How to Assess the Best Choice of a Waste Processing Technology in Five Simple Steps

The best projects usually take several steps in order to complete. Things with any complexity take several steps over a period of time. It is just inherent within the nature of things that significant tasks are generally not accomplished overnight. You have to prepare yourself, be able to undertake them, then stick to them and persevere. No matter what task or project you select, you shouldn’t expect to find exceptions to those requirements, especially when planning waste treatment facilities.

Almost any project could be undertaken successfully, if you just divide it into clear steps.

Here’s how to assess the best choice of a waste processing technology for mixed wastes and also for medical wastes. For a communal facility, it will have to handle waste arising from diverse sources, i.e. waste of highly heterogeneous nature. This can be done by merely taking 5 easy steps

Step 1. Of primary importance for waste management is the effectiveness of the waste treatment process in destroying all infectious pathogens, (including for medical waste amputated human body parts, sharps of heterogeneous nature etc). The reason this is important is The primary purpose of waste management must always be the protection of waste treatment facility workers, and the public from, infection. It can be really essential that you seriously consider this because public health could be seriously threatened if ever this factor was not given its due importance.

Step 2. Significant weight and volume reduction of all residual components which may have to be landfilled or treated further such as by incineration, in order to save costs and help comply with national requirements for the reduction in the tonnages of waste sent to landfill. You will want to focus on this step and give it full attention. Here’s how to do it correctly. To do this correctly, the treatment technology should be one which gives good weight and volume reduction, when all other factors are considered. The principal reason this will be significant is that incineration is expensive and unpopular, and landfill capacity is running out as it becomes more and more difficult to find landfill site locations and build new landfills.

Step 3. Ensure that the space requirement accords with the space available. Composting for example takes more space to achieve than incineration. The reason for this will be to ensure that the chosen technology can feasibly be built within the site area allocated. Another reason for this is just to avoid having to obtain planning permission for larger and new sites which can be very hard to achieve due to public objections.

Step 4. Study and assess the environmental impact and health risk of the proposed processes. Specifically, where environmental impact and health risks exist, it must be shown that readily achievable ameliorative measures will adequately make safe any significant hazards identified within the process. For example, in the UK there has been an accident when using a high pressure and high temperature autoclave, which led to the death of a plant operator.

Step 5. Consider the cost, energy used/created, and the environmental sustainability of the waste treatment technology. Fairly self evidently, the waste treatment process adopted must be affordable by the community that will be served by it, sustainable in that energy use/CO2 emissions, be minimised, and as far as a possible conserve resources. But, if the cost is high there may not be any possibility of funding the project.