Essay On Biodegradable And Non Biodegradable Dustbins
Biodegradable waste includes any organic matter in waste which can be broken down into carbon dioxide, water, methane or simple organic molecules by micro-organisms and other living things using composting, aerobic digestion, anaerobic digestion or similar processes. In waste management, it also includes some inorganic materials which can be decomposed by bacteria. Such materials include gypsum and its products such as plasterboard and other simple organic sulfates which can be decomposed to yield hydrogen sulfide in anaerobic land-fill conditions.
In domestic waste collection, the scope of biodegradable waste may be narrowed to include only those degradable wastes capable of being handled in the local waste handling facilities.
Biodegradable waste can be commonly found in municipal solid waste (sometimes called biodegradable municipal waste, or BMW) as green waste, food waste, paper waste, and biodegradable plastics. Other biodegradable wastes include human waste, manure, sewage, sewage sludge and slaughterhouse waste. In the absence of oxygen, much of this waste will decay to methane by anaerobic digestion.
In many parts of the developed world, biodegradable waste is separated from the rest of the waste stream, either by separate kerb-side collection or by waste sorting after collection. At the point of collection such waste is often referred to as Green waste. Removing such waste from the rest of the waste stream substantially reduces waste volumes for disposal and also allows biodegradable waste to be composted where composting facilities exist.
Uses of biodegradable waste
Biodegradable waste can be used for composting or a resource for heat, electricity and fuel by means of incineration or anaerobic digestion. Swiss Kompogas and the Danish AIKAN process are examples of anaerobic digestion of biodegradable waste. While incineration can recover the most energy, anaerobic digestion plants retain the nutrients and compost for the soil and still recover some of the contained energy in the form of biogas. Kompogas produced 27 million Kwh of electricity and biogas in 2009. The oldest of the company's own lorries has achieved 1,000,000 kilometers driven with biogas from household waste in the last 15 years.
Areas relying on organic waste
Featured in an edition of The Economist that predicted events in 2014, it was revealed that Massachusetts creates roughly 1.4 million tons of organic waste every year. Massachusetts, along with Connecticut and Vermont, are also going to enact laws to divert food waste from landfills.
In small and densely populated states, landfill capacity is limited so disposal costs are higher ($60–90 per ton in MA compared to national average of $45). Decomposing food waste generates methane, a notorious greenhouse gas. However, this biogas can be captured and turned into energy through anaerobic digestion, and then sold into the electricity grid.
Anaerobic digestion grew in Europe, but is starting to develop in America. Massachusetts is increasing its production of anaerobic digesters.
Climate change impacts
The main environmental threat from biodegradable waste is the production of methane and other greenhouse gases.
Trash falls into one of two categories: either biodegradable or non-biodegradable. While Biodegradable waste will eventually break down and become part of the earth and soil, like food scraps and paper. Non-biodegradable waste will NOT break down or at least NOT break down for many years. Examples of Non-biodegradable are plastics, metal and glass. Dangerous chemicals and toxins are also non-biodegradable, as are plastic grocery bags, plastic water bottles and other similar materials.
Non-biodegradable trash has been a growing concern to environmentalists, but now is becoming a concern to anyone wanting to embrace a more eco-friendly lifestyle; as world population grows so does our waste. It’s becoming increasingly important to understand what non-biodegradable waste is, as well as the effects that it has in on our planet.
Non-biodegradable trash that is discarded to be land filled will only accumulate. The most wide-reaching effect of non-biodegradable trash is the Pacific Garbage Patch; an area of the Pacific Ocean, which is heavily polluted with plastics and other waste. “The patch extends over a very wide area, with estimates ranging from an area the size of the state of Texas to one larger than the continental United States; however, the exact size is unknown.” It is estimated that unless consumers reduce current levels of non-biodegradable waste, the Pacific Garbage Patch will double in size in the next 10-20 years endangering the life of an infinite amount of marine animals.
All hope is not lost, and there are ways to prevent the accumulation of non-biodegradable waste. The most common one available to everyone is to recycle. Another solution is to replace non-biodegradable materials with ones specifically designed to biodegrade; and also supporting companies that are striving to help our environment. Above all “Say No To Plastic Bottles! – Say No To Plastic Bags!”
Posted in Environment, Ethical, Green, Social Responsibility, Sustainability | Tagged Environment, Green, Sustainable | 14 Comments