A small desk survey was conducted in the spring of 2004 to get an overview on the development of waste research. The survey targeted the last 10 years of waste research at Swedish academic institutions trying to identify the total amount of research and trends over time with regard to issues, volume and distribution over academic disciplines. In the survey, only the theses written at major Swedish universities were considered. All post-graduate theses from major Swedish universities were reviewed. Data were obtained from the homepages and search engines of the various libraries as of May 13 2004. Altogether 90 theses were identified from nine universities, i.e., an average of 1 thesis per University per year. The results of the survey indicate that: (1) the academic waste research is very small in comparison to the R&D performed by the industry; there seems to be a lack of interaction between industry and academia; (2) waste research is slowly getting into established academic environments and gains in quantity and diversion over time; (3) in addition to being driven by environmental protection legislation, there also seems to be emerging more industry interest from a production perspective.
An increasing number of plants for re-use of refuse have been constructed in Denmark in recent years. The Kaastrup Plant near Skive was opened in spring 1986. The plant accepts household rubbish and industrial refuse separately. The refuse is sorted by machine (industrial refuse is sorted partially manually) and in a large partially open machine plant, refuse is converted into fuel pellets. During a period of eight months, eight out of 15 employees developed respiratory symptoms. In seven, bronchial asthma was diagnosed and chronic bronchitis in one person. Four had initial symptoms of the organic dust toxic syndrome. After further six months, another case of occupationally-conditioned asthma occurred in the plant. Only two out of nine had previously had asthma or atopic disease. The investigation did not reveal any evidence of type-I allergy. Six out of nine had specific precipitating antibodies to refuse while all had negative RAST tests to this. In spring 1989, from six to eighteen months after the onset of the symptoms, six had still dyspnoea on exertion and three had positive histamine-provocation tests and seven out of nine had left the plant. Occupational medical measurements revealed dust concentrations of 8.1 mg/cubic millimeter in September 1986 and total germs of up to 3 x 10(9) cfu/cubic meter. Construction of the plant involved considerable contact with the refuse on account of the cleansing processes and open systems and it was reconstructed in the course of 1987/1988 so that the hygienic conditions are now acceptable.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
This retrospective cohort study evaluated adverse birth outcomes in infants whose birth records indicated maternal residence in villages containing dumpsites potentially hazardous to health and environment. Birth records from 1997 to 2001 identified 10,073 eligible infants born to mothers in 197 Alaska Native villages. Outcomes included low or very low birth weight, preterm birth, and intrauterine growth retardation. Infants from mothers in villages with intermediate (odds ratio (OR) = 1.73, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.06, 2.84) and high (OR = 2.06, 95% CI: 1.28, 3.32) hazard dumpsites had a higher proportion of low birth weight infants than did infants from mothers in the referent category. More infants born to mothers from intermediate (OR = 4.38, 95% CI: 2.20, 8.77) and high (OR = 3.98, 95% CI: 1.93, 8.21) hazard villages suffered from intrauterine growth retardation. On average, infants weighed 36 g less (95% CI: -71.2, -0.8) and 55.4 g less (95% CI: -95.3, -15.6) when born to highly exposed mothers than did infants in the intermediate and low exposure groups, respectively, an effect even larger in births to Alaska Native mothers only. No differences in incidence were detected across exposure levels for other outcomes. This is the first study to evaluate adverse pregnancy outcomes associated with open dumpsites in Alaska Native villages.
The Swedish producer responsibility ordinance mandates producers to collect and recycle packaging materials. This paper investigates the main determinants of collection rates of household plastic packaging waste in Swedish municipalities. This is done by the use of a regression analysis based on cross-sectional data for 252 Swedish municipalities. The results suggest that local policies, geographic/demographic variables, socio-economic factors and environmental preferences all help explain inter-municipality collection rates. For instance, the collection rate appears to be positively affected by increases in the unemployment rate, the share of private houses, and the presence of immigrants (unless newly arrived) in the municipality. The impacts of distance to recycling industry, urbanization rate and population density on collection outcomes turn out, though, to be both statistically and economically insignificant. A reasonable explanation for this is that the monetary compensation from the material companies to the collection entrepreneurs vary depending on region and is typically higher in high-cost regions. This implies that the plastic packaging collection in Sweden may be cost ineffective. Finally, the analysis also shows that municipalities that employ weight-based waste management fees generally experience higher collection rates than those municipalities in which flat and/or volume-based fees are used.
A laboratory bench-scale column study was conducted to evaluate permeable reactive filter materials as a new method for removal of heavy metals and inorganic nitrogen from landfill leachate. Mixtures of sand and peat, blast-furnace slag (BFS) and peat, and Polonite and peat were tested by loading columns with leachate collected from a pond at Tvetaverket Landfill, Sweden. Sand, peat and Polonite represent natural materials. BFS is a by-product from steel-works. The metal treatment efficiencies of the media were assessed and Polonite was found to perform best, where Mn, Fe, Zn and Cu concentrations were removed by 99%, 93%, 86% and 67%, respectively. This material was also able to reduce inorganic N by 18%. The BFS showed good removal efficiency for Cu (66%), Zn (62%), Ni (19%) and Mo (16%). The sand-peat mixture did not demonstrate a promising removal capacity for any of the elements studied with the exception of Cu (25%). The removal of different elements was suggested to be a combination of several factors, i.e. precipitation, ion exchange and adsorption. Prior to full-scale application of reactive filters at a landfill site, matrix selection, filter design and operational procedures must be developed.
In this study, an interval-parameter two-stage mixed integer linear programming (ITMILP) model is developed for supporting long-term planning of waste management activities in the City of Regina. In the ITMILP, both two-stage stochastic programming and interval linear programming are introduced into a general mixed integer linear programming framework. Uncertainties expressed as not only probability density functions but also discrete intervals can be reflected. The model can help tackle the dynamic, interactive and uncertain characteristics of the solid waste management system in the City, and can address issues concerning plans for cost-effective waste diversion and landfill prolongation. Three scenarios are considered based on different waste management policies. The results indicate that reasonable solutions have been generated. They are valuable for supporting the adjustment or justification of the existing waste flow allocation patterns, the long-term capacity planning of the City's waste management system, and the formulation of local policies and regulations regarding waste generation and management.
Mercury is a longstanding concern in Maritime Canada due to high levels of contamination in a number of fish and bird species. The recycled component of past releases of anthropogenic mercury may be a significant source of ongoing pollution in many areas. Historical information on mercury releases can be used to quantify past and present anthropogenic contamination. We present an inventory of historical mercury emissions from anthropogenic sources in Maritime Canada for the years 1800-1995. Long-term trends in mercury emissions and the significance of the cumulative burden of mercury released from local sources are discussed. Emissions are calculated using both historical monitoring data and the application of emission factors. The nature of current anthropogenic sources of mercury is quite different than it was several decades ago when many of the existing policies governing mercury pollution were created. Our inventory illustrates that many of the most significant sources in the past such as the chlor-alkali industry, paint containing mercury additives, and pharmaceuticals, have been largely phased out with fossil fuel combustion and waste disposal remaining as the most significant modern sources. Atmospheric emissions in Maritime Canada peaked in 1945 (> 1,750 kg year-1), and again between 1965 and 1970 (> 2,600 kg year-1). Cumulative releases of mercury from anthropogenic sources for the years 1800-1995 were between 115 and 259 t to the atmosphere alone, and 327-448 t when discharges to wastewater and effluents were included. Assuming that only 0.2% (Nriagu, 1994.) of these releases become part of the recycled fraction of current fluxes, we estimate that between 570 and 900 kg Hg year-1 is deposited in Maritime Canada from past anthropogenic sources. Modern sources within Maritime Canada contribute at least 405 kg year-1 to the total annual deposition of 1.71 t over the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, leaving approximately 735 kg year-1 from natural sources and long-range contamination. Further study is needed to verify these estimates and clarify the significance of natural and long-range sources of mercury in Maritime Canada.
A great deal of effort has been devoted to developing new in vitro and in vivo methods to identify and classify endocrine disrupting chemicals that have been identified in environmental samples. In this study an in vitro test based on recombinant yeast strains transfected with genes for the human estrogen receptor a was adapted to examine the presence of estrogenic and antiestrogenic substances in six Swedish landfill leachates. Antiestrogenic effects were measured as inhibition of the estradiol induced response with the human estrogen receptor a, and quantified by comparison with the corresponding inhibitory effects of a known antiestrogen, hydroxytamoxifen. The estrogenicity was within the range of that determined in domestic sewage effluents, from below the limit of detection to 29 ng estradiol units L(-1). Antiestrogenicity was detected in some of the investigated landfill leachates, ranging between
A comparative analysis of Russian and European legislation concerning to the waste management has been performed. There were revealed principal differences in Russian and European legislation in methodology of the waste classification. In Europe, there is no methodology for breaking up waste into hazard classes, and for the denomination of the danger there are used hazard lists which fail to give information about the extent of their danger. Medical waste in the European legislation are not selected into the separate category as being included in terms of articles and lists in the annexes to the directives or other legal acts. There are considered requirements of the Russian and European legislation in the area of the landfill waste burial. In the frameworks of the proposals for the implementation of international experience in the waste management there was drafted the project of Sanitary rules on hygiene requirements to the arrangement and the contents of landfills for residential solid waste, which includes requirements concerning not only residential solid waste, but also medical waste.