Plastic Waste Problem Solution (Part 2)

Actually plastic has several advantages, such as strong, light, and stable. However, the plastic is difficult to decompose by microorganisms in the environment causing serious environmental pollution.  To solve the problem of plastic waste, several approaches such as recycling, plastic waste processing technology, to the development of new plastic materials that can be destroyed and decomposed in the environment, known as biodegradable plastics.

Here we will discuss about waste management methods through combustion process using incinerator and recycling process to handle the combustion side product. It is expected that this method can be applied in Indonesia to deal with environmental problems caused by environmental disability (especially microorganisms) in remodeling and decomposing plastic waste.

The use of plastic continues to increase from year to year. Even in 1992, plastic waste was ranked third of all waste production in Bandung. Plastic waste itself is a waste that is difficult to degrade. It causes pollution on environmental sustainability.

During this effort to handle plastic waste is done by sanitary landfill method. This method is one of controlled waste management. Trash is discharged to the TPA (Final Disposal), then the garbage is compacted with the tractor and then covered with the ground. This will eliminate air pollution that will cause waste. At the bottom of the place is equipped leachate channel system that serves as a waste liquid waste channel that must be processed first before discharge into the river or into the environment.

This method is not effective because it often causes pollution of ground water and the environment around the landfill. Even recently, in Bandung there was a disaster due to landfill that does not meet the requirements. In addition there is the possibility of gas that can cause air pollution. Gases that may be produced are: methane, H2S, NH3 and other H2S and NH3 gases although the numbers are small, but can cause unpleasant odors that can damage the respiratory system of plants and make plants lack of oxygen gas and eventually die.

In the process of landfilling, waste should be processed first in a way destroyed in order to minimize the volume of waste in order to facilitate the compression of garbage. To do this would require additional work that led to additional funds.A better solution needs to be considered. The solution includes efforts to reduce plastic waste production and waste processing efforts that already exist.

Efforts to reduce waste production

Efforts to reduce waste production can be done by:

(1) Use of biodegradable plastics, (2) Much research has been done to obtain biodegradable plastics. Usually a plastic polymer is mixed with certain impurities that cause the polymer bonding strength to decrease. Reduced bond strength will cause the plastic more easily decomposes by the environment. The decomposition process can be accelerated by utilizing a decomposer which is usually microbial. (3) Reduction of plastic usage. (4)    Plastics may be replaced with other materials that are more environmentally friendly, such as shopping bags that have been made of plastic can be replaced with paper. (5) Sorting of organic and plastic waste.

The waste segregation should start from the household level. Household waste should have been split into organic and inorganic waste (including plastic) further sorting is also done by a higher level, such as the supermarket (which is more manageable than traditional market), offices, hotels and apartments. The government also should provide separate bins for each material so that the people who previously has been lighting and guide books just put the material in question to this particular tub. Not mixed like “primitive” household garbage before.

Combustion results are gases and combustion residues. The decrease in the volume of solid waste from combustion can reach 70%. This method is relatively more expensive than sanitary landfill, which is about three times as much.The advantages of this combustion system are:

  • Requires a relatively small area compared to sanitary landfills.• Can be built near industrial sites.
  • The combustion residue is relatively stable and almost all of them are inorganic.
  • Can be used as an energy source, both for steam generators, hot water, electricity, and metal melting.

The drawback lies in the expensive investment, labor, repair and maintenance costs, and still removing residues, also generating gas.In general, the combustion process inside the incinerator is:

  • Burnable waste is inserted in a container or supplier.
  • Next the garbage is set so that it is flat and then put into the burner stove.
  • Ash combustion results, can then be used as a waste cover on landfill.
  • While the results of gas will be channeled through a chimney that is equipped with a scrubber or accommodated to be utilized as an energy generator

Plastic Waste Problem Solution: Insinerator and Recycling

Plastic is a synthetic polymer material that never loose in everyday life. Plastics have become an important part and become the primary needs of everyone. Ranging from home appliances, school supplies, computer equipment, phones, cables, children’s toys, food wrappers to artificial heart valves, all do not escape the interference of these synthetic polymers. Plastics have many meritorious and provide convenience in meeting their daily needs. But is it true that there is no problem caused?

Before discussing more about the problems caused by the use of plastics and the prevention, it is better if the authors discuss briefly about the polymer. Polymers are classified into two kinds, namely natural polymers (such as starch, cellulose, and silk) and synthetic polymers (such as vinyl polymers). Plastics known everyday are often interchangeable with synthetic polymers. This is because easily formed plastic properties (Latin, plasticus = easily formed) are associated with synthetic polymers that can be melted and converted into various shapes. In fact, plastic has a more narrow meaning.

Plastics include thermoplastic polymer parts, the polymers that will soften when heated and can be formed according to the pattern we want. Once cool the polymer will preserve its new shape. This process can be repeated and can be transformed into another form. Another class of synthetic polymers is a thermoset polymer (a material that can be melted at some stage in its manufacture but becomes hard forever, not softened and can not be reprinted). Examples of this polymer is a widely used for radio equipment, toilets, and others.

The discovery and development of synthetic polymers is based on the presence of several limitations found in the utilization of natural polymers. Synthetic polymers whose development is very rapid is plastic. The ease and privilege of plastics has replaced the use of materials such as metal and wood in helping human life. Examples of plastics widely used in daily life are polyethylene (packing material, plastic bag, toy, bottle), teflon (metal substitute, cooking utensil), polyvinylchloride (for pipe, household appliance, paint, phonograph ), polystyrene (electrical insulators, food wrappers, styrofoam, toys), and others.The increasing number of the world population, it also increases the use of natural resources and energy on a large scale. This causes the amount of waste to be greatly increased. Among the waste, plastic waste is the most difficult waste handling, because plastic waste can not decompose in the environment. As a result, plastic waste has become a large-scale environmental problem and should be sought after its completion.In developed countries, various methods of solving waste problems have been tested, from the smallest to the largest scale. The results of this study have provided an overview in choosing one of the most appropriate models to be applied to adapt local environmental and resource conditions. In the handling of organic waste with household waste composting technology, the process is very dependent on the “miracle” of bacteria, both aerobic bacteria and anaerobic bacteria that help the process of fermentation or decomposition. Scientifically, the results of these experiments are very significant to help reduce the accumulation and contamination of toxic waste content of household waste.Waste processing technology using sanitary Landfill method, Mini Composter, Vermicomposting, Incinerator, Open Windrow, Aerial Tub, Bio Filter and many more is an alternative way to solve garbage problem. Each technology has very different characteristics in its application or operation. If you are not careful selecting the technology used, it will be fatal for users, both in terms of economic, health, time and emotion. This can happen because each technology has many specificities, such as the size and type of raw materials, treatments, and special care.

Springs Conservation of Functions Benefits (Part 2)

By research, hydrogeologists found that volcanic mountain springs fulfill the three conditions of groundwater quality characteristics, namely quality, quantity, and continuity. Quantity is influenced by rainfall, water cycle and hydrogeological conditions of the area around the water resources. Quality is influenced by natural factors (conditions and composition of soil and rocks) as well as human activities (agriculture, household pollution, industry, etc.). While continuity gives a balance between usage and recharging.

Groundwater starts from a hydrological cycle, where clouds are composed of millions of tiny drops of water, so light that these droplets can float in the air, then lifted up by the warm air flow from the ground and eventually turn into rainwater that falls to the earth. The water permeates and is deposited beneath the soil surface, which is then due to the effect of gravitational forces moving vertically through the soil layer until it reaches the water saturated zone and is finally deposited in a layer of water-carrying rock called an aquifer.

 Based on the constituent material and its physical environment, there are several types of aquifers, namely allifial fan aquifers (located in coastal areas, sedimentary and surrounding areas), sedimentary aquifers (peat, organic), karstic aquifers (limestone mountains) and volcanic aquifers volcanoes), which is the best source of fresh water. Aquifers are layers or rock formations capable of storing and passing water in significant quantities, capable of providing supplies to wells or springs. Indonesia is a wet tropical region with relatively high rainfall and geologically located in the volcanic arc area. Indonesia has more than a hundred active and inactive volcanoes. Geologically the volcanoes form rock layers that are very conducive to acting as aquifers.

During the drainage, groundwater undergoes various processes that make the groundwater contain a variety of minerals and ultimately have different qualities in each place. As a continuation of natural processes, groundwater then appears on the surface and is called a spring. In this case, the springs in the mountains are regarded as the perfect source of water, both quantity and quality. Mountain springs in the mountains are generally large and continuous because in this area is generally a wet area with high rainfall intensity and still has a relatively good catchment area.Cyclus of water in nature (Source: http://kimlingiwill.blogspot.com/2010/11/pegunungan-vulkanik-sumber-mata-air.)

Springs Conservation of Functions Benefits

Water is a substance or matter or element that is important to all life forms that are known to date on earth. The human body consists of 55% to 78% water, depending on the size of the body. In order to function properly, the human body needs between one and seven liters of water daily to avoid dehydration (the exact amount depends on the level of activity, temperature, humidity, and several other factors).

Most people believe that humans need 8-10 glasses (about two liters) per day. But the results of research published in the University of Pennsylvania in 2008 showed that the consumption of a number of 8 glasses is not proven to help a lot in nourishing the body. In fact sometimes for some people, if drinking more water or excessive than recommended can cause dependence. Other medical literature recommends consumption of one liter of water per day, in addition to exercise or in hot weather.

Humans are estimated to survive without consuming water or holding thirst for about three to five days. While without eating, while still consuming water, humans are still able to survive up to eight weeks. However, by drinking water from a good source of water and good physical condition, a person will be able to survive more than eight weeks.

From the existing fresh water volume, it is not all fresh water well consumed by humans and living things. This is due to the occurrence of pollution. Formerly, prior to the occurrence of pollution, groundwater as it is in rivers, lakes, is worth consuming. Natural ground water is still able to neutralize from a variety of cargo that is harmful when consumed, such as toxins and impurities, so it is still worth consuming. Right now, the water that is still feasible to consume live ground water. And that is not all ground water, because it has happened pollution and began to contaminate groundwater with sea water seeping deep into the soil. The hydrogeologists  argue that the most feasible and the best source of springs to be consumed is the source of water coming from volcanic mountain springs

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Direktorat Jendral Pelayanan Medik Direktorat Laboratorium Kesehatan. 2002. Pedoman Pemeriksaan Fisika Air Minum/ Air Bersih. Jakarata : DepKes RI

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