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Hazardous waste

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Sections 2.2 and 2.3 have already described the types of waste generated by human activity. There are the three main categories: municipal solid waste, hazardous waste and sludges. The category “hazardous waste” contains the following subcategories:

– Company specific industrial and commercial waste

– Oil emulsions, used oils

– Animal carcasses

– Hospital waste, pathological waste

– Used cars

– Radioactive waste The physical state of hazardous waste has an important bearing on its treatment. It may occur as pastes, solids or liquids which cannot be treated in the same way as municipal solid waste.

The rise of specific “production wastes” originating from the chemical industry after the Second World War is parallel to the development of industry in Europe. Waste has mostly been managed internally by the companies themselves as a precaution against industrial espionage and as a cheaper solution to third party remediation. What this has meant in practical terms is that untreated pastes and liquids have been discharged directly into the sewers or they have been dumped into rivers. The consequence of this was that, after World War II, the industrial boom of the 1950s caused the widespread deterioration of our natural waters. In 1955 an initial, incomplete, water protection act was passed. It took until 1971 to reach its final draft. In 1972, the act became official law. Its primary purpose was to protect our natural waters and drinking water supplies. It also resulted in more environmentally sensitive treatment of a great deal of industrial waste (inorganic liquids used in the galvanic industry, rinsing water). This was still processed directly on site by the producers or in specially equipped central treatment plants. Solid waste was usually stored according to precedent, either at the production site or at a local waste dump. These former dumps are today's contaminated valuable redevelopment sites!

The incineration of industrial waste in Europe dates back to the beginning of the 1960s. In 1965 the BASF Company in Ludwigshafen, Germany, inaugurated an incineration plant with a rotary kiln. This installation was the first such site in Germany. It was designed exclusively to incinerate refuse from BASF chemical production plants. It was not until 1972 that the first generally accessible hazardous waste incineration plant was made available to all industries by the “Zweckverband Sondermüllplätze Mittelfranken ZVSMM” (Association for hazardous waste management Mittelfranken). In the second half of the 1970s, a second hazardous waste management centre built by the “Hessische Industriemüll GmbH HIM”, (Hessian Industrial Waste Ltd) was opened in Biebesheim, a township close to Frankfurt a. M.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • Waste Management
    Ever since abandoning the nomadic lifestyle, mankind has been fighting with the disposal problems caused by everyday life's wastes. This book presents the history of this dilemma and the technical solutions available on the market today. The first part provides an overview of the history of mankind and its waste. The tendencies in Europe and the current legislations for Switzerland and Europe are explained. A look beyond the borders of Europe to other continents shows that there the local residents are presently fighting with the same problems as Europe did at the beginning of the 20th century. The second part deals more closely with waste definition, the technical possibilities to recycle waste and the processes to treat non-recyclable waste so that it can be safely brought back into the environment. The book discusses municipal and industrial wastes, hazardous wastes, sewage sludges, landfill and contaminated site problems or biogenic wastes.
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