I am going to research waste pollution. I have chosen to research waste pollution because it is a topic of general interest which is effecting the environment and health of many people.
I am going to research this topic area by first using primary sources, writing letters and trying to interview waste disposal, incineration and landfill companies and also local governments and councils to get their views and what they are doing to stop waste pollution. I will also be interviewing and giving questionnaires to the local public. I am also going to use secondary sources such as the internet, news papers reports, books and leaflets to find out if there has been any previous research on waste, and also to get information to back my research.
The different types of waste pollution in the UK are:
* Radioactive waste
* Household waste
The waste is either taken to landfills or incinerators where they are disposed.
Incineration with energy recovery makes use of waste as a resource. Incineration disposes of waste by combustion with or without energy recovery. ‘co-incineration’ takes place in some industrial processes that produce energy or materials.
Of the 7,000 incinerators in England and Wales:
* 11 burn municipal waste
* Some 60 burn waste including chemicals, clinical waste and savage sludge
* Over 10 are cement kilns or power stations co-incinerating waste
* Over 3,000 burn wood
* About 1,700 burn oil
* Some 3,000 are small farm incinerators.
Municipal waste incineration is increasing and the EU landfill directive requires much more to be diverted from landfill over the next 20 years. Even if the governments waste targets are met outlets such as incineration will increase. The amount of waste incinerated or recovered by other means may need to double by 2003 and to reach 10 million tonnes by 2010.
Landfill has been a favoured option for waste disposal in the past, but it is a waste of resources. Most of the waste we produce in England and Wales is put in about 1,500 landfill site. Each site is licensed to receive a certain type of waste (shown below in the chart)
The current sites are much larger that those in the past. The area of land taken for landfill sites is about 29,000 hectares. About 100 million tons of waste a year is landfilled, in the past it was an easy route for waste disposal because it was cheap and space was often available in old quarries. Space approved for landfills is set to run out in the next five to ten years.
About two-thirds of landfilled waste is biodegradable organic matter from households, businesses and industry. Other waste includes inert materials for example from construction and demolition.
Waste pollution relates to British society as it is effecting the environment and health of British people and is an issue which many people fail to recognise.
Waste pollution is a major problem in British society and can even be found in health care waste, and these can become risks to the population at large if pathways exist between them. Possible pathways include:
* Direct contact
* Contact through vectors
* Airborne transmissions
* The pollution of water sources or local environment.
The chart above shows how much recycling has been improved over the last ten years. And by looking at the chart you can see that little change has been made to increase the amount of waste that is recycled.
I am going to relate my research to the Greenwich borough, and I am going to do this by seeing how many landfill sites or incineration companies there are and are these affecting the people that live near by. Also giving questionnaires to people that live in the borough to see how much they recycle, if they are aware that they live near incinerators and landfills and what they could do to stop incineration and landfills. I will also find out if there are any recycling companies, are the people aware f these and if they are how often do they use them.
The main aim of my research is to;
* Research landfills and incinerators to find out why and how they are affecting the environment and peoples health.
* Research the illnesses caused by pollution.
* Find out what can be done to stop waste pollution and how governments, local councils and the pressure groups are helping to cut down on waste pollution.
* To get a clear under standing of how waste affects us as a whole.
The diagram below shows the people who can stop waste pollution.
Local councils are responding to waste pollution by putting more recycling bins in areas were they have none and making then more accessible for the public. Local councils are also holding meetings or debates for the public to have their say. But after this they do not seem to be doing much to stop incineration or landfills which are causing the main problems.
The government are responding by providing money for recycling but they do not seem to be doing very much to stop incineration or landfills, making aware the health problems that these cause to the public. And they are doing very little to promote recycling and also not making providing recycling bins for all areas which need them.
Pressure groups like Greenpeace and Friends of the earth are responding to waste pollution by campaigning against incineration, telling people about the effects of using incineration, telling governments and councils their views and also trying to close down landfill and incineration companies.
Greenpeace were able to shut down South East London flagship incinerator for four days and sloped pollution spreading over the area.
South East London
Greenpeace were also able to shut down Sheffield incinerator for three days and successfully protect the people and the city from polluting gasses.
They are also using their web sites to inform people if they live near an incinerator and also how to recycle effectively.
The chart above shows what types of materials are recycled.
Only 11% of rubbish in the UK is recycled, but Switzerland, Holland and Germany half there waste so why can’t the UK. Pressure groups like friends of the earth and Greenpeace are researching information like this to make people aware of the UK waste problems.
Health and social care workers would be involved in waste pollution because it could be harming people’s health. So workers like environmental health officers can close down incinerators or landfill sites if they think they are putting lives at risk. There is also the environment agency which said that ‘nine out of ten people in England and Wales would recycle more if recycling was made easier.’ By providing information like this local councils and governments know what they need to do to improve recycling services.
This picture shows how people can help by campaigning against incinerators.
From looking at this picture you can see that waste pollution is not just in the UK. many developing countries would suffer more as the landfill sites would be more exposed and many poorer families would depend on these landfills to survive or make a living, and by governments not doing any thing about it diseases are spreading. But developed countries are able to afford recycling so why has countries like the UK still got waste problems?