Chemical Engineering World: Basic Waste Management Process


Believe it or not, we produce waste everyday. Whether in our own home or refinery or working site, waste is created. Such a huge waste need to be properly managed, otherwise the environment surrounding us will be a bad place to live and work.

At home, my maid (servant) manages our domestic waste, which is of course a small scale. She separates all the waste papers, waste card boards, waste metals, waste plastics and organic waste in her own way. After everything has been accumulated she will contact the waste recycling company to collect the segregated waste. I let her keep the money as an incentive (cash obtained after selling the used/waste for recycling purposes).

Previously, when I was still a process engineer in the refinery plant, I have my supervisors, plant operators and contract worker to handle all those waste. All the waste produced from the plants are managed in accordance to the procedure set by the management of the company.

Waste management is actually quite a fascinating area that has
many aspects to it. Basically it involves collecting materials that
others simply throw away as trash and sorting it into either stuff that
has no further use or those that can be recycled. After that, they have to be
transported to designated locations for safe and appropriate disposal.


The
important feature to efficient waste management is that it is properly organized
in such a way that it has no adverse effect on others or its
surroundings. There are steps to deal with waste and they consist of
examining it to find out what it consists of, how it can be collected
safely, appropriate means of transport, the process method and its
eventual disposal, whether this is to a landfill or a recycling
facility.

A small refinery or company can easily and possibly managed its own waste. However, things can get more complicated for a larger organization. Should this happen, engaging with an environmental company may solve the tedious waste management process. A great example of such company is DS Smith Recycling. It is a good example of an integrated waste management company. Nevertheless, regardless of you are managing your own waste or contracting it to an environmental company, the process involving waste management is all the same. I would like to share the basic process of waste management (my version).

a. Identification

First things first. You need to identify the types and amount of waste produced before they can
come to any decision as to how to deal with it. Once this has been
identified and processes put into place, the service keeps track to
check their systems are working at their best and if not make changes to
rectify this.

b. Collection

After identifying and separating the waste, it need to be collected. During the collection process, special containers
for hazardous materials are implemented and other containers, such as
skip bins and bottle banks, put into place and arranged to be emptied at
regular intervals depending upon how quickly they are filled. Each
company will be different in their needs and services tailored to fit.

 

c. Transportation

For some waste special vehicles are required to dispose of
it safely. Hazardous waste collection vehicles are specially designed
for the collection of liquid and contaminated waste, anything from oils
and cyanide waste to detergents, adhesives, acids and chemicals.
Collections are generally scheduled but many companies also offer 24
hour service and emergency response. I must say, paying for handling schedule waste is quite expensive.

Waste
processes and environmental solutions are being updated all the time
due to ongoing research. Some refineries will take part and get involve by implementing ISO14001 (just like my previous work place) to ensure complete compliance and support to protect the environment. Quality management system such as 5S can also indirectly and directly help to manage our waste. Just understand the basic 5S which consists off seiri (sorting), seiton (straightening or setting in order), seiso (sweeping or shining), seiketsu (standardizing), and shitsuke (sustaining the practice). It has proven to work in my plant.

That’s it for now. If I am to cover about this topic, it will take more time and articles. Let this article be an introduction or appetizer to other supplementing waste management posts from me in future. For further information or reading material, I highly recommend you to grab hold of the following magazine.

Waste Management World

Waste Management World delivers the
latest news and global developments from across the industry. Articles
report on international projects, best practices, technological
developments, trends and legislation. Each issue covers biological waste
treatment, collection and transport, recycling and waste minimization,
sanitary landfill and thermal treatment of waste. To get this great magazine free of charge, click here.

1st image credited to http://www.businessregiongoteborg.com/huvudmeny/clusters/businessenvironment/biogasasvehiclefuelinwestsweden/westswedishprojects/wasterefinery.4.3f6ce9a51288179dfcb80005323.html

posted by zaki yamani @ 11:02 PM,


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The Author

zyz

I’m Zaki. I used to be a project, process and chemical engineer. Few years ago I successfully became a Chartered Engineer (IChemE) and Professional Engineer (BEM). I’m now employed as a chemical engineering educator/researcher/consultant. Hope you like reading my blog. I welcome any feedback from you. My email: zaki.yz[alias]gmail.com. TQ!


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