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Educational Trip

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  • To learn about solid waste management
  • To categorize solid waste according to its nature and quantity
  • To acquire first hand knowledge of the solid waste management skills

Research Methods:  

  • Briefing by Mr. David Thomson
  • Field Notes
  • Text Book

Data Gathered: 

Time of field trip: 09/22/2010 0900 to 1500.

Weather conditions: Sunny day but chilly in the morning. We remained inside and weather made no difference

Surrey Waste Transfer Station is the busiest Waste Transfer of the country with 22,000 tons of waste processed here. In order to carryout this task it has 04 different stations. It is designed as an energy efficient station by using state of the art technology. It has estimated 700 customers. The timings for commercial companies is 0630 while for normal people it is 0830. On both ways truck carry weight therefore one has to be careful while driving here. In the late 80’s landfill started. It was necessary to do so in order to keep the place perfectly dry. It is a difficult task to manage but management of the company is doing it efficiently. Contract for the waste shipment is awarded to metro van. It is pushing for recycling and almost 100 percent recycling is achieved. In book business alone it has recovered 1000000 books. It is a staggering figure for one company to achieve.

E.  Discussion:

What is the main function of the Surrey Waste Transfer Station?

The main function of the Surrey Waste Transfer Station is to dispose off waste. For this purpose it has 04 stations which can transfer 22,000 tons of waste. It is the busiest station of the country. Its main emphasis is on recycling in order to make the environment cleaner and better. 

What does the term ‘sustainability’ mean to WASTECH as a business (the company that handles waste for the City of Surrey)?

Sustainability to WASTECH means different things. It includes encouraging recycling. It means to introduce new technologies to reduce waste. It also includes improving techniques of waste disposal. WASTECH has to look for new resources of renewable energy. In short we can say sustainability for WASTECH means making green, clean and safe environment.  

How many tonnes of waste go to the landfill from the WTS? 

20 tons of waste goes to the landfill from th WTS.

Where is the landfill and how far away is it from Surrey? Where will waste go when the landfill closes?

Landfill is in North of Surrey. It is 11.1 Km away. It takes about 17 minutes with minimum traffic delay in own transport.  Waste will go to waste to energy project for the production of electricity. Moreover the company is pushing for the process of recycling enabling it to decrease the amount of waste to Landfill.

What are the environmental protection features of this landfill?

This landfill has the ability to store lot of waste. It has methane gas recovery system. This gas is reusable. This landfill has leachate treatment plant. It has a well to monitor water.

Besides the landfill approach what other waste disposal options are available for the Greater Vancouver Regional District?  Which of these would you consider the most environmentally friendly solution to waste management? Explain your answer.

Besides the landfill other options for waste disposal are as follow:

Waste-to-Energy Project which, enables Japan to, consume all its waste in producing energy.

Recycling, the most popular idea all over the world can help in reducing waste.

Public awareness to make people realize how they can prove helpful in reducing waste, how lifestyle is increasing waste, how our small efforts can reduce waste.

Use of renewable energy sources and reducing use of petroleum products can help in bettering the environment.

All these options are present and together they can produce great result. The best solution for me is Waste-to-Energy project. I think we have a model in front of us and we can follow the suit of Japan. It is tried and tested method. Moreover it is producing energy, which can enable us to reduce our dependence on traditional energy resources.

Discuss the types of waste we generate in our community (hint: see your text for suggestions). 

We produce Municipal Solid Waste, Water contamination, Air Pollution and E Waste.

In solid waste we use plastic, packages, wrappers and glass and clay products.

In water contamination our use of soaps, shampoos, detergents etc increase the level of water contamination.

In Air Pollution our usage of personal vehicles, avoiding walk or bicycle, frequent air travel contribute to increase air pollution.

In E Waste our frequent changing of mobile sets, their batteries, buying new computer system in the presence of older one contribute a lot to E wastte.

Our lifestyle also encourages pollution. We prefer to listen to loud music and drive high speed cars. We do not demand for paper bags when given plastic bags. We do not dispose off waste properly. We do not use recycled items frequently. All these things make us responsible for generating waste in our community.  

What types of recyclable items are accepted at the Surrey Waste Transfer Station?

Recyclable items accepted at Surrey Waste Transfer Station includes: Paper, Plastic, Glass, Cardboard, and Aluminum.

List and explain four environmental problems associated with solid waste disposal.

Environmental problems associated with solid waste disposal includes

  • Recycling of glass requires more energy and hence increases air pollution. The process of recycling is good for papers but for glasses it produces more pollution.
  • Disposal of tyre is a major issue in solid waste disposal. It is impossible to dispose tyre completely. The method of burning contributes to air pollution while the remains are a big challenge for the environment. 
  • Some solid waste is dumped in the oceans or rivers. It is dangerous for marine life. It is also a constant source for water pollution as it cannot be disposed.
  • Solid wastes disposals also contaminate drinking water resources. It is necessary to make landfills as far away from the water resources as possible in order to keep water resources safe. It is not followed always and everywhere endangering the lives.

How many kilograms of waste per person per day are generated by Canadians (see your text)?

What measures can be taken by residents and commercial enterprises to reduce the amount of waste they produce?

Different measure can be taken by residents and commercial enterprises to reduce the amount of waste they produce. They include:

  • Encouraging use of recycled items
  • Use of paper or recyclable plastic bags
  • Water treatment plant by the commercial enterprises
  • Use of public transport
  • Planting of trees at private and public level

In the table below fill in the three key diversion methods used in waste management to work towards zero waste targets in Metro Vancouver (Hint: you will find the answer in the Belkorp resource at the top of the assignment).  Also identify which of these methods is applicable to each of the items in the table (one item may have more than one diversion method).

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