Sustainable municipal solid waste management must be economically affordable, socially acceptable and applicable, as well as environmentally efficient. It is possible to produce a flexible management plan receptive to time changes where these steps are combined through an integrated approach.
Municipal solid wastes are domestic waste materials which are managed by local government and the sources are residential, commercial, institutional, municipal services (street cleaning etc.), construction and demolition and industrial. Although their ownership belong to private individuals and institutions, the management of collection solid waste is a responsibility of the government. It is essential to operate waste management in a manner which minimizes public health risks. Environmental approaches to waste management and disposal are divided into two main parts. These are the preservation of natural resources and the prevention of environmental pollution.
The appropriate systems that should be employed in city-based solid waste management differ from city to city, let alone from country to country. Geographical location, climatic conditions, the characteristics of the waste, the type of structuring and the infrastructure of the city, energy sources, the presence of recycling industries, and socio-economic aspects are the primary factors behind this difference.
Waste Hierarchy in Solid Waste Management
Integrated solid waste management systems are holistic systems where all steps of the waste hierarchy are finally taken into consideration. The fundamental steps of the waste hierarchy are prevention, re-use, recycling, other recovery, and disposal. It is possible to produce a flexible management plan receptive to time changes that is economically affordable, socially acceptable and applicable, and environmentally efficient through integrated approach.
It is not easy to find an ideal waste management system as the effort to protect public health and minimize negative environmental impact also creates additional expenses. The integral elements that should be prioritized in planning waste management systems are primarily the following:
- The system must be as low-cost and un-laborious as possible for the civilians and disposers. In other words, it should be easily accessible.
- It must be suitable and effective for the properties of all types of waste.
- It must minimize the environmental impacts (air, water, soil, noisiness) of the wastes.
- It must maximize the rates of recovery an recycling.
- The effects of the collection and disposal operations on the city (traffic, noise, wastewater, accidents, etc) must be minimized.
- The location of the disposal and recovery facilities must be correctly determined in accordance with the aesthetic values of the city.
- It must meet all legal requirements.
Integrated Solid Waste Management Plans must address current circumstances and needs, and must be prepared to take short, medium and long term sustainability as as well as financial affordability into consideration. Current circumstances, alternative methods, the needs and the capacity of the facility, the investments and operations expenses of the facility, and the necessary size of the space requirement must be determined.
All alternative systems must include aspects related to the prevention, collection, recovery, temporary storage, transportation requirements, and permanent disposal of the wastes. The recovery of the wastes is not only important for its economic advantages but also for the preservation of natural resources and the prevention of negative environmental impacts that may be caused in the waste disposal process.
Waste Collection in Municipal Solid Waste Management
Waste management in municipalities begin with the establishment of an economical and sustainable solid waste collection and transportation system regardless of the preferred recovery and disposal system. Collection efficiency is the primary factor behind the potency of the preferred method, and therefore it is impossible for the selected recovery technologies to succeed if the collection process is not carried out correctly.
An appropriate number of waste collection vehicles with the necessary qualifications constitute the backbone of waste management systems. The type of waste as well as the settlement layout of the area (one story or multi-story buildings), waste density, the width of the streets, traffic volume, the frequency of waste collection, the type of the waste collection system (with bin liner or container, etc) and the distance from the disposal point all carry extreme importance behind the decision of a suitable vehicle.
Hydraulic refuse compactor trucks are the leading solid waste collection vehicles. While organic waste and mixed organic-heavy waste are transported with drip-proof vehicles with high compression abilities, construction and demolition wastes and waste with domestic qualities such as ash and clinker are collected in open-body type vehicles without compression equipment. Some packaging waste such as glass are collected with the proper waste collection bins and collection vehicles.
Collection trucks arriving at the collection points according to program isn’t sufficient to ensure proper collection for the disposal system in its own. Waste owners must also separate their wastes in accordance with the planned recycling and disposal system and unload the waste in the collection spots within the planned schedule. Local governments must also ensure and supervise the public’s conformance with the waste collection system.
Everyone should enact their responsibilities to the fullest for the preservation of nature.