any unwanted or discarded material we produce that is not a liquid or a gas.
industrial solid waste
any unwanted or discarded material produced by mines, farms, and industries that supply people with goods and services that is not a liquid or a gas.
municipal solid waste (MSW)
often called garbage or trash, which consists of the combined solid waste produced by homes and workplaces other than factories.
hazardous or toxic waste
a category of waste which threatens human health or the environment because it is poisonous, dangerously chemically reactive, corosive, or flammable.
we attempt to control wastes in ways that reduce their environmental harm without seriously trying to reduce the amount of waste produced.
where we produce less waste and pollution, and the wastes we do produce are considered to be potential resources that we can reuse, recycle, or compost.
integrated waste management
a variety of coordinated strategies for both waste disposal and waste reduction.
consume less and live a simpler lifestyle.
rely more on items that we can use repeatedly instead of on throwaway items, and buy necessary items secondhand or borrow or rent them.
separate and recycle paper, glass, cans, plastics, metal, and other items, and buy products made from recycled materials.
fee-per-bag waste collection system
charge customers for the amount of waste they throw away, but provide free pickup of recyclable and reusable items.
laws that require companies to track the progress of hazardous wastes from their point of generation, their transport, and their treatment and/or disposal. They require companies to take back various consumer products such as electronic equipment, appliances, and motor vehicles, as Japan and many European countries do. Laws such as RCRA.
Polyethylene terephathalate plastic
Primary or closed-loop recycling
where materials such as aluminum cans are recycled into new products of the same type.
where waste materials are converted into different products.
preconsumer or internal waste
waste generated in a manufacturing process.
postconsumer or external waste
waste generated by consumers' use of products.
materials recovery facilities or MRFs
centralized facilities where mixed wastes are separated to recover valuable materials for sale to manufacturers as raw materials.
a form of recycling that mimics nature's recycling of nutrients that involves using decomposer bacteria to recycle yard trimmings, vegetable food scraps, and other biodegradable organic wastes.
National Resources Defense Council: a grass roots, NYC based, environmental advocacy group.
waste to energy incinerators
when wates are incinerated, they use the heat generated to boil water and make steam for heating water or space, or for producing electricity.
a landfill that is basically a field or hole in the ground where garbage is deposited and sometimes burned.
a landfill where solid wastes are spread out in thin layers, compacted, and covered daily with a fresh layer of clay or plastic foam, which helps keep the material dry and reduces leakage of contaminated water (leachate) from the landfill.
National Academy of Sciences
discarded tv sets, cell phones, computers, and other electronic devices.
world health organization
Physical hazardous waste detoxifying methods
a detoxifying method using charcoal or resins to filter out harmufl solids, distilling liquid wastes to separate out harmful chemicals, and precipitating them.
Chemical hazardous waste detoxifying methods
a detoxifying method used to convert hazardous chemicals to harmles or less harmful chemicals through chemical reactions. (cyclodextrin)
Nanomagnet hazardous waste detoxifying methods
a detoxifying method using magnetic nanoparticles coated with certain compounds that can remove various pollutants from water.
bioremediation hazardous waste detoxifying methods
a detoxifying method using bacteria and enzymes that help to destroy toxic or hazardous substances, or convert them to harmless compounds.
phytoremediation hazardous waste detoxifying methods
a detoxifying method using natural or genetically engineered plants to absorb, filter, and remove contaminants from polluted soil and water.
plasma arc torch hazardous waste detoxifying methods
a detoxifying method using ionized gas which breaks toxic materials down at very high temperatures.
the burial of liquid hazardous wastes by pumping them under high pressure into dry, porous rock formations far beneath aquifers.
sites of storing liquid hazardous wastes in lined ponds, pits, or lagoons.
secure hazardous waste landfills
sites where liquid and solid hazardous wastes are placed in drums or other containers and buied in carefully designed and monitored landfills.
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) 1976
An act where the EPA sets standards for the managment of several types of hazardous waste and issues permits to companies that allow them to produce and dispose of a certain amount of those wastes by approved methods. They must have a cradle-to-grave system.
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) or Superfund Program 1980
an act where the EPA identifies sites where hazardous wastes have contaminated the environment and prioritizes them for clean up.
Toxic Release Inventory (TRI)
Gives the citizens the right to know what toxic chemicals are being stored or released in their communities.
abandoned industrial and commercial sites such as factories, junkyards, older landfills, and gas stations.
Persistent Organic Pollutants
The Dirty Dozen
12 chemicals identified by the Stockholm Convention in 2000 that can accumulate in fatty tissues of humans and other organisms that occupy high trophic levels in food webs.
The Stockholm Convention and POPs Treaty 2009
a treaty that seeks to ban or phase out the use of the dirty dozen chemicals and to detoxify or isolate stockpiles of them.
the science and art of discovering and using natural principles to help solve human problems.
ecoindustrial park or industrial ecosystem
where an electric power plant, industry, farms, and homes collaborate to save money and reduce their outputs of waste and pollution. They exchange waste outputs and convert them into resources.
an ideal whereby every person is entitled to protection from environmental hazards regardless of age, rage, gender, national origin, income, social class, or any political factor.