My name is Daan. And I ever did study environmental chemistry. Subjects I followed included waste and environmental management systems.
In 2013 I was snorkeling at Bali. A lot of plastic waste was floating in the water. We have removed a few plastic bags from the water. That was serious an eye opener to me.
In 2017 or so I spontaneously started writing down all kinds of plans / ideas / possibilities for improvement. The text is displayed later.
After that, I visited various national solid waste management departments to point out that there are many many opportunities to improve collection and processing. The entire organization of waste in countries such as Philippines, Indonesia and India is moderate. If waste management is well organized, the knowledge / wisdom is at national level. That is hardly the case in any of the aforementioned countries.
Later I came to the conclusion that no one will ever listen to an individual, no matter how good the plans and ideas are.
Then I consulted with UNEP and others.
First I had contact with UNEP in Nairobi. That contact was with Mr. Geoffrey Oloo. A few weeks after I sent the above e-mail, mr. Oloo came with a response. That I just have to look for a job via the vacancy site. I had no idea if there was a function at all that fits the described plans / ideas for improvement.
Also had telephone contact with mr. Mark Grassi. During this conversation, Mr. Grassi a lot of interest. He also told that he was easily accessible in Geneva. The first Several working days later, Diana Rizzolio indicated that Mark was on unpaid leave for months.
Also had contact with Nelson Manda from Unitar. Unitar is responsible for implementation. Very important point for recycling processes, for example. Mr. Manda promised to call back at an agreed time. This did not happen.
This is the content of the mailing:
This email contains several ideas/plans about collection and processing of waste.
But first i have to introduce myself. My name is Daan Manders and I am from The Netherlands. I have a bachelor degree in Environmental Chemistry (e.g air quality and waste management).
In this email more ideas/plans are given about:
- The separation of waste
- Garbage containers/trash cans
- Waste separation plants
The separation of waste
On many places (maybe except remote area), I think the best way to start separating waste is:
- organic waste
- other waste
- can make gasses, which can be used for fuel for example
- can be used for making compost, so that less fertilizer is needed in the agricultural sector with the same amount of harvest
- can be soon unhygienic/unclean. So in many area it is better to collect organic waste more often then other waste.
- if other waste is mixed with organic waste it is many time more difficult to separate. Both manual and mechanical waste separation.
Garbage container/trash cans
A good waste bin, wherever it is, meets the following characteristics:
- easy to empty by municipality employee or so, and not by other people
- the right volume for each section
- impossible? To steal
- durable, metal can rust by organic waste
- good explanation, multi language in area with foreigners
- fast to empty; unlock, empty, lock in just some seconds
On more trips in more countries i did see very less very useful bins.
I do like to help (local) government with invent a bin from recycled material like hard plastic.
So can i advise by the design of waste bins, for example for the use in trains, in cities and towns.
Waste separation plant
A basic/start installation consists as:
- enough space for 2? waste streams
- waste gripper
- conveyor belts for sorting different waste
some smart feature:
- the first sorter can use his feet to control the speed of the conveyor belt and can dose the feed by means of a valve.
- A shredder for plastic bottles. In plastic bottles there is a lot of loose space, even if they are pressed together. The whole process from old plastic bottles to new plastic bottles will be more efficient when using shredders.
Even when the organisation of separation is very good (like very good garbage bin) it can take long time before people learn the system of separation. This mean that a waste stream in the beginning heavily is contaminated with other waste. So the separation of garbage in separation plant take in the beginning more time then after a while.
Procedures and workinstructions
The large-scale implementation of the waste separation process can be go fast by good procedures and work instructions. The power of the written word is still largely unknown. When working according to clear work instructions and procedures in combination with a short but powerful training, waste separation processes / installations are easy to start and keep running!
A short course will be sufficient to train trash sorter. I can help with making courses/instructions in writing and using video.
And now about course material for waste sorters.
Sorter plastic / foam / plastic filler
On a video with this:
plastic does not belong in the environment. For example, plastic waste can end up in a river due to rain,
The river can drain the plastic to the sea. In the sea there are animals that regard the plastic for food. These animals die earlier and that can be a threat to fishing, among other things.
Sorter clothing and shoes.
New clothing can be made from old clothes. This way new jeans can be made from old jeans. For example, a brief tour of the recycling plant can be shown on video by sorter.
Sorter paper / cardboard.
Old paper can be made, among other things: newspapers, toilet paper and cardboard (new packaging). A tour of the paper / cardboard factory can be shown on video. If paper is reused for making new paper. Less trees have to be cut.
Sorted metal waste such as aluminum food trays, food tin, other small material. You can easily make new trays of pure metal (such as aluminum food trays). Perhaps the sorter can be presented with a video showing a factory on which new trays are made from old (and contaminated) trays.
The possibilities are infinite.
I would very much like to exchange thoughts about waste bins, collection of waste, and separation of waste.
BSc. Daan Manders