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Applying Blockchain Technology To Waste Management


The world is drowning in an ever-growing heap of garbage. Food waste and trash are accumulating at such a speedy rate that towns and cities are turning into a garbage bins. Several nations are struggling to find a convenient solution for waste management. Do we have a sustainable solution to address waste disposal problem? The answer is yet to be discovered.

COVID-19's unsustainable waste management


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to an abrupt collapse of waste management chains. Safely managing medical and domestic waste is crucial to successfully containing the disease ([ 1 ][1]). Mismanagement can also lead to increased environmental pollution. All countries facing excess waste should evaluate their management systems to incorporate disaster preparedness and resilience. Wuhan, the COVID-19 epicenter of China, experienced a massive increase of medical waste from between 40 and 50 tons/day before the outbreak to about 247 tons on 1 March ([ 2 ][2]). Cities such as Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Hanoi, and Bangkok experienced similar increases, producing 154 to 280 tons more medical waste per day than before the pandemic ([ 3 ][3]). Meanwhile, the widespread lockdown has caused a substantial increase in domestic waste in the United Kingdom ([ 4 ][4]). These large amounts of waste require collection and recycling, both of which are compromised as a result of manpower shortages and efforts to enforce infection control measures ([ 5 ][5], [ 6 ][6]). Disrupted services have led to waste mismanagement increases of 300% in some rural UK communities ([ 7 ][7]). With fewer options available, traditional waste management practices such as landfills and incineration are replacing more sustainable measures such as recycling, with adverse effects on the environment ([ 8 ][8]). The U.K. Environment Agency further threatens the environment by allowing temporary storage of waste and incineration ash at sites that have not been granted a permit, as is usually required ([ 9 ][9], [ 10 ][10]). To address the overflow of medical waste, the United Kingdom and other affected countries should install mobile treatment systems near hospitals and health care centers ([ 2 ][2]). The design and analysis of sustainable waste management chains, including logistics, recycling, and treatment technologies and policies, should be prioritized ([ 11 ][11]). To reduce the socioeconomic and environmental impacts of waste management, the whole system must be considered, including waste generation, collection, transport, recycling and treatment, recovered resource use, and disposal of remains. Protecting waste management chains will help achieve sustainable cities and communities as outlined in the UN Sustainable Development Goals ([ 12 ][12]). 1. [↵][13]World Health Organization, “Water, sanitation, hygiene, and waste management for the COVID-19 virus: Interim guidance” (2020). 2. [↵][14]1. Z. H. Si, 2. Y. Li , “Medical waste treatment in Wuhan from emergency to stability,” Xin Hua Net (2020); [][15] [in Chinese]. 3. [↵][16]Asian Development Bank, “Managing infectious medical waste during the COVID-19 pandemic” (2020). 4. [↵][17]Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning, and Transport, “COVID 19—waste survey results w/c 27 April” (2020). 5. [↵][18]European Commission, “Waste management in the context of the coronavirus crisis” (2020). 6. [↵][19]Association of Cities and Regions for Sustainable Resource Management, “Municipal waste management and COVID-19” (2020). 7. [↵][20]1. K. P. Roberts et al ., “Rubbish is piling up and recycling has stalled—waste systems must adapt,” The Conversation (2020). 8. [↵][21]1. J. J. Klemeš et al. Renew. Sustain. Energ. Rev. 127, 109883 (2020). [OpenUrl][22] 9. [↵][23]UK Environment Agency, “COVID-19 and temporary storage of incinerator bottom ash aggregate: RPS C16” (2020). 10. [↵][24]UK Environment Agency, “COVID-19 and storing waste at unpermitted sites due to exceeding your storage limits: RPS C17” (2020). 11. [↵][25]1. R. Djalante, 2. R. Shaw, 3. A. DeWit , Prog. Disaster Sci. 6, 100080 (2020). [OpenUrl][26] 12. [↵][27]United Nations, “Sustainable development goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable” (2020). [1]: #ref-1 [2]: #ref-2 [3]: #ref-3 [4]: #ref-4 [5]: #ref-5 [6]: #ref-6 [7]: #ref-7 [8]: #ref-8 [9]: #ref-9 [10]: #ref-10 [11]: #ref-11 [12]: #ref-12 [13]: #xref-ref-1-1 "View reference 1 in text" [14]: #xref-ref-2-1 "View reference 2 in text" [15]: [16]: #xref-ref-3-1 "View reference 3 in text" [17]: #xref-ref-4-1 "View reference 4 in text" [18]: #xref-ref-5-1 "View reference 5 in text" [19]: #xref-ref-6-1 "View reference 6 in text" [20]: #xref-ref-7-1 "View reference 7 in text" [21]: #xref-ref-8-1 "View reference 8 in text" [22]: {openurl}?query=rft.jtitle%253DRenew.%2BSustain.%2BEnerg.%2BRev.%26rft.volume%253D127%26rft.spage%253D109883%26rft.genre%253Darticle%26rft_val_fmt%253Dinfo%253Aofi%252Ffmt%253Akev%253Amtx%253Ajournal%26ctx_ver%253DZ39.88-2004%26url_ver%253DZ39.88-2004%26url_ctx_fmt%253Dinfo%253Aofi%252Ffmt%253Akev%253Amtx%253Actx [23]: #xref-ref-9-1 "View reference 9 in text" [24]: #xref-ref-10-1 "View reference 10 in text" [25]: #xref-ref-11-1 "View reference 11 in text" [26]: {openurl}?query=rft.jtitle%253DProg.%2BDisaster%2BSci.%26rft.volume%253D6%26rft.spage%253D100080%26rft.genre%253Darticle%26rft_val_fmt%253Dinfo%253Aofi%252Ffmt%253Akev%253Amtx%253Ajournal%26ctx_ver%253DZ39.88-2004%26url_ver%253DZ39.88-2004%26url_ctx_fmt%253Dinfo%253Aofi%252Ffmt%253Akev%253Amtx%253Actx [27]: #xref-ref-12-1 "View reference 12 in text"

Russia will count waste incineration as a form of recycling recycling

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A new plan to improve Moscow's waste disposal programs will classify incineration as a form of recycling. According to the plan, released by the Moscow city government on Monday, any form of burning trash that generates heat or electric energy will be counted as recycling. The new policy is part of the city's efforts to improve its waste collection and disposal efforts between 2020 and 2029. The city of Moscow will produce 8 million tons of waste materials in 2019, posing a significant problem for the region's landfills Earlier this summer, the city promised it would launch a citywide recycling program that would make separate recycling bins mandatory for all residential buildings. The recycling plan would include plastic, glass, paper, cardboard, and aluminum.

Using Artificial Intelligence To Achieve Zero Waste


Artificial intelligence technologies can be used to help buildings and spaces track their waste in real-time and engage users by nudging them to correctly sort their waste. According to a study by the World Bank, 98% of the world's waste is sent to landfills, dumped into oceans or being incinerated, even though a high majority of daily consumables are recyclable. This is primarily due to the high level of contaminants found in recyclables, making previously clean material practically unrecyclable and financially unmarketable. In Toronto, for every percentage point decreased in contaminated waste can create up to $1 million in recycling cost savings every year, which can be attributed to the management and sorting costs incurred by the waste hauling and collection companies. Intuitive is a Canadian company which seeks to achieve zero waste through their AI solution, Oscar.

China's largest garbage dump at capacity -- 25 years early

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines for Nov. 15 are here. Check out what's clicking on China's biggest dump is already full -- 25 years early -- after the massive amount of waste produced by the country's 1.4 billion people forced the garbage graveyard to accept four times as much trash per day as it was designed for. The Jiangcungou landfill in the northwestern city of Xi-an was constructed in 1994 to serve more than eight million people. It was built to last until the year 2044 and encompassed 7,534,730 square feet, which is nearly the size of 100 football fields.