Over the years, the demand for effective solid waste management and recycling has drastically risen. This has mainly been due to the fast changing methods of consumerism and drastically increasing populations of towns with time. Lack of long term focus has greatly contributed to the menace as the urban systems are highly dynamic and require visionary establishment that project into the future. The problem has also been exacerbated by poor technology adoption that is necessary for ensuring solid waste is effectively treated.
Besides, modern planning systems require greater attention for recycling necessary for ensuring least pollution of environment while maximizing the utility of available materials. Failing to plan has been considered as major step in planning to fail in offering the necessary management of wastes in the major cities (Wilson et al, 2004). Most often, the term solid waste is used to denote municipal solid wastes which include all the wastes that are in non-liquid form generated within an urban setting.
They mostly include domestic wastes from the residential areas, business and commercial centers, industrial centers and construction regions within the town jurisdictions. Recycling on the other hand involves focus on the already produced wastes to increase their utility (Eugenie, 2008). It is aimed at bringing different materials back in a useful format though mostly different from the previous one. Urban planning and management interlinks the two concepts as they are directly dependent on each other for effective treatment and management.
This paper evaluates solid wastes and recycling as major considerations in urban planning. As a result, it extrapolates solid wastes management aspects necessary for consideration during urban planning. Acting as a structural system, the paper examines the waste stream from production up to disposal with appropriate planning aspects at each stage. Using examples of major cities and towns, effectiveness of solid waste planning and management systems are compared for efficiency. Besides, the paper also explores the possible planning and recycling techniques for solid wastes in the urban areas.
In the conclusion, the paper gives recommendations that can be assumed by various urban planners and managers to effectively manage and recycle their wastes. Overview and statistics In US, over 500, 000, 000 tons of solid wastes are generated annually by urban centers. However, only 35% of this waste is recycled while the rest is disposed off. These indicate a strong increase in the recycling capacity of 8% since the year 1990. However, the quantity indicated is much lower as Environmental Protection Agency does not take into consideration of the incinerated solid wastes and that in the illegal landfills.
Besides, this waste usually excludes health wastes which are categorized as hazardous wastes. Waste production has been increasing steadily since the onset of industrial revolution. About 0. 979 tons of wastes are disposed annually per person by the US population (Eugenie, 2008). However, the mode of handling the wastes differs greatly as states and towns have varying leadership and management as well as budgetary allocations. To add to that, the attitudes of the people in the major towns determine the suitability of the recycling processes thereby effectively contributing to the sorting out of the solid wastes for recycling process.
Majority of the US cities and states have been exporting their wastes to other regions for treatment and disposal. On average, Pennsylvania exports 9,764,000 tons, Virginia 3, 891, 000 tons, Illinois 1, 548, 000, and New York 5, 600, 000 tons. Though this trend has been greatly criticized, it is considered as a better option since majority of the states and towns lack the correct facilities to treat and dispose off their wastes safely (Eugenie, 2008). Solid waste collection and transportation
Arguably, town planning has diversified from the previous architectural focus to include new aspects of waste management that have become part of the same entity. Production capacity of an urban center is highly dependent on different factors that must be considered when drawing the management plan. Cognizant of the expansion capacity, the town must be fully equipped to collect various wastes produced in its jurisdictions. As the first step ample means of classifying the production regions and categorization of the same waste must be set in place.
This role is usually taken by the Solid waste management departments of the urban managements. Collection of solid wastes acts as one of the most important initial stages as it prevents spread of the same wastes in the areas of production. To effectively manage collection of wastes, Loss Angeles, San Francisco and London have established cooperative mechanisms where they link with the private sector for the collection purposes. However, the private sector operates in a business model that may at times harm the residents of the different cities through increased taxes.
Of greater importance, is the transport system for the collected wastes in different regions which has been accused of spreading the wastes collected along the transportation routes. Urban planning for solid wastes should always apply the principle of proximity choice which requires that wastes are treated and/ or disposed at the nearest possible point to reduce transferring related problems to other regions. Transportation for solid wastes should always be carried out in fully enclosed systems as different materials are light and can easily be dispersed away.
Since this forms a major point of interaction between the residents and the waste collecting institutions, it is of great importance to ensure that inclusive coordination and cooperation is enhanced for effectiveness. Major towns fail due to lack of effective collection and transportation mechanisms. Of greater concerns have been the plastic bags which have turned the whole solid waste management into a riddle for many towns. Their collection and transportation should therefore be immediate and highly effective. Solid waste treatment