Waste Sorting: everything you wanted to know about

  •   August 4th, 2014
  •   Category: News
  •   Posted by: Ecodyger

What is waste sorting?

Waste sorting is a collection of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), which provides, for each type of waste, a first selection or differentiation done by domestic (citizens) and non-domestic users. The collection is totally different collection undifferentiated, predominantly in use until a few years ago.

The purpose of recycling

The ultimate goal is the separation of waste in order to send each type of recyclables to the appropriate and most suitable treatment for disposal or recovery. The target goes from storage in the landfill to incineration for the remaining undifferentiated, composting for organic and recycling for the differentiated itself as paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, metal, oil, etc…

The collection meets two problems related to the exponential increase in waste production: consumption of raw material (in fact reduced through recycling) and the reduction of the amount of undifferentiated waste destined to landfills and incinerators. In addition, the integrated waste management can also be an important contribution to the fight against climate change and air pollution.

As said, the collection is therefore a preparatory action for the correct and most advanced waste management constituting in fact the first phase of the process, but loses its sense because of lack of facilities for treatment / disposal of separated waste. In this direction, more journalistic and judiciary investigation have shown how often in the past waste has been collected in a different way, differentiated but mixed in one package and then sent to landfills or incinerators. We like, however, to think that in light of the continued pressure from the European Union all the member countries with the obligation to achieve the minimum targets for separate collection by 2020 (50% at European level, 65% Italian goal), the situation and the management of this process is becoming more prudent and correct all along the supply chain.

Collect, transport and confer differentiating at source has certainly higher costs than in the recent past in which gathered the infamous black bag, always very heavy and malodorous.

Who recycling helps the environment?

Definitely yes! It is estimated (source Legambiente) today who recycles half of its waste reduces CO2 and other gases between the most damaging to the climate (such GHG) emitted into the atmosphere by an amount between 150 and 200 pounds per year.

How does the separate collection work?

There are three main systems of collection that are not necessarily disjoint but can integrate between them.

1. The collection bins by district broken down by type of material such as glass, aluminum, paper, cardboard, plastic, etc. Appears to be the system may be less expensive but also one that provides a lower quality of recyclables collected; this because of ‘indiscipline of citizens who have always seen the refusal as a single bulky black bag to put out the door of the house once or twice a week

2. Door to door collection, which is a management technique that provides for the periodic waste collection at the domicile of users of urban waste produced by the same. They are usually picked up the different types of waste (wet organic waste for composting, glass-aluminum, paper, cardboard, plastic, non-recyclable dry-undifferentiated) days and in different containers. The mixed municipal waste are usually collected at different frequencies depending on the type. Typically the frequencies vary from once a month to two or three times a week depending on the fraction of waste collection. Simultaneously with the start of the canvassing system are removed from the streets of the entire area for general waste bins.

However, a problematic aspect of the system is the possible lack of cooperation on the part of citizens. The higher the civic consciousness, the more the method gives good results. In several municipalities to encourage the separate collection has applied the principle of “polluter pays” principle, namely the pricing of the service operated by the municipality is applied based on the “production” of more polluting waste (not the dry recyclable); according to the number of cycles operated by each user is calculated by the charge rate. In practice, less non-recyclable dry it produces less you pay, this pushes citizens to engage in the collection. To achieve the objectives of collection managers of waste collection, in agreement with the municipality making increasingly control operations of the bag or container of unsorted waste to verify that there are no other waste such as wet, paper, plastic , glass. In case of misbehavior on the part of the citizen, usually begins with a verbal or written, not collecting separated waste containing other types of waste, fines either deliver more and more salt to the users undisciplined.

3. Separate collection at the municipal eco-stations, real picnic areas where days and times to the public, usually bearing the regional identification card or identification card distributed by the municipality itself; can bear to give the various types of waste, including and especially those that solitamemte the curbside collection is not able to treat as for example, light bulbs, batteries, medicines, exhausted oils, bulky as nets, mattresses, etc.. Again, the more citizen cooperates, the higher the level of separate collection of waste by type and the higher the efficiency of the town itself that can boast the nominee of “recycling city” and get any contributions provincial, regional where established.

Which is the weakest link?

Even the most articulate separate collection systems are still affected by the high amount of unsorted waste collected in municipal waste, usually where citizens continue to cast a large amount of mixed waste, with no will to differentiate them. A solution was the differentiation of the collection bins in the main categories such as paper, plastic, glass, wet, but the results are still negative due to a lack of civic education.

Even for the recycling of organic-wet fraction, just a small amount of stranger material pollutes everything else and not make it more recyclable or reusable. In this case, the costly operations of pre-selection performed in the large collection facilities of this type of waste, always represent a high cost of management and a more delicate phase of the whole process. Currently these systems are more and more sophisticated and efficient even if the real problem remains to improve the purity of the source of organic waste.

The new technologies that dramatically reduce organic waste at source, such as Ecodyger, also make it possible to have the little remaining solid residue that will become waste once collected, a very high purity that actually facilitates if not obviating the onerous task of pre-selection allowing composting plants have a higher purity and quality of the compost at the end of the process and that will be entered in agriculture for all intended uses.


Treatment at a composting plant VS in-house treatment

The photo above is supposed to be a practical demonstration of what has just been said, comparing the solid residue obtained from a technological treatment at the source, with technologies such as Ecodyger, where the user is the same one that produced wet-organic waste and responsibly manage it without mixing it with other types of waste versus the compost resulting from the treatment process that has received as input wet organic waste collected door to door. As you can see in the second case, unfortunately, still too much waste matter are inserted damp.

Is there a hope?

Yes! The younger generation, children who at school of the waste problem and the need to differentiate to the same source, thanks to recycling, are the best recyclers and adult educators themselves. For their generation, fortunately, there is the memory of the ugly and heavy black bag and it is normal and useful throw glass, paper, plastic, wet, etc. in special containers marked by forms, labels and different colors.

Organic waste

The wet-organic waste is a waste that creates the greatest difficulties of storage, collection and transportation. In warmer climates, then, its management often becomes critical and is a source of problems of hygiene with the fast proliferation of germs and bacteria, odors and increased production of leachate, with the necessity of having to clean and sanitize more and more frequently these areas and containers used for storage and handling. The large structures such as hotels, great restaurants, canteens, cooking centers, etc., can meet only with the use of expensive refrigerators that in addition to the large initial cost with high costs of operation and maintenance.

The best solution would be to produce less organic waste at the source, and therefore more hygienic, no smell, no cold room for storage, no leachate from containers and recondition by cleaning, washing and sanitizing. Ecodyger was born with the aim of providing a solution to all these problems. Ecodyger reduces the weight and volume of organic waste 70-90% and makes it usable in many ways, even as compost. In addition Ecodyger removes all germs and bacteria.

Is it possible to save money on bags?

Raise your hand if you have never stumbled upon the breaky-biodegradable compostable bag used to collect wet waste? Maybe just at the moment when it is resting on the floor of the house or outside on the balcony, complete with leachate to remove and clean …

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