is customarily installed to exact the gas (arising out of decomposition) through a burrow pit.
waste management - incinirationIncineration – Waste is exposed to high temperatures to trigger combustion and ultimately reduced to ash, gas, and heat energy. Toxic wastes from the industry are thermally treated in a furnace and boiler to extract energy. This method is useful where land is scarce. Gasification and Pyrolysis methods involve heating waste in a short supply of oxygen at high temperatures inside a pressurized and sealed vessel.
Recycling – Paper, plastic, PVC, and other homogenous products can be recycled to put them use in a new garb. This also rids the environment of non-biodegradable, chemical wastes that significantly disturb the ecological balance.
waste management - biological reprocessingBiological reprocessing – Wastes of organic origin are made to undergo biological decomposition and re-used as compost or mulch for agriculture and landscaping. Gas collected is used for electricity generation.
Waste Reduction and Avoidance – The stress is on the increased use of second-hand products, repaired products, and reducing the use of complex disposable items to keep a tab on waste generation in abundance.
Recycling Solutions – Recycling is a superlative way to capitalize on accumulated waste by chemically treating it to make it fit for reuse. Recycling equipment makes the waste processing method streamlined and cost-effective.
Energy recovery  – The process of generating usable heat, fuel, or electricity from non-recyclable waste materials is commonly referred to as waste-to-energy or energy recovery from waste. This process can be achieved through various methods such as combustion, anaerobic digestion, gasification, and pyrolysis, among others.

What Are The Different Types of Waste Management Equipment?

  • Compactors

    They induce loose trash compaction by remarkably augmenting the waste density through the elimination of air content prominently. Compactors come in diverse forms to execute specific types of waste compression. Important variants are outdoor trash compactors, indoor trash compactors, high-rise compactors, bin compactors, compacting dumpsters, automatic compacting receptacles, pre-crushers, speciality compactors, stationary compactors, and self-contained compactors. Compactors can score an average of 4 to 1 compaction proving to be one of the best waste management solutions. The chamber capacity of the collecting container varies widely depending on the application type.

    Benefits and Uses

    • The compactors bring down the weekly trips of dumpsters tremendously.
    • They significantly reduce the dumpster size, giving a neat look to the industrial area.
    • They help companies save money as trips to dumpsters as well as hauling cost is reduced.
    • Compactors improve waste processing efficiency.
    • The amount of trash generated in an industrial unit for a given period can be fairly gauged by weighing the compacted mass produced by compactors.
  • Balers

    Balers are used for volume reduction of wastes and separating recyclable items from the waste stream. The different types of balers are low profile balers (intended for operation with less than normal ceiling height), conveyor system balers (applicable for ultra-high volumes), high-density balers (for baling tough recyclables), speciality balers (designed with a specific purpose in mind like baling bottles, soft drink cans), high production balers, extra density balers, cardboard, plastic, metal balers, and others.

    Benefits and Uses

    • Loose and sprawling recyclables can be baled to occupy significantly less space.
    • Reduced volume of recyclables leads to better recyclable processing.
    • Companies get a better insight into the type of material, causing maximum waste generation which enables them to take steps to curb the problem.
  • Shredders

    The Shredders have useful applications in industries. Shredders can be used for a variety of materials such as paper, plastic, debris, metal, electronics, and even hazardous substances like radioactive waste. Various types of shredders are designed based on the functions they execute. Widely used versions are grinders, granulators, chippers, hammer mills, speciality shredders, shear shredders, and all-purpose shredders.

    Benefits and Uses

    • The shredders disintegrate waste into small bits, which are easy to transport.
    • The shredded output can serve as essential raw materials for other strategic production processes. For example, tire recycling is useful for a wide array of areas ranging from preparing playground surfaces to asphalt.
    • Micro-residential communities can drive home the same benefits as industries with shredders.
    • Shredders reduce the volume of material and hence reduce transportation and storage costs.

Using waste and recycling equipment can significantly reduce waste processing and managing costs. Industries that make use of recycling equipment are also eligible for tax incentives.

What Are the Objectives of Solid Waste Management?

Solid waste management is an essential process that involves the collection, transportation, treatment, and disposal of solid waste materials. The objectives of solid waste management in the United States of America are focused on protecting public health, ensuring environmental sustainability, and promoting economic growth.

  1. Protecting Public Health:

    The foremost objective of solid waste management is to safeguard public health by preventing the spread of infectious diseases and other health hazards. Proper waste disposal methods and facilities are critical to ensuring that waste materials do not contaminate the environment or pose a threat to human health.

  2. Environmental Sustainability:

    Solid waste management plays a vital role in preserving natural resources and protecting the environment. The objective is to reduce waste generation, promote recycling and composting, and minimize the use of landfills and incineration facilities. By adopting sustainable waste management practices, the United States can reduce its carbon footprint and conserve natural resources, thereby promoting environmental sustainability.

  3. Economic Growth:

    Solid waste management has become a significant industry in the United States, providing job opportunities, and contributing to economic growth. The objective is to develop waste management systems that are cost-effective, efficient, and sustainable, creating jobs and supporting local economies.

  4. Compliance with Regulations:

    The United States has several regulations in place to govern the management of solid waste. The objective is to ensure that waste management practices comply with federal, state, and local regulations. By complying with these regulations, the United States can prevent pollution and protect public health and the environment.

In summary, the objectives of solid waste management in the United States are geared towards protecting public health, promoting environmental sustainability, supporting economic growth, and complying with regulations. By achieving these objectives, the United States can ensure that waste materials are managed in a safe, efficient, and sustainable manner, benefiting both people and the environment.