Incineration is the process of burning combustible materials. In this case the burning of refuse. The heat, a by-product of incineration process can be used to raise steam. Although incineration process is efficient in rendering the refuse harmless, it can cause nuisance and inefficiency. This is especially so because of the odors that are produced by the incinerators. Hence, proper siting of the factory which carries out incineration should be done.
When siting the following considerations should be put in place: First and foremost, the centrality of the site, with regards to refuse collection places. This is due to the bulky nature of refuse waste. Secondly, the site should be adjacent to the factory which will utilize the steam produced as a result of incineration. This is because the heat loss will be inevitable if piping of steam over a long distance is done. An example of use could be to heat up a swimming pool. In this case, the pool should be screened before the public uses this facility. This is done so as to so that the general public health is not affected. Thirdly, is the accessibility of the site by either road or rail. And finally, it should be located far away from residential areas, especially residential areas that are exposed to odors and dust that swept by the prevailing wind.
Refuse fertilizer comprises of mainly street refuse which is the dust of different types originating from wearing of road surfaces, the residue of chippings and or other materials that are spread by the local authority. It also includes bus tickets, cigarettes, and cartoons. Apart from that, there are papers, straw, and materials falling from vehicles. Street refuses also include matters falling from the air as a result of the manufacturing process, soot and carbon from industries. After removal of tins and from the refuse, manure waste, sweeps and also gulley contents are added to the refuse. Solid matters which are harmful are also removed then the remaining content is thus used as fertilizers.
The advantage of this type of fertilizer is that it has a lightening effect and is good for aeration of heavy soil. Ukoje & Yusuf (2013) states that since compost contains plants in available form, it is good for increasing agricultural production. Besides that, it is also useful in pollution control and bioremediation, landscaping, erosion control, reforestation as well as wetland restoration and disease control.
It also does have disadvantages of having little value or no value to light and sandy soil. Apart from that, it has a small fertilizing value which is as follows: organic matter 34.0%, Nitrogen 0.5%, and Potash 0.5%. According to Ukoje & Yusuf (2013), refuse fertilizer alone is not enough to sustain high production level. Another disadvantage is the bulkiness nature of the fertilizer. This will result in increased cost of transport since markets are not easily accessible.
Other than separation followed by composting or incineration, there is an alternative modern method of refuse disposal which is controlled tipping. If there is a properly organized system in place and accessible land, the tipping is relatively economical as compared to incineration. This is because incineration produces smoke, dust and harmful gases. If carried in accordance with regulations laid down this method of refusal disposal is not only hygienic but also cheap. The local authority normally has a technique of tipping which is shown below.
Process of Controlled Tipping
The initial task is to ensure that deposits are made in layers with no layer exceeding 1.8 meters in depth. After which each layer is covered by at least 230 millimeters of earth or other substances on all sides that are exposed to air. However, care must be taken not to leave more than 84 square meters uncovered at any given time, during the formation of layers. From the time of deposit, no refuse should be left uncovered for more than seventy-two hours.
Secondly, is to prevent any paper or other debris from being blown from the place of deposit. Hence, sufficient screen or other suitable apparatus will be necessary to prevent this.
Thirdly, ultimate care should be taken to prevent refuse from being deposited in water. This is to prevent water pollution. Also, reasonable precaution should be undertaken to prevent the outbreak of fire. Besides that, refuse consisting of organic matter such as fish or animal refuse must be covered with 0.75metres of earth immediately it has been deposited. Finally, the surface of the tip should be limited to the height of the surrounding land.
After several years the content of controlled tipping becomes completely harmless as a result of a biochemical change. This change is known as fermentation. The process is caused by the formation of minute growths and catalyzed by moisture and heat. These growths tend to feed on matter constituting the refuse in particular carbon and nitrogen. This will cause a highly complex chemical change that disintegrates the organic substances present in the refuse. As a result of these simple elements and compounds of sterile nature are formed. The temperature of between 500 to 700degrees is used to kill pathogenic bacteria. A consolidated tip can be turfed or sown with grass seed and hence used for recreation purpose. Proper precaution measure must be taken to prevent nuisance such as breeding of flies or vermin, an outbreak of fire and pollution of water as a result of emission of foul smell.
Ukoje, J. A., & Yusuf, R. O. (2013). Organic fertilizers: The Underestimate component in agricultural transformation initiative for sustainable smallholder farming in Nigeria. Ethiopian Journal of Environmental Studies and Management, 299.
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