Advanced Waste Management And Economic Growth

pages Pages: 4word Words: 890

Question :

Format: The report must be prepared as a professional engineering report with an abstract,

introduction, data collection and analysis and conclusions. The report must include

headings and appropriate levels of sub-headings. It must also include table of content, list of abbreviations, figures and tables. All the literature data must be appropriately referenced. Harvard style referencing must be used. Students are expected to produce about 4,000 word length (20 pages) report (excluding title page, table of content, list c abbreviations, figures and tables).

Students must select a 10 ha (315 m x 315 m) area of an urban area within Australia.  Selected are must include some commercial and institutional areas. For the selected area, carryout the following data collection and analysis:

- Number of residential and commercial properties.

- Estimate the quantity of waste generated from these houses.

- Estimate the quantities for each type of waste that is generated.

- Identify the processing required for each of the waste types.

- Design the processing centre.

- Identify the resources that can be recovered, annually.

- Identify the appropriate disposal options.

- Design the selected disposal options.

- Evaluate all the resources recovery and diposal options using triple bottom line approach.

- Provide a succinct summary of all the data that was collected and analysed.

- Develop a thought provoking conclusions and recommendati

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Answer :



Waste generation is inherited to inhabited areas. The study shows that the waste generated is directly proportional to the population and economic growth.  Waste management is the need of the hour. The three steps which forms the base of waste management are the 3Rs – 

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.  While reduce transfers the burden on the waste generators, reuse and recycle are part of waste management Techniques. Waste management is becoming an upcoming business line. The recycling and reuse of waste generated are being looked upon as the business opportunities because the cost of procuring the raw material is negligible and the market value of the recycled products is significant.

Australia is showing great economic growth and hence generating more waste. But it will not be wrong to say that  Australia generates less of municipal waste and recycles more waste that is generated (Australia National Waste Report, 2016)) The major sources of waste generation are:

  • Domestic
  • Commercial (restaurants, shopping centers, markets, etc
  • Institutional (schools, community gathering places, etc
  • Public (parks, streets, sidewalks, etc
  • Industrial

Due to growth and development Australia is generating more waste which can be classified as commercial and industrial waste and demolition waste. However it ends up recycling most of it. Due to low population density the domestic waste generated the country is less and is mostly processed. 

Waste management is the need of the hour because of the increasing population and the resulting pollution to the natural resources and environment by the waste generated. The report selects a given area of 10h and estimates the waste generated from the area. The report designs the waste management and disposal plan the area and concludes that proper waste management not only reduces the pollution to our surroundings but also generates profit that can be used in development of the area. 

Area Selected

The area selected is from the urban part of Australia. The area selected is within the following latitudes and longitudes:





Output Area: 

98086.18 m² 0.10 km² | 24.24 acres | 9.81 hectares | 1055790.81 feet² | 0.04 square miles | 0.03 square nautical miles

Output Perimeter

1270.328m OR 4167.741feet

Output Perimeter

The map can be viewed at the following link <>

Population in the area:

The area selected in Sydney near the University of Sydney and is highly populated place in Australia. According to the European Commission report (2018) to produce a map called the Global Human Settlement Layer, report in Sydney had an average density of 2800 people per square kilometre in 2015. Forming this as the basis, the population of the above area is estimated as 274.

Waste Generated

Waste generated is of various types. The waste can be classified on the following basis:

Garbage  or kitchen wasteWastes from preparation, cooking, and serving of food; market wastes; wastes from handling, storage, and sale of produce Households, restaurants, institutions, stores, markets – this waste can be mostly composted and used to prepare good quality manures
Rubbish Combustible: paper, cartons, boxes, barrels, wood, excelsior, tree branches, yard trimmings, wood furniture, bedding Noncombustible: metals, tin cans, metal furniture, dirt, glass, crockery, mineralsInstitutional- this waste can be easily recycled or reused
Ashes Residue from fires used for cooking and heating and from on-site incineration  This is the waste that goes to landfills and should be processed to reduce the negative effect on environment
Street refuse Sweepings, dirt, leaves, catch basin dirt, contents of litter receptacles Public utilities: streets, sidewalks, alleys, vacant lots, parks, etc. – this waste goes to landfills and mostly compostable
Abandoned vehicles Unwanted cars and trucks left on public property 
  • They are completely reusable and recyclable
Industrial wastes Food-processing wastes, boiler house cinders, lumber scraps, metal scraps, shavings, residues from pollution control devices. Industries – this waste needs to be processed before it is disposed off  in the environment.
Demolition and construction  wastes Lumber, pipes, brick, masonry, and other construction materials from razed buildings and other structures Demolition sites to be used for new buildings, projects, expressways 
Special wastes Hazardous solids and liquids; explosives, pathological wastes, radioactive materials Households, hotels, hospitals, institutions, stores, industries – this waste needs processing before it is disposed off
Sewage treatment residue Solids from screening, grit chambers, septic tanks, biological processes Sewage treatment plants, septic tanks – this waste is disposed off in landfills

Once the type of waste generated by the population in the locality is identified, the waste is to be segregated. Segregation of waste is important because the different types of waste need different types of treatment and processing. The mixed waste become impossible to process and is very dangerous for the environment.

According to the Australian National Waste Report (2016), in  2014-15 Australia produced about 64 million tonnes of waste, which is equivalent to 2.7 tonnes of waste per capita. Almost 60% of this was recycled.

The waste per capita is classified in the report as follows:

 waste per capita

The area identified is the educational institutional area and hence the waste generated is mainly :

  • Garbage/kitchen waste
  • Rubbish and
  • Street Refuse

On the basis of the data provided by the Australia National report, the waste generated is calculated as follows:

Table 1: Waste generated for the Area

 Waste (in Kgs) 
 Kitchen/GarbageRubbishStreet Refuse Total 
Per capita                542                 375                91              1,008 
For the given population       1,48,508        1,02,750        24,934        2,76,192 

Segregation of Waste

The waste can be segregated on the various basis. The waste can be

  • Disposal waste- which means  the waste which goes to land fill
  • Recyclable – this refers to the process of recovery from the waste like conversion of organic waste into methane that is subsequently combusted to generate electricity.
  • Reused/Recovery- the waste which can be used to recover the energy used.

The term ‘resource recovery’ is used to represent the sum of recycling and energy recovery. ‘Waste generation’ is used to represent the sum of disposal and resource recovery.

In the above classification of waste – 

  1. Kitchen and garbage is recyclable waste as it is organic waste and can be used to generate bio gas or can be simple composted to generate manure.
  2. Rubbish waste includes the mixture of plastic, boxes, glass and other waste which are discarded by the people. It includes some amount of hazard waste as well. The waste needs to be further segregated into different types of solid waste to plan the processing. 
  3. Street refuse is the litter, street dust, leaves etc which can be disposed off and go to land fill after separating the plastics from it.

Table 2: Detailed segregation of waste for Area

 Waste (in Kgs) 
 Kitchen/GarbageRubbishStreet Refuse Total 
  Paper & CardboardPlasticsGlass  
Per capita                                 542                 223                 107                   45                91              1,008 
For the given population                        1,48,508           61,102           29,318           12,330        24,934        2,76,192 

The processing of the waste will differ according to the waste generated

Collection/ Processing for Each Type of Waste

For the waste generated and segregated in the above covered area the following collection process is planned:

  • The total garbage generated by the population in the area is 2,76,192 kgs. The kitchen/wet waste is about 148,508 Kgs while the other waste is 102,750 kgs. The remaining is the street refuse. The garbage will be picked up using the Curb side pickup method.  It is the quickest and most economical. It is preferred as it does not involve the crew to enter property and hence ensures security of the households. The process will use standard containers which are commonly used in Sydney.  The collection process will be automatic and can easily be managed by single person (driver) for one truck.
  • The process will need a curb side truck with compactor. The garbage will be kept segregated as wet waste and dry waste. The automated truck will have two compartments for the two types of waste. The driver of the truck will ensure that the waste from the cart is emptied in the appropriate compartment.
  • This system requires the use of specially designed, wheeled carts. The three carts to be kept for waste will be as follows: the green organics cart, the blue recycling cart and the black garbage cart.
  • The households are responsible for storing the carts and having them at the street by 8 a.m. on collection day. The  collection will be made weekly. The two carts will be kept by each household outside their side on the allocated day of the week. Both the carts will be kept together and the collection for both the carts will take place simultaneously.  The driver will direct each cart to be emptied into the appropriate compartment for the cart’s materials. The waste carts will be provided to each household free of cost.
  • Considering the capacity of each truck  to be 500 kgs of each type of waste, the process will involve buying the Rear lift truck. These truck are best for the limited area and space. Sydney being the highly populated place and the institutional area selected has more of student population; the rear lift trucks will be considered. The rear lift truck lifts manually collected bins and transports them to the rear of the truck to be automatically emptied and compacted. On-board safety features include a reversing camera, reversing lights and beepers, hydraulic lift valves and heated external mirrors.
  • The garbage will be transported to the site of processing where, the  wet waste will be processed for composting and the wet waste will be segregated into cardboards/ boxes, plastics and glasses and each of the waste will be processed further. The street residue mainly leaves and dust will be processed together with the wet/garbage. 

Processing of the waste is the activity that is performed to reduce the negative impact of the waste on the environment and extract resource out of the waste. The processing varies with the type of the waste generated. The various activities that need to be carried out on the said waste collected include:

  1. Size reduction: The processing is important for the solid dry waste. The waste in the form of cardboards and boxed are big in size and need lots of space to store. Size reduction helps in obtaining the final product in a reasonably uniform and considerably reduced size in comparison to the original form. Paper shredders are the simplest and easiest way of reducing the size. The size reduction does not affect the recovery of materials from the waste but just reduces the size of the waste and makes it easy to handle the waste. But note that size reduction does not necessarily imply volume reduction. 
  2. Volume Reduction in compactor: Volume reduction is another way of handling the solid waste. It is required to be done by machines in some cases like dealing with glass or hard material and hazardous wastes.  Mechanical volume and size reduction is an important factor in the development and operation of any SWM system. The main purpose is to reduce the volume (amount) and size of waste, as compared to its original form, and produce waste of uniform size. When wastes are compressed, their volume is reduced, which is normally expressed in percentage and computed by equation given below: 

Volume Reduction (%)= (Vi-Vf / Vf )×100 And the compaction ratio of the waste is Compaction ratio = Vi / Vf where Vi = volume of waste before compaction, m3 and Vf = volume of waste after compaction, m3.

Design of Processing Centre

The processing centre will require the following:

  1. Composting area for wet waste. This can be done in big composting containers. 
  2. There needs  to be an large place where the sorting of dry waste is done and the sorted material is compressed into manageable size and volume. The segregated material will then be sold to the recycling houses to be used as raw material. 

Since the area covered is small and the quantity of garbage generated is less, it is not feasible to set up a different waste recycling plants and it is mo=re beneficial to sell the segregated dry waste to the recycling houses. 

Resources Required and Recovered

The processing of the waste requires the following resources:

  1. Carts of capacity 50 gallons- very house hold needs three carts. The green, blue and black. The cart needs to be provided to each household.
  2. Trucks for pick up – the garbage pickup trucks needs to be purchased or hired to perform the pick up activity and then dropping the collected waste at the processing centre.
  3. Composting containers- the wet waste composting will be done in the containers that need to be purchased and kept at the processing centre. The compost generated form them will be available for sale in the market.
  4. Place for segregation of waste and placing the composting stations- the processing centre needs a place, typically hall covered where the segregated waste can be kept until they are picked up by the recycling companies. Someone space is also needed where the composting containers can be kept.
  5. Manpower:- drivers for each truck. The drivers will perform the composting activity  on the rest days when the waste pick up in not taking place.

Table 3: Cost of resources required


No of households (Average 4)69

Item/ProductNO of unitsPrice/UnitTotal Cost
Garbage Trucks1.001,30,0001,30,000
composting containers54,00020,000
Driver140000 p.a.40,000
Supplies and other materials10000 p.a.10,000



The garbage collection price per house is $50 / annum 

The recovery from the project will be as follows:

RevenueQuanity (kgs)Rate (per 100 kg)Per Annum (in $)
Collection revenue (per household)
Sales of Cardboard/paper223171381.33
Sale of plastic107375401.25
Sale of Glass453013.5
Sale of compost generated (100 kgs of compost is made from 150 kgs of organic waste)                           99,005 4 per kg       3,96,020 



It can be observed from the above calculations that the costs of the waste management facility is recovered in the first year itself and in the following years the facility will be self sustainable and even generate significant profit to the community.

The excess of resources generated from the processing of the waste can be even used to hire a larger location for segregating the waste. Also after discussing with larger localities the waste processing facility can be dedicatedly planned to address to the needs of the place.

The Australia national Waste  Report 2016 also shows that the recovery from the waste is substantial if the right process are utilised.

Disposal of Waste

Disposal of waste in the right way is not only the need of the environment and nature but is also a very good resource. It is observed everywhere than whenever the waste is segregated and managed effectively it results in generation of more resources than the waste generated. source of energy. The researches show that the waste industry currently recycles around half of the waste generated in Australia. The remainder – residuals from recycling and mixed putrescible wastes – is land filled. However, it cannot be ignored that there are challenges to both the ways: 

• Recycling – The recycling industry comprises three segments construction materials; organics; and discarded packaging. The major waste generated in the area under consideration is the paper/cardboard waste and other rubbish. This waste can be easily recycled. However segregation and transportation of the waste to the recycling sites is major concern. The sites require large space and are generally established in the suburbs. The transportation time and cost is high which makes it difficult for all the waste to reach the recycling locations. 

• Landfill – Major landfill practices have improved significantly and are evidenced by most sites embracing composite liners, leachate extraction and disposal capability, landfill gas combustion and responsible long term rehabilitation and after use. Unfortunately, many smaller regional landfills are not at this standard and more needs to be done to close the poorer quality sites and provide local waste transfer facilities. Even though certain waste are to go to landfills only, lack of segregation and mixing of the waste reduces the natural composting process and even results in secretion of harmful gases affecting the environment negatively. 

Thus considering the above concerns, the best way to dispose of the waste is to either sell it to the recycling organisations or give it to the government organisations which process the waste which is to go for land fills. Directly dumping the waste into landfills will result in destroying the environment and cause more harm to the nature.

As concern over climate change continues to influence environmental policy, the waste industry is well positioned to contribute to emission reduction by diverting organics from landfills for processing. This initiative has commenced in some city markets but has considerable scope for expansion. Diverting organics from landfill has a double benefit – reduced landfill gas emissions and sequestered soil carbon contributing to improved farm production. Other opportunities are also now becoming available from the use of mechanised waste sorting technology that allows acceptance of organic wastes with higher levels of contamination without compromising product quality. Thus the composting of the organic waste   provides good quality manure which helps in improving the farm land productivity. 

Summary of the Project

The evaluation of the waste management and disposal plan in the selected area in Sydney, shows that the total cost of managing the waste and processing it for a small area is less than the resources generated and recovered from the waste management process. The cost of the e garbage truck and the bins is recovered in  the first year itself from  the sale of the compost manure than will be generated from the kitchen or wet organic garbage in the year. 

Since the area identified is small it is not possible to have the glass, plastic and other waste processing facilities in the area. Thus  it is considered that the waste will be segregated and will be sold to the recycling companies to recycle the waste so segregated. 

Though the transpiration cost of the recyclable material form teh site to the recycling companies is not considered because the truck used for picking garbage can be used to deliver the material on non waste picking days. Also the project is delivering excess of resource in  the first year itself which can be easily used to streamline the process once the segregation starts and the households keep the waste out of their house  to be picked up.

However there are some risk associated with the project. They are as follows:

  1.  the inability of the households to put the garbage out of their house to be picked up. It has been observed, many times that the households are not regular to put the waste outside to be picked up by the truck. The waste is then later on disposed inappropriately.
  2. It is assumed that the composting containers will be kept on the road corner or the empty space which will easily available in the area or given by the government authority for the activity. In urban areas, at times it becomes very difficult to find space for very small activities even. In this satiation it might become a problem to find pace for composting the organic waste.
  3. Segregation is the other major requirement of the waste management plan. The lack of segregation of waste will result in failure of the project. With the students and young population more in the area the problems in segregation are more expected. 
  4. There may not be any waste recycling industries in the near by area and this might make it practically impossible to transport the recyclable waste to the recycling facilities. 

Conclusion and Recommendations

Waste policies and programs have been established at all levels of Australian governments— Commonwealth, state, territory and local. Policy and legislative responsibility for waste rests with the states and territories, and policy at this level has the greatest influence on waste management.

Suitable locations are needed for processing this important and beneficial resource. Facilities must be located with consideration to end user markets to reduce freight costs to end users. The capital investment required to establish these facilities requires early support to deliver long term benefits. Material should be categorised and directed to its most suitable reuse process; either sustainable power generation or manufacture of compost and other soil amendments. Opportunities The key to delivering change is the establishment of sustainable demand for finished products. Agriculture is the primary target. Prior to the development of synthetic fertiliser, manure and compost were the primary soil fertility products. While synthetic fertilisers have delivered extraordinary growth in yields and profits, those gains are now plateauing and the re-emergence of the two soil fertility products looks inevitable. In many cases the loss of soil fertility can be attributed to a reduction in soil organic matter through ‘conventional’ farming methods. It is here that the greatest opportunities lie to improve soil health and vitality, leading to increased yields and profits. This link is not in dispute. Improvements to soil health deliver: 

• more efficient nutrient cycling resulting in lower fertiliser requirements 

• increased water holding capacity, which buffers against unreliable rainfall 

• reduced pest infestations.

From the above small waste management facility it is concluded that waste management is a very resourceful activity which not only keeps the surrounding and environment clean but also enhances the sustainability. 

It is recommended that waste management should be carried out micro level  to make it more profitable and sustainable.