Nov 202017
 
Dili, East Timor – Smouldering fires. Haphazard explosions. Malnourished children. The disintegration of law and order, and the absence of social services. In 1999, images such as these sparked widespread public anger around the world and the dispatch of an international peacekeeping force to East Timor after anarchy erupted following the country's independence referendum on leaving Indonesia. But nearly two decades after peace was restored in East Timor nothing much has changed at the Tibar landfill near the capital Dili, where rubbish scavengers as young as eight years old eek out a living in unimaginable conditions. The unregulated dumping ground for most of Dili's garbage – including lethal asbestos and untreated hospital waste – the seven-acre site set in the belly of a steep valley is an environmental and public health catastrophe. According to World Health Organization, "about 100 tonnes of hazardous wastes are produced every year in Dili from healthcare activities alone. As there is no centralised treatment or disposal facility available for such waste, they are quite often disposed [of] with municipal waste in Tibar". Smoke in your eyes The first thing that strikes visitors at the Tibar landfill are wafts of acrid black smoke released by fires set by scavengers to melt plastic from products such as washing machines and chairs that can then be sold as scrap metal. "The smoke really surprised me. It's surreal – a 24-seven smouldering heap," says Chris Kaley, a tourist from Australia who visited the landfill with Bruce Logan, the Australian co-owner of Dili's Beachside Hotel. "I come here once or twice a week to dump rubbish. I also bring any of our guests who are interested in seeing how the other half live," Logan says. "I call it the 'stop-your-winging tour' because coming here gives you a reality check about the trivial things people complain about in Australia." The moment Logan parks his utility vehicle, a group of 20-odd scavengers dressed in torn filthy rags raid the bags of rubbish stacked on his vehicle's tray. Among them is Domingos, a 61-year-old man working at the landfill for six months. "The valuable things are bottles and cans," he says. "If I collect a big pile of cans, I can sell it for $1." There are also a number of children in the group, including an eight-year-old girl named Vanya who lives just outside the dump. She says she has been working (more…)
Aug 282017
 
Role of landfill pollution in global warming matrix August 28, 2017  When issues of pollution are discussed, reported and presented, it’s normally the discourse of air pollution that supersedes that of landfills. Without undermining the role of air pollution in the global warming matrix, I’m convinced that landfills are equally demonic in nature, scope and content. So many people are engaged in pollution activities, consciously and unconsciously. Issues of pollution are experienced, day in and day out. Why nations tend to give prominence to air pollution without taking into account land pollution is still a mystery. guest column: Peter Makwanya Both air and land pollution are strange bad fellows and agents of destruction of high proportions. Landfills are sites designated for dumping rubbish, garbage and other sources of solid waste, while air pollution is a result of burning fossil fuels, bushes and garbage. Normally, when many people don’t see any smoke, to them there is no pollution. They need to see chunks of grey matter caressing the skies for them to actually ascertain the presence of pollution without taking into account activities of landfills comprising solid and liquid waste, garbage, market waste, obsolete electronic products and mine dust. For quite some time, landfills were the most common means of disposing solid waste, especially in urban areas but currently, due to overpopulation of urban centres and the broken down of service delivery systems and poor governance by municipalities, mainly in the developing countries, landfills have become more of a sore-sight. When one looks at the large amounts of garbage and industrial waste (solid and liquid), deposited into human lifelines and sources of livelihoods like streams, rivers, dams and lakes, one would usually pose a question on whether the municipal correspondences or reporters are still available in developing countries. Of course, one cannot deny the fact there is accelerating air-pollution as a result of burning bushes, like what is currently obtaining during this time of the year, complemented by fossil fuel mining, thermal power production and burning garbage. But the activities that take place on and under the ground due chemicals and industrial waste as well as decomposition of materials that release toxins, land pollution should not be ignored as well. As many local authorities struggle with issues of bad governance, increased urbanisation, population growth, urban wetland farming and poor service deliveries, waste disposal systems are poorly managed, leading into the damage (more…)
Jun 192017
 
How Filipino children and adults risk their lives to eke out a pathetic living recycling waste Living among rotting rubbish, smoke-filled air and polluted water, these are the men, women and children who spend their lives scouring for recyclable treasures in a garbage-filled abyss – just so they can survive. Each day, as hundreds of truckloads of bags of waste are chucked onto the rubbish site in Paranaque, south of Manilia, the Philippines, gangs of so-called 'scavengers' rummage frantically to try and retrieve items they can sell for cash. Living in utter poverty, and employed for around $4 a day, these rubbish pickers are exposed every day to hazardous waste, such as used needles, as well as infectious diseases, including E coli, salmonella and pathogens that cause hepatitis and tetanus. And this is a scene which is played out on dozens of landfill sites across the world, as those living in extreme poverty try and make ends meet.  Now a set of eye-opening photos which convey the heat, stench and noise in which these pickers are forced to work have been released, to coincide with UN World Environment Day.  Celebrated every year on 5 June, and run by the United National Environment Programme, the day is a call for global awareness on protecting the environment. This year's theme – Small Islands and Climate Change – is marked by the slogan: 'Raise Your Voice Not The Sea Level'. According to the UN, people living in urban areas around the world generate 1.3 billion tonnes of waste per year and this will increase to 2.2 billion tonnes by 2025 – unless something is done to change it.      An elderly woman looks for recyclable items at a garbage dump in Paranaque, south of Manila, Philippines – but this is a sight witness in landfills and rubbish tips across the world, as those living in poverty try desperately to earn a living       So-called trash pickers and their families live amid rotting garbage so they can spend their days fishing valuable pieces items from a vast garbage tip, to sell on the streets themselves, or to hand over to those who employ them – in return for a meagre salary       +16 The eye-opening photos, which show the conditions in which these people work, have been released to mark UN World Environment Day, which takes place on June (more…)
Apr 112017
 
Land Department and MPKj officers visiting the former forest reserve of Bukit Enggang in Bandar Sungai Long. The site is being used to illegally dump rubbish and carry out open burning activities. — SAMUEL ONG/The Star ILLEGAL rubbish dumping and open burning at the former forest reserve of Bukit Enggang in Bandar Sungai Long are posing serious health problems for residents. Over the past 10 years, there have been about 10 illegal rubbish dumps in Bukit Enggang. The residents claimed this had made them fall sick and their children were coughing badly after inhaling smoke from the open burning. The illegal dumping problem has not been resolved despite residents’ many complaints and actions by the Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj). Sungai Long resident Yong Yew Hong, 53, who lived there for more than three years, said he jogged in Bukit Enggang every day. “At midnight every day a few rubbish and sand trucks filled with rubbish enter Bukit Enggang and come out empty,” said Yong when visiting the rubbish dump at Bukit Enggang. “There are about 10 rubbish dumps in the housing areas near Bukit Enggang where residents suffer from the foul smell and smoke from the burning of rubbish. “They start burning the rubbish in the evening every day. This causes the air in the housing area to be hazy. Another Sungai Long resident Lee Hui Leng, 34, said they were forced to close their windows and doors to keep the smoke out. “When my husband and I drove past the area one night, we noticed the people burning the rubbish with kerosene,” said Lee. Jogger Benny Ong, 74, said he had been exercising and jogging at Bukit Enggang for about 20 years. “Now Bukit Enggang is famous for illegal dumping. The foul smell and smoke from the rubbish dumps have kept joggers away. “There are food waste, broken furniture, development waste and many more at the rubbish dumps,” said Ong. Kajang Municipal councillor Lai Wai Chong said MPKj received 52 complaints from the residents in February and confiscated 12 vehicles. “Each offender was fined RM2,000 and their vehicles confiscated for a month. “We will return the vehicles to the offenders only after they pay up the fine,” he said, adding that the council would keep a 24-hour watch over the area to catch the culprits red-handed. Source: Open burning at illegal rubbish dumps a health risk for Bukit Enggang (more…)
Apr 032017
 
INDONESIA: The Methane Gas Canteen is an eatery like no other – it’s situated right in the middle of the Jatibarang Landfill in Semarang, Central Java, surrounded by mounds of putrefying waste, household rubbish, broken glass and plastic. Every day, while men, women and children dig through mountains of trash collecting plastic and glass bottles to sell, husband and wife team Sarimin and Suyatmi are busy cooking. Their customers? Cash-strapped scavengers who have the option to pay for their meals with plastic waste instead of money – part of the community’s novel solution to recycle the non-degradable plastic and reduce waste in the landfill. Mr Sarimin, 56, weighs the amount of plastic each customer brings to the diner and calculates how much it is worth. This value is then deducted from the cost of the meal, or any surplus value refunded to the customer. “I think we recycle 1 tonne of plastic waste a day, which is a lot. This way, the plastic waste doesn’t pile up, drift down the river and cause flooding. “This doesn’t only benefit the scavengers, it benefits everyone,” said Mr Sarimin. WATCH: How this works (2:08)   </p> </p></div> <p> The couple were profiled in a recent episode of Indonesia’s Game Changers, a series about inspiring individuals whose creativity and perseverance wrought changes around them. (Link: <a data-cke-saved-href="http://video.toggle.sg/en/series/indonesia-s-game-changers/ep3/483743" href="http://video.toggle.sg/en/series/indonesia-s-game-changers/ep3/483743">Watch the full episode here</a>) </p> <p> The diner, which seats about 30 people, serves dishes like mangut rice with catfish and rice with boiled egg for between US$0.40 and US$0.80 each. </p> <p> Opened in January 2016, the diner was the brainchild of Mr Agus Junaedi, the former head of Jatibarang Landfill. He was tasked in 2014 by Semarang’s mayor Hendrar Prihadi to reduce the amount of plastic waste in the landfill. Some 800 tonnes of waste end up in this landfill every day, and 40 per cent of it is plastic waste. </p> <p> Mr Agus said that price of plastic was drastically devalued at that time, at around US$0.04 per kg. “Naturally, no one wanted to collect plastic waste. So, we thought, why don’t we get the scavengers to pay for their meal with plastic waste” he said. </p> <p> <img alt="" data-cke-saved-src="http://www.channelnewsasia.com/blob/3645178/1491092442000/igc-landfill-4-data.jpg" src="http://www.channelnewsasia.com/blob/3645178/1491092442000/igc-landfill-4-data.jpg"/> </p> <p> <strong>FREE METHANE GAS FROM TRASH</strong> </p> <p> Mr Sarimin said he and his wife have doubled their daily income by opening the diner, compared to just scavenging alone. (more…)
Nov 142016
 
Wasting Away Waste And Landfill Landfills are the old form of waste treatment and are still commonly used in most places around the world. Since the advent of agriculture, humans have had to deal with garbage disposal. Yesterday’s dump was a pit or hill on the outskirts of town that played host to disease-carrying rodents, insects, and dangerous objects. Today, the number of “open landfills” in the world directly effect half of the world’s population, 3.5 billion people. 1 My study of waste and garbage has given me an insight into how civilizations handled waste through history. A Brief History of the Beginning The first recorded find of a “landfill” was in North America. Archaeological studies shows a clan of Native Americans in what is now Colorado produced an average of 5.3 pounds of waste a day. That was in 6500BC. Americans today produce about 5.4 pounds of waste per day. 2 Then in 500 BC, Athens Greece organized the first municipal dump in western world. Regulations required waste to be dumped at least a mile from the city limits. The New Testament of Bible refers to waste Jerusalem Palestine, in the Valley of Gehenna also called Sheoal in the New Testament of the Bible "Though I descent into Sheol, thou art there." Sheoal was apparently a dump outside of the city of that periodically burned. It became synonymous with "hell." The Threat of Waste Throughout history trash has played a continuous but invisible role. The diseases spawned during the middle ages devastated the world’s population but our history books talk about it and the rats but never do they talk about the garbage and the waste as having any responsibility for the diseases. 3 How Much Waste is too Much Current global Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) generation levels are approximately 1.3 billion tonnes per year, and are expected to increase to approximately 2.2 billion tonnes per year by 2025. This represents a significant increase in per capita waste generation rates, from 1.2 kg (2.64 lb) to 1.42 kg (3.12 lb) per person per day in the next fifteen years. However, global averages are broad estimates only as rates vary considerably by region, country, city, and even within cities. 4 MSW generation rates are influenced by economic development, the degree of industrialization, public habits, and local climate. Generally, the higher the economic development and rate of urbanization, the greater the (more…)
Oct 282016
 
The Global Situation Landfill gases have an influence on climate change. The major components are CO2 and methane, both of which are greenhouse gas. In terms of global warming potential, methane is over 25 times more detrimental to the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. Landfills are the third largest source of methane in the US. Biomass derived CO and CO 2 from landfills is not “counted” as contributing to global warming by the world organizations. Globally, trash released nearly 800 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent in 2010 — about 11 percent of all methane generated by humans. The United States had the highest total quantity of methane emissions from landfills in 2010: almost 130 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent. China was a distant second, with 47 million then Mexico, Russia, Turkey, Indonesia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Brazil and India, according to the Global Methane Initiative, an international partnership of government and private groups working to reduce methane emissions. Our landfill problems contribute directly to climate change. As organic material such as food scraps break down in a landfill, they eventually release methane into the atmosphere. Methane from landfill sites account for 12% of total global methane emissions and almost 5% of total greenhouse gas emissions. The Personal Situation We all take out our trash and feel lighter and cleaner. This statement includes everyone in the world. But at the landfill, the food and yard waste that trash contains is decomposing and releasing methane, a greenhouse gas that’s 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Landfill gas contributes to smog, worsening health problems like asthma. The Solution Green Fire does not try to capture the gases of the landfill, we change the conditions of the dump to reduce landfill greenhouse gas emissions. Green Fire processes all hydrocarbons on the landfill reducing them to useful fuels. These fuels are used to generate electricity to feed back into the local grid. The byproduct from the gasification process is carbon. Carbon can be used to "quite" a landfill by spreading it on fires and spreading it to absorb a great many toxins. Green Fire Engineered Reclamation has developed new ways to reclaim and recycle waste by producing fuels to generate electricity and reusable raw materials from landfill waste. Green Fire and its "Green" and "renewable" resources doesn't produce pollution in the process of reclamation and making energy. Our "Green Power" has no environmentally-damaging (more…)
Feb 182016
 
Here is the problem we are addressing. Open Dumpsites Open Dumpsites are a global problem. There are approximately 350 recognized open dump sites globally. They receive roughly 40% of the world’s waste and they serve about 3.5 – 4 billion people. That's half of the world's population. The 50 biggest dumpsites directly affect the daily lives of 64 million people, a population the size of France, and indirectly affect half the worlds population There have been and still are international calls for solutions to solve this escalating global health emergency. Green Fire has the solution. While the risk of disease and illness to millions of people living in the immediate vicinity of open dumpsites is cause for concern in its own right, the impact of the gases and toxins being released into the atmosphere by burning the waste has global consequences. Our intent is to achieve a coordinated response to the issue through a global alliance of organizations capable of delivering real change. Unless we do, the problem will exponentially accelerate as the global population increases We are Green Fire Green Fire is a passionate multi-disciplinary organization specializing in carefully engineered waste Remediation and Reclamation. A number of years ago our group came together with a focus on developing ways of economically resolving the global epidemic of health risks facing society from waste. The result is Green fire Engineered Reclamation. Green Fire Engineered Reclamation is an engineering company, made up of entrepreneurs, engineers, scientists and academic experts focused on the world's waste problem initially the open landfills. We pride ourselves on our ability as a collective group to integrate all appropriate technologies, Green Fire's as well as third party technologies. We integrate technologies to build the best possible solution for the landfill and the local community. We are focused on landfill mining.. With our technologies we are able to reclaim and re-purpose landfill real-estate by first removing the raw and useful materials from what has been rejected and secondly generating power from the remainder leaving only inert material to be used for manufacturing. What we do is process the waste through the “application of heat.” Green Fire has a patented technology several years in development and with several million dollars invested.. It is now ready to be taken into useful production. The Green Fire Technology is an efficient electrochemical system powered by electricity that produces an intense field of radiant (more…)