Plastic Waste Problem Solution (Part 2)

Actually plastic has several advantages, such as strong, light, and stable. However, the plastic waste 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. Development of plastic waste processing technology. And also the development of new plastic materials in order that the plastic waste can be destroyed and decomposed in the environment, known as biodegradable plastics.

Here we will discuss 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.

The Sanitary Landfill

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 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, needs a lot of jobs and 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. (3) Reduction of plastic usage. (4)  Plastics may be replaced with other materials that are more environmentally friendly. 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 at a higher level, such as the supermarkets.  They are more manageable than the traditional market, offices, hotels, and apartments too. 

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.

thanks for reading.

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