Waste Management

  • Large-scale trickle filters Featured Article Large-scale trickle filters Large-scale trickle filters

    Large-scale trickle filters are wastewater treatment facilities for biochemically oxidizing biodegradable substances present in municipal or industrial wastewater. They consist... More »

  • Living in a contaminated world Featured Article Living in a contaminated world Living in a contaminated world

    Humankind is now in its third generation since the chemical revolution—circa 1940. The myriad dimensions and implications of this worldwide phenomenon and its actual and... More »

  • Legacy of Waste Couture Featured Article Legacy of Waste Couture Legacy of Waste Couture

    This podcast with Dr. Luz Claudio of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York was produced by Ashley Ahearn*. It appeared first in Environmental Health... More »

  • Animal Agriculture and the Environment Featured Article Animal Agriculture and the Environment Animal Agriculture and the Environment

    Animal production industries have seen substantial changes over the past several decades, the result of domestic/export market forces and technological changes. The number of... More »

  • NASA's NanoSail-D Spacecraft Featured Article NASA's NanoSail-D Spacecraft NASA's NanoSail-D Spacecraft

    Click this link to view larger image Solar Sail Stunner In an unexpected reversal of fortune, NASA's NanoSail-D spacecraft has unfurled a gleaming sheet of space-age fabric... More »

Recently Updated
Animal Agriculture and the Environment Last Updated on 2014-11-15 14:53:25 Animal production industries have seen substantial changes over the past several decades, the result of domestic/export market forces and technological changes. The number of large operations has increased, and animal and feed production are increasingly separated in terms of both management and geography. Concern that these changes are harming the environment has prompted local, State, and Federal policies and programs to control pollution from animal production facilities. Changes in the structure of livestock and poultry production are behind many of the current concerns about animals and the environment. Structural changes have been driven by both innovation and economies of scale. Organizational innovations, such as production contract arrangements, enable growers to access the capital necessary to adopt innovative technologies and garner economies of size in their efforts... More »
Pollution Last Updated on 2014-11-09 17:40:04 Pollution is environmental contamination that results in harm or death to living organisms. Most pollution is in the form of chemical additions to air, water or soil; however, in modern times starting in the mid-twentieth century noise and light have been considered as pollution sources. Most pollution is man-made, with natural fluctuations in atmospheric composition, surface water bodies and soil considered temporal gyrations in the Earth's natural history. The chief driver of pollution is the massive growth in human population, which induces the proximate causes of intensive agriculture and extraordinary industrial output. The United Nations and the Blacksmith Institute[1] are two prominent organisations that tabulate locales of the greatest pollution intensity; while their listings do not correspond precisely, the overlap countries that both entities agree are the worst polluted... More »
Composting Last Updated on 2014-06-29 17:28:18 Composting is the controlled biological decomposition and pasteurization of organic materials under aerobic conditions— it involves the action of mesophilic microorganisms followed by thermophilic microorganisms that thrive under increased (more than 50 °C) temperature conditions and if correctly managed, can destroy disease-causing organisms, even weed seeds. Biodegradable organic matter is mineralized while carbon dioxide (CO2), water and heat are liberated, and the residual organic components are stabilized mainly to humic acids. There are various ways of composting—aerobic static piles (non-interventionary), aerobic windrows (interventionary), using worms (vermicomposting, which is in fact a different type of process that does not involve the thermophilic stages), etc. The choice of the method is usually based on the objective. There are many different technologies... More »
Vermicompost Last Updated on 2014-06-19 16:05:40 Vermicomposting, which is composting using worms, can be a faster alternative for organic waste treatment, with the added advantage of better quality fertilizer with nutrients in the slow-release form. Vermicomposting also adds valuable soil microbes into compost and digestive fluids of worms can also be beneficial. Vermicomposting is the breakdown of organic material that, in contrast to microbial composting, involves the joint action of different species of earthworms (not all earthworms are composting worms) and microorganisms and does not involve a thermophilic (i.e., high heat) stage. Because the matrix contains many different organisms, this can be considered as an anthropogenic ecosystem. As the agents of turning, fragmentation and aeration, the worms consume organic wastes such as food waste, animal wastes and sewage sludge to produce a soil conditioner. Vermicomposting may... More »
Plastic products and estrogenic chemicals Last Updated on 2014-06-14 12:26:55 Chemicals that mimic or antagonize the actions of naturally occurring estrogens are defined as having estrogenic activity (EA), which is the most common form of endocrine disruptor activity. This article, written by Chun Z. Yang, Stuart I. Yaniger, V. Craig Jordan, Daniel J. Klein, and George D. Bittner* appeared first in Environmental Health Perspectives—the peer-reviewed, open access journal of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The article is a verbatim version of the original and is not available for edits or additions by Encyclopedia of Earth editors or authors. Companion articles on the same topic that are editable may exist within the Encyclopedia of Earth. Most Plastic Products Release Estrogenic Chemicals: A Potential Health Problem That Can Be Solved Background: Chemicals having estrogenic activity (EA) reportedly cause many adverse health... More »