If you’ve seen Erin Brokovich, then you know what improper waste disposal can do. Harmful industrial refuse may lead to acute respiratory diseases, neurological disorders, and cancer. Not only can toxic waste hurt you, but it can also affect the ecosystem. It harms the ozone layer and may kill wildlife.
Humans dump 2.12 billion tons of waste every year, and industrial refuse is one of the most toxic trash types. Industrial waste is the waste produced by manufacturing or industrial processes. There are some ways through which we can dispose of harmful waste without too many detrimental side effects. We will consider 5 of the most effective ways you can manage toxic industrial waste.
Before we go on to the complete list, we must consider something. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has some guidelines for waste material disposal. It has provided indexes for wastes from specific industries that are hazardous. According to the law, manufacturers have to discard these products properly. The K list mentions toxic waste from the petrol refining industry. P and U list are for some pharmaceutical products. If any refuse falls under their list of hazardous material, then that material has to be disposed of in a certain way. Failure to do so might get manufacturers in trouble.
Waste that is not on the list can be considered non-hazardous. To determine the correct procedure for waste disposal on non-hazardous waste, the EPA suggests waste characterization. You can characterize your waste with process knowledge or a leachate test. This process will produce data about how waste material will react to waste disposal techniques. Only after knowing the risks can you decide if you want to use injection wells with centrifugal pumps or rotary kiln incineration?
- Reduce Waste: The most effective way is to reduce your waste. This method will not work for trash that already exists. But for future waste disposal, you should look into using efficient strategies for production. Try to move towards a more ecologically sound business model. It may be a little expensive and challenging, but it is the most effective way of dealing with waste.
- Recycle: A way of being ecologically and environmentally friendly is by recycling waste material. Manufacturers can create new products out of waste material. It is the best choice for plastic, glass, and paper-based waste material. With the shift towards environmentally friendly marketing, most manufacturers are turning towards recycling waste materials. According to the EPA, refuse recycling rates increased from a mere 6% in 1960 to over 35% in 2017. The most popular recycled material was paper with 66% of paper and paperboard Municipal Solid Waste recycled.
- Thermal treatment: Incineration or thermal treatment is a waste disposal method by combustion of organic substances in the waste. This waste disposal process is quite popular since it requires limited resources. It can also create energy. It is also the best-suited waste disposal method for those waste types which need high temperatures to destroy harmful toxins and pathogens. Hence clinical and hazardous waste is usually disposed of using incineration. It can dispose of waste gases, liquids, solids, and even sludges.
Many different incinerators choose from, but the most rudimentary incinerator is the burn barrel incinerator. Most large manufacturers prefer the more massive rotary kiln incinerator. Some countries, such as Denmark, have used this waste disposal method to harness district heating schemes. This trend is also coming to America. However, the EPA requires companies to use well made and well designed so that there is no air pollution according to the Clean Air Act. Any incinerator must follow EPA guidelines because even a minute amount of harmful toxins released from it may be detrimental to humans.
- Composting: Composting turns waste into organic compounds. The compounds are rich in minerals and vitamins that are important for plant growth. It is the best waste disposal method for the food industry. There are four steps for composting. First, the material is sorted and shredded. Then it is digested and processed. The compost requires many areas to work in, but not all composted material may be usable. So it’s not a popular method of waste disposal.
- Injection Wells: This is a way to dispose of liquid waste. Like, landfill liquid is pumped deep into the ground with the help of pumps. Pumps used for injection wells have to create enough pressure and move enough water. The best and most inexpensive pumps are centrifugal pumps because of flow characteristics and ease of control. Manufacturers may also use Quintuplex or oil field-proven triplex pumps. The well needs to have the protective casing to prevent leakage of harmful toxins. Such leakage may harm the human population residing near the site of the well. Injection wells are best for wastewater and water with brine. These wells can clean contamination in the groundwater or soul by directing clean water into aquifers. The Safe Drinking Water Act regulates injection well usage.
Improper waste disposal is quite harmful. It is the responsibility of manufacturers to ensure the correct and proper removal of waste material. Government authorities closely monitor waste material disposal methods to avoid harm to humans and the environment. So it is vital to follow the correct procedures when planning the disposal method. The first and necessary step in this process is to find out the nature of the waste. It will foretell how certain materials may react to a waste disposal plan. Above all, the waste disposal method should be ecologically and environmentally safe.