Toner Cartridge Recycling Initiative in LuganvilleThis case study describes a recycling scheme introduced in September 2013 to residents of Luganville, Vanuatu through a partnership involving the Municipal Council, a local business, a New Zealand based recycling company, and Pacific Direct Line—a shipping company. Through this partnership, printer toner cartridges, cell phones, and cell phone batteries (considered hazardous wastes) are being collected and safely recycled in New Zealand. This reduces the pollution associated with disposal of such waste to land.
Case Study: Toner Cartridge Recycling Initiative in Luganville
Scrap Metal Management in American SamoaThis case study describes a scrap metal removal project implemented by the American Samoa Power Authority (ASPA). ASPA has the mandate for providing national solid waste management services (collection, recycling, treatment, disposal) in American Samoa. The project was implemented through an international tender, and resulted in the removal of well over 6,000 tons of scrap metal from American Samoa. This case study is useful for any waste management agency or government department seeking solutions to managing large quantities of legacy scrap metal and derelict equipment.
Case Study: Scrap Metal Management in American Samoa (485 kb)
Improved Waste Management in Kiribati
By the late 1990s Kiribati was in a waste crisis. The primary problem was on South Tarawa, the capital, and home of approximately one half of the country's people. There were no engineered landfills, and litter was extremely common and thick, in all built up areas and surrounding beaches. Piles of waste often remained uncollected in the streets for weeks. Programmes were instituted by the Ministry of Environment, the ADB, and SPREP to turn the situation around. By 2002, a programme called SAPHE1 was underway, building two landfills, funded through an ADB loan to the Government, and FSP Kiribati had completed a programme called KEEP (Kiribati Environmental Education Programme) which focused on home waste management, and laid the basis for a more integrated approach. The Ministry of Environment coordinated closely with both these projects. Some analysis of these programmes was conducted by SPREP in the report for the WASTE project Community-Based Waste Management.Case Study: Improved waste management in Kiribati
Tonga Solid Waste Management Project
Tonga Solid Waste Management Project
Tonga's main island and home of 50% of the population, Tongatapu, faced a significant waste disposal crisis. An AusAID- funded project has shown how an integrated approach can maximize the opportunities to improving the entire system. While the project is still only 50% complete, preliminary indications show it to be a model of methodology for these types of major system up-grades.
Case Study: Tonga solid waste management project
Semi-aerobic (Fukuoka) Landfill Management in Samoa
Semi-aerobic (Fukuoka) Landfill Management in Samoa
The Tafaigata waste disposal site in Samoa was transformed from a messy, smelly dump to a clean and sanitary semi-aerobic landfill structure using the Fukuoka Sanitary landfill method, which is the typical landfill method in Japan. The transformation process was funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), at a cost of only US$400,000 (consultant supervisor not included).
The transformation took place in two phases. The first one i setting up waste cell bunds, consolidating the soil "floor", installing the air ventilation / leachate collection pipes, a leachate collection pond, and all-weather access roads. The second phase included setting up the leachate treatment facilities. At the completion in December 2005, the project was handed over from JICA to the Samoan Government.
Case Study: Semi-earobic Fukuoka Landfill Management in Samoa
POPs in PICs
In the early to mid 1990s, recognizing the potential threats to Pacific Islanders' way of life from waste management practices, the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) developed the "Persistent Organic Pollutants in Pacific Island Countries" (POPs in PICs). The aim of the POPs in PICs project was to reduce the threat to human health and the environment posed by POPs and related chemicals. The nine-year project was funded by the Australian Government (AusAID) to a value of approximately AUD 6.5 million and implemented by SPREP.
The project was implemented in 13 of the 21 Pacific Island members of SPREP, and included Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Key partners in each PIC generally included the National Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Environment Agencies, the Government of Australia through AusAID and GHD Pty Ltd—the Australian Managing Contractor who provided the technical support and advice for the project.
Case Study: POPs in PICs Project (extracted)
Project Completion Report GHD
POPs final assessment AUSAID
Different Types of pollution are categorized based on the part of the environment which they affect or result which the particular pollution causes. Each of these types has its own distinctive causes and consequences. Categorized study of pollution helps to understand the basics in more detail and produce protocols for the specific types. Accordingly, the main types of pollution are:
- Water Pollution
- Air Pollution
- Soil Pollution
- Thermal Pollution
- Radioactive Pollution
- Noise Pollution
- Light Pollution
Let us observe these types of pollution in a more comprehensive way.
As the name suggests, “Water Pollution” is the type of pollution that involves the contamination of various water bodies. Various aquatic creatures depend on these water bodies and its natural nutritious features to support its life.
Water Pollution (Image source: Wikipedia)
What Causes Water Pollution?
- Industrial waste gets dumped into these water bodies. This causes a chemical imbalance in the water leading to death of the aquatic beings.
- Insecticides, pesticides and ripening chemicals that are used on plants run into the ground water system or nearby streams.
- Washing clothes near lakes and rivers causes detergents also causes a condition called “Eutrophication” which blocks sunlight from entering inside and reduces oxygen values in the water causing an inhabitable environment.
- ‘Oil Spills’ are caused when giant oil tankers and oil rigs which are present in the oceans are damaged by either natural or human errors cause a long-time damage to the ocean as oil is lighter than water and floats on water forming a layer blocking sunlight.
- Certain natural disasters like flash floods and hurricanes cause the intermixing of water with harmful substances on the land.
People can take certain preventable measures to stop water pollution like being more cautious of dumping contaminants onto the water. For the repair of the damage that has already been done, water treatment plants are being constructed with innovative techniques to clean the polluted water. But as always a certain part of the damage can be resolved therefore, it is better to prevent water pollution as water is basic need for the survival of man.
The contamination of the air present in the atmosphere is known as “Air pollution”. Respiration is an important life process of all living things. We breathe in the air present in the atmosphere. Therefore if the air around us is contaminated with poisonous gases, it would have a fatal effect on us.
Air Pollution (Image source: sxc.hu)
The air naturally comprises of 78% of nitrogen, 21% of oxygen, 0.9% of oxide gases and 0.1% of inert gases. When this balance is disturbed, it causes disruptions of severe proportions.
What Causes Air Pollution?
- Partially combusted exhaust gases released from internal combustion engines add poisonous gases into the atmosphere.
- Certain industries release some gases like sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide which mix with the air and clouds and cause acid rains.
- Burning of discarded plastic, wood and rubber also release carcinogenic gases into the atmosphere.
Air pollution is very much fatal to living things as almost all living beings respire directly from the atmosphere without undergoing any treatment like water. Hence use of catalytic converters in vehicles, preventing the burning of used products, leaving vehicles running for lengthy periods of time during halts and such environment friendly actions.
Stripping soil of its natural fertility by using artificial chemicals like pesticides, insecticides, ripening agents etc. is known as “Soil Pollution”. Plants depend on the nitrogenous compounds present in the soil for their nutrition. Use of insecticides, pesticides and other artificial chemicals absorbs the nitrogen from the soil making it unfit for the growth for plants. Plants are responsible for holding the soil together firmly so, when the plants can’t grow the soil splits, leading to soil erosion.
Soil Pollution (Image courtesy: Dumelow@Wikipedia)
Rise in the temperature in the ecosystem due the release of excessive heat energy into the environment by artificial methods or natural disasters is called “Thermal Pollution”. Generally, manufacturing industries release a lot of heat energy which gets transferred to the air and water bodies. Even vehicles which have combustion engines release a lot of heat energy as they require high temperatures to function. Carbon dioxide has a property of blocking heat from exiting the atmosphere and so the heat coming in from the sun is trapped in the atmosphere.
Thermal Pollution (Image source: sxc.hu)
Thermal pollution results in a temperature rise which is the main cause for the melting of the polar ice caps, which is in turn leading to a rise in the water levels. Thermal pollution has increased significantly since the eighteen hundreds resulting in a hotter earth.
Radioactive pollution occurs when ‘Radioactive’ metals disintegrate releasing dangerous beta rays which can cause cancer and other mutative diseases. These types of pollution can occur by either the dumping of radioactive waste from nuclear power plants into water bodies, damage of nuclear reactors leading to radioactive contamination that would last for many years and many more. In the Second World War, when the U.S.A attacked Hiroshima and Nagasaki of Japan, the atomic bomb left a radioactive footprint leading to highly mutative diseases. So, most of the people who survived the atomic bombing died eventually from cancers and mutations.
Nuclear Power Plant (Image source: morgueFile.com)
There are different qualities of sounds. The sounds which are not pleasant to hear are called ‘Noises’. So an excess of noise in the outdoors leads to “Noise Pollution”. This can be experienced by too many vehicles honking at the roads, heavy machinery being operated in the open (for ex, a jackhammer), trains, clubs, over populated crowds and many more. Noise pollution is known to cause mental stress and depression. It can also cause damage to the ear drum which can cause deafness. Noise pollution has more of a psychological effect rather than a physical one.
Bright lighting in functions, big cities, etc. causes “Light Pollution”. Excessive light on the retina causes extreme discomfort in the eyes, especially in dim conditions like during night time. Bright lights strain the eyes and also give headaches and migraines. If we observe, light pollution, thermal pollution and noise pollution all are types of pollution that are caused by the different forms of energy.
Light Pollution (Image source: morgueFile.com)
Pollution in all its various forms causes immense damage covering all possible aspects that can be damaged. Therefore it is important to prevent all these forms to look forward to a greener cleaner and much more pleasant living experience.