Green Waste Collection Mandurah process turns organic kitchen scraps and yard trimmings into resources. It positively impacts the environment by lowering greenhouse gases, protecting waterways and growing healthy crops for everyone.
When collected properly, the organic waste is transported to composting facilities. The material is carefully sorted, then placed in enormous composters to reduce odors and kill harmful pathogens.
Food waste is created throughout a food system at every stage, from the time consumers finish their meals at restaurants or throw out leftovers to the loss of raw materials and produce during harvesting and processing. These foodstuffs are thrown away at an estimated annual rate of 1.3 gigatons, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and negatively impacting land use, water resources and human health.
Until recently, the majority of this wasted food was collected and sent to landfills to decompose. But, as a result of new technologies and policy initiatives, there has been a growing movement to divert this food from the landfill to composting. In the US, many local governments and communities have implemented programs to collect this discarded food for purposes other than landfills. Most of these programs consist of separate curbside collection of food scraps and yard trimmings, where it is turned into compost or other valuable products.
Green waste collections are usually a combination of leaves and grass clippings, with kitchen scraps and other organic materials added in. This material is called “green” because it contains high levels of nitrogen, which makes it important for sustaining the soil’s nutrient cycling. While most green waste is used for compost, some is also used to create biofuels and other industrial products.
A common method for diverting food waste from landfills is to send it to animal feed facilities or pig or chicken farms. These animals consume the food scraps and slop, turning it into fecal waste and dung, which are then used for fertilizer or to produce energy. Another option is to feed this food to marine microalgae, which can be harvested for its biofuel and other products.
In order to reduce food waste, most experts agree that prevention is the highest priority. However, for this to work effectively, all stakeholders must understand the different uses of food waste and its ramifications on our environment. Once this is understood, the best use of food waste will become clear and may include food donation, animal feed or recycling nutrients and energy.
Yard waste, or vegetative waste, can include things like leaves, grass clippings, non-woody organic garden waste, and brush (branches and twigs less than three inches in diameter). The category of green waste also includes fruit and vegetable scraps and coffee grounds. It is a major source of greenhouse gasses, but it can be reduced with a little effort and by taking advantage of local collection programs.
Many municipalities provide yard waste recycling as part of their garbage pickup service, so check with your local government to find out about options in your area. You can also start your own compost pile to reduce yard waste and create nutrient-rich soil for gardens or landscaping. The general rule is to keep your pile out of sight from neighbors, and turn it every couple of weeks. Also, be sure to avoid adding weeds, dirt, rocks, or other debris that does not originate from your property or garden.
A few select communities have dedicated drop-off sites for residents who prefer to transport their own yard waste. These sites are similar to landfills, but they have specialized equipment designed to separate recyclables from yard waste and other organic materials. First, workers remove all visible plastic and paper from the yard waste. Then, the material goes through one of several grinders, which reduce it to a fine mix. Finally, sifters separate out items that are not suitable for the final compost.
These items may contain too much wood, for example, or they could have been contaminated by paper and plastic when people put them in the trash. This contamination lowers the quality of the finished compost and can make it unsafe for use on plants.
Yard waste is an important component of green waste, but it can be difficult to recycle because it must be separated from other organics. To improve the situation, New York City has just begun requiring separating yard waste from other trash and will introduce mandatory composting in Brooklyn and Queens on October 2. The EPA estimates that if everyone recycled their green waste, we could keep 32.9 million tons out of landfills and incinerators each year.
Paper & Cardboard
Paper and cardboard are often recycled, but many people don’t know exactly how the process works. Tossing old paper, egg cartons and mail into a recycling bin may seem simple enough, but there’s actually a lot that goes into making sure these materials are recycled properly and efficiently. Understanding how cardboard and paper are recycled helps business owners stay compliant with local regulations and save money on disposal costs while also contributing to a healthier environment.
Cardboard is usually sorted from other paper and recycled separately. Like all paper, it comes from natural wood fibers and can only be recycled so many times before the fibers that make it up become too worn out. To keep its durability and resistance, cardboard is pressed and treated with a combination of chemicals.
Once waste paper is collected, it’s weighed and sorted based on type and grade. Different types of paper have different grades and uses, and this sorting process ensures that high-quality fibers aren’t contaminated by low-quality ones. The paper is then shredded and mixed with water to create a slurry. This is known as pulping, and it softens the paper and makes it easier to turn into new products. The slurry is then strained to filter out foreign materials like plastic, staples and metal packaging. Chemicals are used to de-ink the pulp as well.
The slurry is then formed into flat sheets for drying. Once it’s dried, the cardboard can be made into new cardboard and other paper products. If the cardboard isn’t going to be made into a product, it can be used as loose fill for padding or as a wrapping material for products shipped out to consumers.
If the cardboard is being used as a shipping material, it’s important to choose FSC certified cardboard. This designation indicates that the wood used to make it was sourced responsibly and is environmentally friendly. FSC certification is becoming increasingly popular, and more companies are seeking out cardboard that’s both environmentally and socially responsible. Aside from reducing the amount of garbage in landfills, recycling corrugated cardboard can also help reduce energy consumption and air pollution. For example, a single tonne of recycled cardboard saves 390 kWh of electricity, 1.1 barrels of oil and 6.6 million Btu’s of energy.
In a society that constantly replaces gadgets with newer models, electronic waste (e-waste) can pose serious environmental threats if thrown into regular garbage. Computers, cell phones, tablets and other electronics contain toxic metals such as lead, mercury and cadmium that can leach into the groundwater or air. In addition, e-waste is a fire risk due to its volatile materials and can be a health threat to humans as well, particularly for workers who handle it.
Most e-waste is sent to developing countries for processing, where it pollutes the environment and local communities. For example, the city of Guiyu in China is known as the “e-waste capital of the world.” Thousands of workshops there process discarded electronics using laborers who snip wires, pry chips from circuit boards and grind plastic computer cases into particles for parts. Some e-waste is burned for energy, but this releases toxic gases that can harm human lung cells and cause cancer. Burning e-waste also releases heavy metals into the air, which can be inhaled or ingested by workers at recycling facilities.
E-waste can also cause illness for people who touch it, and even the soil it sits in may be contaminated with toxic chemicals. These dangers are why companies such as Apple and Samsung have begun offering consumers options to sell or donate their old devices, rather than discard them.
The best way to avoid e-waste is by recycling it, which can save energy and resources and reduce the need for mining of additional raw materials or manufacturing of new components. Many large retailers have e-waste collection programs, so check with your local government to see if one is available in your area.
Green waste can also be used to create compost, which is an environmentally friendly alternative to landfills. Composting uses natural processes to break down organic material into a rich, soil-like substance that can be reused in agricultural production. This helps reduce the need for fertilizers and pesticides, and it can also improve water quality by removing nutrients from sewage that would otherwise be pumped into lakes or rivers.