Environmentally Confused – Burn or Recycle?

Sweden has had strict standards limiting emissions from waste incineration since the mid-1980s. Most emissions have fallen by between 90 and 99 per cent since then thanks to ongoing technical development and better waste sorting.

Journey of Mixed Emotions

The recycling movement in 1990s-era Vancouver started as a lukewarm way to protect the environment. Then the issues started heating up until it was a sizzling hot topic.

Everyone I knew became a star recycler. We learned how to sort properly, and although I did not always compost, I really tried to be environmentally responsible in other ways. Up until 2001, I was doing my undergraduate degree in biology and I felt it was my duty to understand the issues and be proactive.

In 2005 (give or take) I read Michael Crichton’s book State of Fear. Although there is controversy as to his thesis behind this fictional story, he had some great points about whether we were all jumping on the global warming bandwagon without all the facts. Almost 10 years later I still feel that way on a daily basis.

I am conditioned to recycle. I am often pulling…

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Solid Waste Management: Vermicomposting and Its Upgrading

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Environment

Human beings live in nature and depend on the resources of nature. The utilization of soil, water, coal, forest, gas, etc, is very important for the development of nation. These resources have changed the level of living standard of man. Solid waste is regarded as the resources. Solid waste can be described as non-liquid refusals from household, industrial and commercial establishment, market and public places. These all refusals can be used as resources in one way or other, and can be recycled, reused or transform into other forms of resources.

Solid waste may be organic and inorganic. The best way to manage the organic waste is to make manure by composting. There are different methods of composting such as:

a)      Bin composting                                 d) pile composting

b)      Vermicomposting                            e) pit composting

c)       Box composting

Vermicomposting

Vermicomposting is one of the best ways of making compost. Vermicomposting is the process of…

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Waste Management in Stockholm

Misc. on land use planning (with a bias on Copenhagen)

I just came across an article in “City, Culture and Society”, dealing with Urban growth and waste management optimization in Stockholm and Adelaide. In Figure 2 in the results section the authors show a comparison of waste management systems in the two cities. However, for Stockholm they present only national data, assuming that this is also representative for the capital. Well, that striked me a bit because I am working with city data quite a lot and was wondering if there isn’t better data out there. In the database Urban Audit, maintained by Eurostat, you can find data for over 300 cities in Europe to a lot of different issues. Stockholm is one of the cities covered and waste data from 2008 was available, so I produced the graph below – in the same style as done in the mentioned article.

If you have access to the article

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MSW to Energy – A Quick Glance

Energy Matters

Brief Introduction: There have been  lots of  reports from all over the world about utilization of municipal solid waste(MSW) for conversion to energy. In India too, we have been talking and discussing about segregation of household waste to enable subsequent processing activities. But it has not taken off in any significant way due to a number of reasons. In the next couple of posts I intend to summarize the approaches followed worldwide along with Technology options available. Hopefully, it will throw light on what we need to do in India to put our act together for exploiting municipal solid waste (MSW) and its conversion to energy. Globally too, although there are quite a few success stories to relate, it has been rather difficult to sustain interest.  This post is based on a recent extensive report from EPRI (Electrical Power Research Institute) on this subject. I do believe there are several…

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Organic Waste in South Africa

Southeast Michigan Waste

With waste to landfill becoming an ever critical concern, the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) calls to attention the necessity for managing all our waste streams, especially that of organic waste.

Anything from 35% to 40% of all waste that is sent to landfill is organic; that is, of plant or animal origin, and able to be broken down by other living organisms. “Something that is not often stressed, is that despite the fact that waste may be organic, once it reaches a landfill and decomposes under anaerobic conditions (where oxygen is not present), it is responsible for producing quantities of methane gas as well as releasing potentially hazardous chemicals into the landfill’s leachate, and thence into the groundwater,” says Stan Jewaskiewitz, president of the IWMSA.

Landfills have limited lifespans

“We may think that our biodegradable waste is fairly harmless, but this is a misconception and needs…

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Waste to Energy for India

Melting Coal

Urban India produces 55 million tones of municipal solid waste and 38 billion litres of sewage annually. Further, large amounts of waste are produced by industries.

Waste generation in India is growing at a very fast pace and is expected to rise rapidly in the future. This has mainly been due to industrialization, increase in living standards and urbanization. This waste needs to be contained.  The most profitable and feasible option is conversion of this waste to energy. Advancement in conversion technologies has made it easier to undergo this process thereby minimizing waste and utilizing its energy potential.

Waste to Energy India Scenario

According to the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) 2010-11 annual report, there exists a potential of 3600 MW from urban and industrial waste. MNRE is actively promoting the generation of energy from waste by providing incentives and subsidies. Estimates from the Indian renewable energy development…

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Waste into Energy Initiative in Guyana

Repeating Islands

Guyana: Turning Waste into Energy

The tourist brochure shows pictures of lovely white sandy beaches, tall coconut trees and rolling mountains. Welcome to the Caribbean.But the picture has been changing in recent years as Caribbean countries grapple with millions of ton of household waste that sometimes scar the landscape.

Now there is a glimmer of hope. A United Kingdom-based Waste to Energy firm is partnering with some Caribbean countries to set up plants that will convert garbage into electricity and potable water, and in the process transform the region from its dependence on fossil fuel.

“The Caribbean is a wonderful area but what you haven’t got is the land or the resources,” Tony Fiddy, the President of the Waste to Energy Division and the Regional Vice President for Europe and Africa of Naanovo Energy Inc., told IPS. “If you want to put solar up, you need big solar fields…

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The Incineration Debate

Remsol

On Easter Monday, 9th April 2012, the front page of The Times newspaper carried a story about the debate that’s currently raging over whether the UK ought to be building more and bigger incinerators to burn our household rubbish.

Opponents of waste-to-energy incineration insist that it discourages recycling, adds to CO2 emissions at a time when we’re trying to reduce them, and that incineration plants themselves are an ugly blot on the urban landscape.

Proponents, on the other hand, often dismiss these claims as fiction.

I tend to come down on the “for” side of the waste incineration argument, for several reasons, but chief amongst these is the belief that the argument only exists because we, as a society, create waste and crave energy.

According to statistics released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) UK electricity consumption for consumer electronics soared by 576% between 1970 and 2010.

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