Waste (Material) Management
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Know your Materials (guidance in recycling)
Theory and Anecdotes, Glossary, Trivia
Waste Exchange Newsletter
Editorial: There is an issue, now moving into the Supreme Court, that challenges the environmental laws on the basis of cost.
Business interests argue that costs of anti-pollution measures should be part of the discussion. The legislation has not contained any attention to the cost aspects.
As a former project engineer in an oil refinery, this writer was closely associated with anti-pollution measures and was aware of political and environmental landscape at that time, in the 1960's. There are two costs, mainly, to business: (1) the capital cost of the installation of anti-pollution equipment and (2) the added cost of operating the new processes. Overlooked in the analysis is that there may be savings effected and further, in many cases, saving so large that the anti-pollution gear actually generates an excellent return on investment.
That part of the argument should appeal to business interests.
In one of the more obnoxious industrial processes, that of plating metals, the E.P.A. and many state agencies have forced the platers to install recovery systems for their spent solutions. (Most spent or used-up plating solutions were dumped into the sewer or the nearest river.) The result of the new recovery equipment was that a recovery rate was so high, the investment produced an 11% return on investment.
There are two subtle lessons here: (1) the platers were unaware of the technical economics of their process and (2) the environmental authorities had overlooked the the educational and persuasion aspects of their role.
These are short terms aspects of environmental investment.
The long term cost is a blighted landscape and poisoned water sources: wells and rivers. It has been estimated that parts of the Hudson River cannot produce edible fish for several hundred years. [See review of The Riverkeepers, below.]
There are wells in Door County, Wisconsin that have been tainted with arsenic from fruit tree spraying.
A farmer in middle Wisconsin took, in storage on his land from a local manufacturer, containers of tainted trichlorethylene. The containers leaked and the drinking water well, on that land, is fouled. It is likely that other, nearby wells will also to so effected.
Pollution control is short- and medium-term. Pollution effects are long-term.
If the Supreme Court accepts the industry-cost argument and overlooks long-term costs, we are in grave trouble, as a society. - hcl
Epilog (2-28-01): Linda Greenhouse of the New York Times reports that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the authority of the E.P.A. and to do so without regard to cost considerations. That is welcome news for those of us who prefer to breath clean air and drink safe water. Justice Anthony Scalia wrote that the agency can "identify the maximum airborne concentration of a pollutant that the public health can tolerate, decrease the concentration to provide an 'adequate' margin of safety, and set the standard at that level." Scalia further wrote, "Nowhere are the costs of achieving such a standard made part of that initial calculation." and that The Clean Air Act "unambiguously bars cost consideration." - hcl
The Problem of Waste Disposal (edited) by Robert Emmet Long (1989), H.W. Wison Co., NYC. "A compilation of articles with a wide range of topics and technique(s) of waste disposal. 3.5#: - hcl 628.4 P94
The Waste Makers by Vance Packard (1960), David McKay Co., NYC. "Makes good, light reading (The late Vance Packard was among the most readable of authors.) in a non-technical way and provides insight into the marketing-driven strategies used by corporations in producing and marketing their goods. [The reviewer has an M.B.A. in marketing.] This book dropped a bombshell on the American scene when it came out and drove discussion at the B-schools for years afterward. The same forces are at work in today's economy. Recommended. 4.0#" - hcl 339.4 P125
Why Do We Recycle?; Markets, Values, and Public Policy by Frank Ackerman (1997), "The title tells much. At present and following current practices, many recycling operations are not quite economical, for many reasons ... landfill is still very cheap and a disinterested and uninformed public exists as a vast majority. It is worthwhile to become familiar with this even-handed survey of practices. The author suggests that many committed, recycling consumers practice a 'religion of recycling' ... that they believe in the concept and practice it. The author does not touch on comprehensive, economic analysis of the total cost of not recycling or the potential for innovative and economical techniques. Excellent work, as far as it goes. 3.9#" - hcl 228.433637 A182 / HD 4482. A27
Hazardous Waste Minimization Handbook by Thomas Higgins (1989), Lewis Publishers, Inc., Chelsea, MI, 228 pp., "This handbook concentrates on manufacturing processes e.g., machining and metal-working, solvent cleaning and degreasing, plating and surface finishing, coating and painting, and methods of minimizing quantities used and disposal. Many topics are covered, with anecdotes on those processes listed (above). It is a start on the topic, but many processes are left out. The concentration is on the obvious and traditional processes in factories. But, it is quite practical and includes a good treatment of economics, albeit in the short run. 3.8#" - hcl 628.5'1 or 628.42 H636 / TD 793.9. H54 1989
Standard Handbook of Hazardous Waste Treatment and Disposal, 2nd Ed., (edited) by Harry M. Freeman (1998), $125. "... deals with hazardous wastes exclusively and is very comprehensive. No attempt was made (by this reviewer) to get a page count due to the style of pagination, but it was weighed: 3.36 lbs. This book is a must for the serious hazardous waste manager. It is is highly scientific and offers some math. And, it has 99 contributors! 4.0#" - hcl 628.4'2-dc21 / TD1032.S73 1997
Industrial Pollution Prevention Handbook by Freeman [not reviewed]
Hazardous Waste Management by Charles A. Wentz (1989) McGraw-Hill, Inc., NYC. "A solid piece covering hazardous waste risk assessment, environmental legislation, concepts of waste minimization, chemical /physical / biological treatment(s), thermal processes, transportation, groundwater contamination, etc. Thoroughly annotated w/excellent index and tables. 4.0#" - hcl 363.7'28 or 628.42 / TD1030.W46 1989
Emerging Technologies in Hazardous Waste Management (edited) by D. William Tedder and Frederick G. Pohland (1990), American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 402 pp., "A collection of papers from an ACS symposium; cutting edge research on specific pollutants. Borrow it, if you can, before purchase. No rating" - hcl 628.4'2-dc20 / TD1020.E44 1990
Biotreatment of Industrial and Hazardous Waste by Morris A. Levin & Michael A. Gealt (1993), McGraw-Hill, inc., NYC, $60, 331 pp., "A collection of well-documented scientific papers organized into book form. The text organization and explanations are quite good. Biological waste treatment has been around for a long time (although confined to human, animal and vegetable waste) and this book provides a good foundation to understanding and application. Contains 31 chapters submitted by 73 contributors. 4.0#" - hcl 628.4-dc20 / TD1061.B55 1993
Hazardous Waste Management Handbook - Technology, Perception, and Reality (edited) by Paul N. Cheremisinoff & Yeun C. Wu (1994) [No review; No rating]
Drinking Water - Refreshing Answers to All Your Questions by James M. Symons (1995), Texas A & M University Press, College Station, TX, 118 pp., paperback. "... a useful work, clearly written, excellent index, well organized; an introductory piece. Symons explains and clarifies many things. All public libraries should carry this book. 3.8#" - hcl Dewey: 363.61 SY67d
Plain Talk About Drinking Water by Dr. James M. Symons (1992), American Water Works Assn., 6666 W. Quincy Ave., Denver, CO 80235-3098, " 101 questions and answers, the last of which is the best: 'How do I get additional information about drinking water?' which is followed by a fine list of sources of information, including some EPA publications. A very modest work, but useful. 3.8#" - hcl Dewey: 363.61 SY67
The Riverkeepers - Two Activists Fight to Reclaim Our Environment as a Basic Human Right by John Cronin and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (1997), Scribner, NYC, 301 pp., 25.4 cm./10 in., hardcover. "This book reads, in part, like a detective story as many dedicated fishermen and environmentalists discover, track down, and shut down polluters, private and public. (What you read will make you angry!) The book is more than the title states ("Two Activists ...etc.") since the authors are fulsome in their coverage and praise of many other self-sacrificing people working hard to clean up a major waterway.
One important point made in this work is that sportsman (hunters and fisherman) and environmentalists are natural allies. These natural allies should, in all states, link up to enhance their powers of persuasion through lobbying.
The Hudson River is America's oldest major waterway and with the immense concentration of population and industry on its shores, it is the recipient of a mass of pollution. And, several public authorities either ignored or colluded with polluters. This is a down-to-earth, getting your hands dirty (and worse!) practical chronology of how pollution sources are tracked down. Worthwhile reading, if you care about the future. 4.0#" - hcl Dewey: 363.7 C881
Epilog on The Riverkeepers: "When I was a young man in business school, I was shocked to hear my most admired professor state that, "What's legal is ethical." I didn't agree then (Though I kept my big mouth shut!) and still don't.
Recently, I saw and heard Jack Welch, the out-going and highly respected chairman of G.E., defend his company's dumping of PCB's into the Hudson River. Welch said, correctly, that what G.E. had done was perfectly legal and within the regulations, at that time. Apparently, Mr. Welch either doesn't know right from wrong or his world is centered on the bottom line of G.E.'s financial reports. Maybe, Mr. Welch would like to try eating some of the fish caught downstream from his G.E. facilities?
According to an Associated Press report, Dec. 6, 2000, the E.P.A. will recommend a $460 million "targeted dredging" of PCB-contaminated pockets of the upper Hudson River. These PCB pockets are from General Electric facilities.
General Electric will, of course, contest any liability in court." - hcl
2nd Epilog on The Riverkeepers: "More slop on PCB's, G.E., and the Hudson River cleanup: According to an Associated Press article (The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dec. 5, 2001), the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) has issued an order to General Electric to clean up the Hudson River by dredging.
The cost is estimated at $500 million dollars. G.E. isn't saying much ... they're waiting to see the EPA order. [Which they will probably fight it in a prolonged court battle.] New York governor George Pataki has lobbied EPA head Christine Whitman on the cleanup. The geography of the cleanup sprawls across 197 miles of the mighty Hudson.
One can only hope that these waters will again provide safe food and recreation for the long-suffering New Yorkers (the entire state, not just NYC)." - hcl
[Note: Numbers at end of each review indicate library cataloging (if available) i.e., Dewey decimal / Library of Congress.]
Know your Materials (and educate your personnel):
[This section will be a regular feature and changed each month.]
Tin (basic element symbol: Sn) Tin is a soft, white metal with good corrosion and lubricating properties. Tin is non-toxic, a property which has traditionally made tin the preferred plating or coating metal for food handling equipment and containers. This use has been eroded by stainless steel and plastics (resins).
Melting point of tin is 450 degrees Fahrenheit (F.) and when alloyed in solder, commonly with lead, can be as low as 359.6 degrees F.
Tin is seldom used in its pure state in the making of objects and is often alloyed with lead, antimony, silver, etc. The term "pot metal" has historically been used to name a mixture of unquantified, low-melting point metals (including, usually, tin) that have been used for casting small objects e.g., trinkets, novelties, medallions, and trophies. This usage has diminished greatly to to the rise of cheap and easily injection-molded plastics and with the use of vacuum aluminum plating.
The cost of tin has risen greatly, partially due to widespread use in electronics, as solder and the depletion of the high-grade, easily accessible ore sources.
"Tin Cans" are, technically, tinplate. "Tinplate" is the steel industry term for tin-plated steel and its widest use is in making food containers. Tin cans or tin-plated steel cans are an important source of pure tin for recycling into new tinplate for food uses. Other sources of recycled tin are usually alloys, which contain lead. Lead is toxic.
"Tin cans" are magnetic*; Aluminum cans are not magnetic.* This property permits the separation of the steel-based "tin cans" from aluminum cans. Products, such as sardines and other canned fish are packed in containers of both tinplate and aluminum (Al). And, often from the same fish cannery. Therefore, when collecting these metal containers for recycling, a simple magnet test will differentiate the one metal from the other.
A quick test of a metal food container is to touch it against a magnet, commonly found attached to your refrigerator door. If it sticks to the magnet, it's steel plated with tin.
Solder is an alloy which may contain tin, lead, silver, antimony. The most common solder is a lead-tin mixture and is the cheapest. Copper plumbing has been sweat-soldered, historically, with a simple 50-50 alloy of tin and lead. That usage has been prohibited, mainly, in the U.S. since acidic water will attack the solder and form soluble lead compounds. Plumbing-use solder has been replaced with lead-free solder.
Enormous amounts of solder are used in making connections in electronic devices. There have been very limited attempts to recover and recycle solder from electronic devices. The disposal of obsolete computers and accessories has illuminated this problem, for which there is no present and widely practiced solution. This is a topic which needs work (i.e., research and development).
Scrap metal dealers usually accept low-melting scrap metal which mainly contains lead and tin.
Other uses for tin alloys:
Babbitts are alloys of tin, lead, copper, antimony, silver that are used in machine bearings. The tin alloy is usually backed with steel. In the recycling of engines made of cast iron or aluminum, significant amounts of this lead-tin alloy will be found.
White metal is usually 92 percent tin (Sn) and 8 percent antimony (Sb). This is the "pot metal" mentioned above.
Pewter contains 90-95 percent tin, 1-3 percent copper (Cu) and the balance antimony.
Wood's metal is a low melting point alloy used in fusible link devices e.g., heat actuated water spray fire extinguishing systems, fire doors, shutters, and dampers. Wood's metal has a nominal composition of 33 percent lead, 14 percent cadmium (Cd), 19 percent tin, and 33 percent bismuth (Bi) and has a melting point of 154 degrees F. By varying the composition, higher melting points can be attained.
Terne metal is a lead-tin alloy with 10-25 percent tin and is used to coat steel sheets used for roofing and automotive (fuel) tanks. It is believed that the term, "tin roof" came from the use of lead sheet, initially as a roofing material. Later, the term "tin roof" continued to be used for galvanized steel roofing and later aluminum roofing.
Type metal, as used in letterpress operations or "hot metal" typesetting in large newspaper printing is on the way out. There are significant savings in new "cold type" and offset lithographic printing processes. Type metal is composed of lead, antimony, and tin with a small amount of copper to improve hardness.
Tin, as a coating, does not form a hard, dense outer coating as does aluminum. Also, tin's place in the electromotive series places it below iron and it will not sacrifice itself as does zinc to protect the steel base. Further, when exposed to extreme moisture (read "rain and dew") conditions, the tin coating wears off quickly and the corrosion of the underlying steel proceeds quickly. When tin cans are left outdoors or tossed into a body of water they will rust rapidly.
Recycling of tin cans requires fresh, clean, and uncorroded tin cans if the objective is the recovery of food-grade, pure tin.
*All metals have some magnetic properties: diamagnetic (repelled feebly by a magnetic field); paramagnetic (small, positive attraction to a magnetic field); and ferromagnetic (strongly attracted by a magnetic field). Ferromagnetic metals include iron (Fe), cobalt (Co), nickel (Ni) and gadolinium (Gd) and alloys of these metals or manganese (Mn) or chromium (Cr).
Waste Material Management, An Approach to the General Theory of by Henry C. Landa, (2003) FICOA, 61 pp., 29 cm./11.5 in., softcover, $14.25 list, A guide to solving the problem of waste material management; education of personnel in all types of organizations regarding waste material disposal, reduction, and utilization; a curriculum outline for a college-level course or internally-managed organization seminars; and a guide for management in developing the most economically and environmentally sound program of waste management for the entire organization in the short, medium, and long run. [This description is not a review and was written by the editor of the book.]
Excerpt: Table of Contents of the WMM/AAttGTo (immediately above)
Research and Development; Non-Acquisition / Acquisition Reduction; Substitution; Reduced Internal Waste; Reduced External Waste; Reuse; Levels of Use of Packaging; Packaging Reuse; Outsourcing the Process; Segregation and Separation; Education; Re-Manufacture; De-Manufacture, Salvage and Recycling; Recycling; Decomposition; Chemical Recomposition; Accumulation and Storage while seeking an Ultimate Solution; Landfill; Encasement; Incineration; Marketing* ; Institutional and Governmental Roles; Economics; The Productivity Triad; Glossary; the Little Green Book of Chairman Landa; Index *See The Waste Exchange Newsletter, above.
To find out how to order Waste Material Management, an Approach to the General Theory of click here
Waste Material Management, An Approach to the General Theory of / Henry C. Landa
107 p., 28 cm. (8.5" wide x 11" high)
A guide to solving the problem of waste material management; education of personnel in all types of organizations regarding waste material disposal, reduction, and utilization; a curriculum outline for a college-level course or internally-managed organization seminars; and a guide for management in developing the most economically and environmentally sound program of waste management for the entire organization in the short, medium, and long run.
1. Landa, Henry C. 2. Waste material, minimization, disposal, and management / College course curriculum
TD 1030 L2.53x 2008 628.4 L253 [end of Cataloging Data]
An excerpt from Waste Material Management:
the Little Green Book of Chairman Landa
[This is a tongue-in-cheek presentation which abstracts the theories (or principles) set forth in this work. It is a bit of a parody of the Chinese Communist commandments derived from the thoughts of Mao Tse-tung as enunciated in "The Little Red Book of Chairman Mao".]
1. Research and develop information on the material and the process.
2. The material that is not acquired needs no disposal.
3. Substitute material that carries a lesser disposal cost.
4. Reduce all internal waste.
5. Reduce all external waste.
6. Reuse the materials.
7. Reuse the packaging.
8. Outsource the process.
9. Separate and segregate waste early in the process.
10. Educate everybody in your system; inside and outside personnel.
11. Re-manufacture and retrofit products.
12. De-manufacture, salvage, and recycle all that you can.
13. Decompose waste materials into less obnoxious or into more valuable forms.
14. Recompose, chemically, and restore the material into its original, useful form or convert into another useful form.
15. Accumulate, segregate, and store waste materials while seeking an ultimate solution.
16. Use landfill as a last resort for disposal.
17. Encase toxic, non-degradable materials for permanent storage / burial, preferably in an economical form.
18. Incinerate after segregation and with great care and control.
19. Develop markets for your wastes.
20. Be aware of, examine closely, and connect with institutions and governments.
21. Apply both short and long run economic analytical measures to your processes.
These brief "thoughts" will require intense examination and explanation and, in no way, replace the text previously offered. These "thoughts" are no more than a bare-bones summary of waste management principles.
Theory and Anecdotes, Glossary, Trivia
a Russian fable
The raven, perched on a low branch of an oak tree, noticed a boar rooting around at the base of the tree and called out, "What are you doing down there?"
The pig looked up and replied, " I'm digging for acorns."
"Be careful, in your digging," said the raven, "that you do not lay the roots of the tree bare for, if you do, the tree will die."
"Who cares," replied the pig, "as long as there are plenty of acorns."