The machines delivered the bottles and delivered them back empty, washed and refilled.
Any convenient lowering of the terrain became a place of garbage disposal.
Garbage disposal is associated with related environmental problems: leaching and groundwater pollution; methane formation; subsidence of the soil.
The most serious problem is groundwater pollution. Water is a universal solvent. Leaking through the layers of buried waste, rainwater (thawed) water is “enriched” with various chemicals that are formed during the decomposition of garbage. Such water with pollutants dissolved in it is called a filtrate. When it passes through untreated waste, a particularly toxic (poisonous) filtrate is formed, in which iron, mercury, zinc, lead and other metals from cans, batteries and other electrical appliances are present along with organic residues, all flavored with dyes, pesticides , detergents. means and other chemicals. Illiterate choice of burial sites and neglect of safety means allows this toxic mixture to reach aquifers.
The second problem – the formation of methane – is associated with anaerobic processes that occur in buried layers of debris without access to air. When formed, this gas can spread in the ground horizontally, accumulate in basements and explode there when ignited. Spreading vertically, methane poisons and kills vegetation. In the absence of vegetation, soil erosion begins, buried waste is exposed and comes to the surface.
The subsidence of the soil is explained by the fact that, decomposing, the garbage decreases in volume, the soil subsides. In the formed depressions water subsequently accumulates, which activates the formation of toxic filtrate. After a certain period of time, the burial site may turn into a swamp.
The world practice of solving the problem of household waste knows the attempts to modernize landfills, the adoption of strict standards for their arrangement in order to prevent possible harmful consequences. However, improving cemeteries is just an attempt to perpetuate erroneous practices.
A radical solution to the problem of garbage – recycling – recycling. This method is also not fundamentally new, but there are many obstacles to its large-scale implementation: sorting, lack of standards, processing, marketing, contradictions between public and private sectors, lack of interest of entrepreneurs to change the situation, hidden costs and more. However, these and other obstacles cannot justify inaction, on the contrary, they should stimulate creative search for solutions and there are already many achievements. Example:
Waste paper is crushed into paper pulp (pulp), from which paper products are made again; composting, production of insulating materials is also possible.
Glass is crushed, melted and new containers are made, or crushed and used instead of sand or gravel in the production of concrete or asphalt.
Plastics are remelted and made into “synthetic wood” resistant to biodegradation, which has almost inexhaustible potential as a material for fences and other outdoor structures.
Metals are melted and processed into various parts. By the way, the production of aluminum from scrap can save up to 90% of electricity required for its smelting from ore.
Food waste and garden waste are composted to obtain organic fertilizer.
Textiles are crushed and used to provide strength to recycled paper products.
Old tires are remelted to make new rubber products or used in the manufacture of asphalt.
There are also other industrial methods of processing household solid waste to obtain valuable products. Thus, recycling is becoming increasingly profitable, and the potential profits of this industry are attracting more and more entrepreneurs and firms in developed countries.
Public authorities and local administrations can facilitate this process by adopting appropriate legal acts: laws on compulsory recycling, bans on the disposal of certain wastes and their components, requirements to purchase recycled products in advance of waste disposal.
As noted, a significant increase in the amount of waste – primarily the result of changes in people’s lifestyles – the extraordinary proliferation of disposable items. You can significantly reduce the amount of waste by increasing the shelf life of such things. First of all, you should pay attention to the packaging in which the drinks are produced.
Until recently, most milk, lactic acid products, soft drinks and beer were bottled by producers in glass bottles, which could be handed over, returning their collateral value. The machines delivered the bottles and delivered them back empty, washed and refilled. Such a system is effective only when the distance between producer and consumer is small. However, as distances increase, transportation costs become too high, and consumers have to pay not only for bottles but also for their transportation.
There is another type of packaging – light, which can be thrown away and not taken back. At the same time, it turned out to be very profitable for its producers – after all, the profit is always obtained from each bottle or jar produced!
So, not surprisingly, the current situation is that disposable packaging accounts for about 6% of all municipal solid waste, about 50% of non-combustible waste and about 90% of roadside debris that is not biodegradable (ie, does not decompose naturally) … Such packaging is environmentally lab report writingpany undesirable, as the production of the necessary materials and itself causes air pollution.
All these are hidden costs that are not indicated on the sales receipt. The buyer pays not only for garbage collection, but also for air pollution, treatment, etc. Environmental activists in the United States, who were well aware of the problem, managed to get the adoption of so-called “bottle bills” in 9 states. This contributed to the fact that consumers began to prefer reusable packaging.
Observing the daily accumulation of waste, one cannot help but be amazed at the powerful flow of materials of all kinds moving in only one direction – from the place of extraction of resources to the landfill. Just as natural ecosystems depend on the cycle of matter, so the sustainable existence of a technological society will ultimately depend on human ability and the ability to recycle virtually all types of materials. Therefore, it is best to use more than one method, but to develop a comprehensive waste management program.
Participation of citizens – including schoolchildren – in solving the problem
As repeatedly noted above, a significant increase in the amount of waste is the result, above all, of changes in people’s lifestyles – the extraordinary proliferation of disposable items. Thus, every citizen can help solve the problem by critically reviewing and changing the structure of their consumption, responsibly to the acquisition of new and use of existing household items. So what can you do?
Buy “long-term” products and minimize the consumption of disposable products.
Keep in mind the hidden cost of landfilling and lower recycling costs in the future. Encourage MPs from your constituency to introduce legislation to address solid waste:
Buy reusable drinks and hand over empty containers. Don’t litter. Conduct an information and campaign campaign on waste management. Consider making a professional career in the waste recycling industry. Good luck in all your endeavors!
The effect of radioactive radiation on the human body. Abstract
The concept of “ionizing radiation” combines different types, different in nature, radiation. Their similarity is that they all have high energy, have the ability to ionize and destroy biological objects
Ionizing radiation existed on Earth long before humans appeared on it. However, the effect of ionizing radiation on the human body was discovered only at the end of the XIX century. with the discovery of the French scientist A. Becquerel, and then the research of Pierre-Marie Curie on the phenomenon of radioactivity.
The concept of “ionizing radiation” combines different types, different in nature, radiation. Their similarity is that they all have high energy, have the ability to ionize and destroy biological objects.
Radiation is characterized by its ionizing and penetrating abilities. The ionizing power of radiation is determined by the specific ionization, ie the number of ion pairs formed by the particle per unit volume, mass of the medium or per unit length. Different types of radiation have different ionizing power.
The penetrating power of radiation is determined by the size of the mileage, ie the path traveled by the particle in the substance until its complete disappearance. Sources of ionizing radiation are divided into natural and artificial (anthropogenic).
Natural ionizing radiation
The main part of the population’s exposure to the globe comes from natural radiation sources. Most of them are such that it is impossible to avoid exposure to them. Throughout the history of the Earth, various types of radiation reach the Earth’s surface from space and come from radioactive substances in the Earth’s crust.
The radiation background formed by cosmic rays gives less than half of the external radiation that the population receives from natural sources of radiation. Cosmic rays mostly come to us from the depths of the universe, but some of them are born on the Sun during solar flares.
Cosmic rays can reach the Earth’s surface or interact with its atmosphere, generating re-radiation and leading to the formation of various radionuclides. All the inhabitants of the Earth are exposed to radiation from natural sources, but some of them receive higher doses, others – smaller.
It depends, in particular, on where. they are living. The level of radiation in some places of radioactive rocks of the globe is much higher than average, and in other places – correspondingly lower. The radiation dose also depends on people’s lifestyle.
The UN Scientific Committee on Atomic Radiation estimates that the average effective equivalent dose of external radiation that a person receives from terrestrial natural radiation sources is approximately 350 μSv, which is slightly more than the average radiation dose due to cosmic rays.