Incinerating wastes engenders residual ash. Regulating the disposal of this ash has been giving municipals nightmares of late. The issue has exploded out of magnitude owing to lack of specific regulatory and technical aspects to govern the disposal.
Handling the residual ash
To strategically handle the residual ash calls for delving deep into the technical aspects of the material with the focus on factors that dictates the ash composition. This would facilitate development of appropriate measures for environmentally conducive landfill disposal of ash. The existing regulations have to be analysed in the light of newer developments and have to be tweaked adequately to render compatible with proposed regulations.
The senate and environmental protection agency are having a hard time convincing people regarding imposition of lax controls for land disposal of incinerator generated ash. A groundswell of anti-landfills sentiment is also giving lawmakers nightmares. The mounting public opinion and economic constraints have prevented acquisition of new landfills at a premium. Further, landfills are reeling under economic pressure as the number of strategic sites has dwindled in parts of urban settlements. Also, a number of redundant environmental safeguards have to be enforced for using landfills. The rising concerns regarding the adverse impact public health will be subjected to as well as environmental degradation from aesthetic point of view are also causing the senate members to rack their brains. It is high time that a working and acceptable solution is chalked out to permanently and satisfactorily address the challenge of increasing wastes. The quantum of solid wastes is consistently on the rise.
Expert panels of scientists, researchers, environmental gurus have to be convened to mould potentially viable mode of handling wastes without adversely impacting public health and environmental sanctity. Massive and radical changes in the design of the incinerators are required to make them waste gorging devices and handle residual ash properly.