Feb 09 2011
Archive for the 'Unit 9-Waste Management' Category
Feb 09 2011
So I understand what deep well injection is, but I’m not sure what the negative is. For example, with the surface impoundments the negative effects are that they can flood and therefore spread hazardous waste. I know we talked about how the earth doesn’t stay still so there could be movement that could lead to leaks, but I thought that was for the underground storage thing we talked about in class today. I feel like there was a whole separate problem with deep well injection that I just can’t remember…
Feb 09 2011
Can someone explain bioremediation to me a little better?
The book mentions it really briefly as did Mr. Willard and I don’t think I fully understand it.
All I really know is that its a way to clean up hazardous materials. There was something about bacteria and the Love Canal but I didn’t really understand anything beyond that.
Feb 09 2011
Ironic, to me, that in the age of plastic that plastic bags are dying AND in the digital age printer paper is booming. Check these stories out:
Cities/countries banning plastic bags-
HP CEO discusses why printing on paper NOT declining-
Feb 08 2011
Remember, when you use the term “hazardous” to describe waste it is defined as such by law (RCRA) and so, regulated (at least the industrial stuff). Here are the slides from today’s presentation as well as the 3 minute clip I showed on ewaste:
Feb 04 2011
If you missed today, we discussed the “next” industrial revolution. Did you know it was underway?
The last industrial revolution gave us the linear material flow economy we diagrammed this week. While recycling programs do reduce some waste disposal and some extraction, they focus on the “downstream” end of that flow. Today, we learned of an ecoindustrial revolution that seeks to eliminate the concept of waste (so, waste = food). Yes, it seems like an oxymoron but we are talking about industrial ecology (text pages 645-646). Idealistic? If you missed the movie shown in class, here is a 20 minute TEDTalk by William McDonough (from 2005)on some of his design ideas you should watch:
Seems idealistic, but you have to realize this is ALREADY changing BIG businesses (like Nike, Ford) in positive ways. If we do focus on good design (redesign) and refuse to use toxins in production, we can prevent a great deal of waste (esp. hazardous waste) and spend less money on/spend less time worrying about trash and recycling it. Some texts call this idea the “P2″ approach (Pollution Prevention). So, Will McDonough is a champion of a new set of Rs and if his revolution succeeds, we’ll no longer have a “grave.”
Notice this puts a greater burden on engineers and product designers to eliminate waste, and lesser burden on the consumer to dispose of it. So, McDonough envisions all things being designed to stay in one of two cycles: biological and technical. Biological products are for consumption and can be composted. Technical products are “products of service” and can be recycled indefinately. Radical?
**Folks in class saw me submerge a book (meant to be made of a technical cycle nutrient) in a beaker of water. Several folks were curious about the material use to make that book, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way we Make Things, so here is a little more info on it: http://www.mcdonough.com/cradle_to_cradle.htm
Feb 03 2011
So, today we tried to debate the pros/cons of recycling. If you found it interesting, here are some more resources:
1. Here is a follow up to the 1996 John Tierney article. How have things changed in the last 15 years? Is recycling NOW worth it?
2. If you have 30 minutes: Laugh out loud as Penn and Teller deconstruct the value of recycling in this episode of their show, Bullshit. The show seems to be based on the John Tierney article we read, “Recycling is Garbage.” Warning-if you are in public-some language is inappropriate (at least for school).
3. Check out what photographer/artist Chris Jordan does to document our consumption, from Bill Moyer’s Journal. I think some of these were shared by the Env. Club in assembly last year. Amazing images!
4. Like history? Watch this 19-minute video called Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage based on the book of the same title by Heather Rogers:
Feb 02 2011
I’m still on scribe post duty until next week. So, I’ll try to scan and post a top-quality version of the material-flow economy diagram in “the box” soon. I must admit I borrowed a good bit of my concept for the diagram from The Story of Stuff project. You can see the 20 minute video below:
*They’ve even got a brand-new one out on bottled water. See it here.
The group that made this obviously has an agenda. There is much true in the video, but it does oversimplify some issues. This video has been widely circulated over the last few years. Some folks have reacted strongly to it. Check out this 4 minute Fox News bit hosted by conservative commentator Glen Beck:
I used it because I wanted you guys to think through the often invisible “upstream” portion of the waste stream and how the 3 R’s impact it. Folks will always debate ecology/health versus economy. I’d like to think it is not about who is right or wrong, rather it is about tradeoffs…what do you think?
Feb 01 2011
Here is the slide deck from today’s (2/1/11) lesson:
And, since we touched on modern sanitary landfills and recycling, here are two great resources:
1. Visit HowStuffWorks.com to see a modern sanitary landfill being built. Gotta know the basic design for the AP Exam.
2. Since we can’t visit the local one this year, here is a short animated intro on a materials recovery facility (MRF). This is where things go AFTER you put them in the recycling bin. You can find out more about how each material is reclaimed at: http://www.explorethecycle.com/
*If you don’t already know, here is the link to what the Charlotte-Mecklenburg local government wants you to put in/leave out of your recycling bins.