Solid Waste

Solid Waste

Introduction

Proper waste management is crucial in maintaining proper environmental health and the well-being of the society[1]. Most activities by members of the community contribute to accumulation of various waste in the society. [2]It is imperative to understand the definition of solid waste in order to classify the materials effectively.

Definition of Solid Waste

Solid waste is any refuse, garbage, sludge from wastewater treatment plants, waste from supply plants of water, or air-polluting materials among other materials discarded in the environment[3]. It includes gaseous materials, liquid, solid and semi-solid materials that result from commercial, industrial, agricultural and mining operations and from the activities of the community but excludes dissolved or solid materials in sewages among other products. Solid wastes refers to any abandoned or discarded materials[4]. The materials can be liquid, solid, containerized gaseous and semi-solid materials. Solid waste includes septage, waste tires, toys and furniture, latex paints, garbage, scrap metal, vehicles and appliances, asbestos, demolition and construction debris among others[5].

Proper management of waste is a pivotal component of the public and environmental health. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act passed in 1976 helped in creating a framework for the America’s non-hazardous and hazardous waste management techniques and programs. [6]The act regulates the wastes commonly referred to as solid waste. Only the products that meet the definition of the act can be regarded as solid or hazardous wastes. EPA had developed detailed rules and regulations defining which materials are hazardous and the ones that are solid[7]. However, there are waste that can fit in the definition of the solid waste but are not included in the definition. The act made a conclusion that the wastes are not to be regulated as either hazardous or waste products because of various reasons. [8]Resource Conservation and Recovery Act have mandated most of the exclusion made concerning the materials. There are those materials that RCRA excludes from the definitions of solid waste[9].

It is important to understand the definition of solid waste as given by RCRA to differentiate the materials considered as solid wastes from other materials. [10]RCRA argues that solid waste refers to refuse or garbage, sludge coming from water treatment plants, facility controlling air pollution among others. Carbon dioxide injected into the earth for sequestration cannot be considered solid waste under RCRA[11]. Carbon dioxide is among the materials excluded from the definition of solid waste. The waste is excluded for various reasons that include the policy of the public and the impracticability that concerns regulation of wastes[12]. The decision of eliminating the materials is because of the act of the congressional or the rulemaking of the EPA. In addition, materials that do not fit in the solid waste cannot be hazardous and therefore, the exclusion of the material are not subject to the subtitle of RCRA[13]. Carbon dioxide is a product of coke and the coke by products are not included in the definition of solid waste by the act.

Conclusively, it is fundamental to understand solid waste and the appropriate techniques to employ in proper waste management. Various products do not qualify to be solid waste following the definitions given. Carbon dioxide is a by-product of coke and therefore does not qualify to be a solid waste.

Bibliography

Elcock, Deborah, and N. L. Ranek. Coal Combustion Waste Management at Landfills and Surface Impoundments 1994-2004. 2006.

Hester, R. E., and Roy M. Harrison. Environmental and Health Impact of Solid Waste Management Activities. Cambridge, U.K.: Royal Society of Chemistry, 2002.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, United States. T2LBM Version 1.0: Landfill Bioreactor Model for TOUGH2. Berkeley, Calif: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 2001.

McDougall, Forbes R., and P. White. Integrated Solid Waste Management: A Life Cycle Inventory. Oxford: Blackwell Science, 2001.

[1]Deborah Elcock and N. L. Ranek, Coal Combustion Waste Management at Landfills and Surface Impoundments 1994-2004 (2006), 33-45.

[2] Elcock and Ranek, Coal Combustion Waste Management, 33-45.

[3] Elcock and Ranek, Coal Combustion Waste Management, 33-45.

[4] United States Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, T2LBM Version 1.0: Landfill Bioreactor Model for TOUGH2 (Berkeley, Calif: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 2001), 45-53

[5] R. E. Hester and Roy M. Harrison, Environmental and Health Impact of Solid Waste Management Activities (Cambridge, U.K.: Royal Society of Chemistry, 2002), 15-37.

[6] Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Landfill Bioreactor Model, 45-53.

 

[7] Forbes R. McDougall and P. White, Integrated Solid Waste Management: A Life Cycle Inventory (Oxford: Blackwell Science, 2001), 12-19.

[8] McDougall and White, Waste Management, 12-19.

[9]R. E. Hester and Roy M. Harrison, Environmental and Health Impact of Solid Waste Management Activities (Cambridge, U.K.: Royal Society of Chemistry, 2002), 15-37.

[10] Hester, Harrison, Environmental, and Health, 15-37.

[11] Deborah Elcock and N. L. Ranek, Coal Combustion Waste Management at Landfills and Surface Impoundments 1994-2004 (2006), 33-45.

[12] Elcock and Ranek, Coal Combustion Waste Management, 33-45.

[13] Hester, Harrison, Environmental, and Health, 15-37.

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