Environmental Waste Management

Course CodeBEN202
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Through better waste management:

  • reduce pollution and contamination
  • turn liabilities into assets
  • create greater sustainability

Lesson Structure

There are 6 lessons in this course:

  1. Domestic Waste
    • Definitions
    • The Earths environment
    • Conservation and use of resources
    • Value of resources: economic, ecological and aesthetic
    • Damage being caused
    • UrbanisationThe impact of humans
    • Seweage and it's treatment
    • Characteristics of Sewage
    • Components of Sweage -solids, organic material, industrial waste
    • Decomposition of Sweage
    • The nitrogen cycle
    • Classification of Seweage Systems
    • Storm Water Systems and Management
    • Dry Rubbish
    • Nature of Refuse
    • Placement and protection of nins
    • Trade waste
    • Refuse Collection Systems
    • Refuse Collection vehicles
    • Salvage materials
    • Safe disposal of household chemicals
  2. Street Cleaning & Disposal Of Refuse
    • Types of Street Refuse
    • Methods of street cleaning -gritting, sanding, sweeping, washing, etc
    • Cleaning storm water pits
    • Managing snow
    • Refuse disposal-separation, controlled tipping, combustion, pulversisation, etc
    • Refuse for fertiliser
    • Methods of Refuse Sorting -screening, magnetic, hand sorting
    • Types of incinerators
    • Vacuumn systems for refuse collection -garchey system, gandillon
    • Harvesting energy from combustion.
  3. Industrial Waste
    • Types of industrial pollution
    • The greenhouse effect
    • Ozone depletion
  4. Toxic and Nuclear Waste
    • Nuclear power
    • Nuclear fission
    • Mining nuclear fuel
    • Uranium enrichment
    • Gas Diffusion
    • Gas centrifuge
    • Nuclear waste
    • Transporting nuclear waste
    • Reprocessing
    • Health risks of nuclear waste
  5. Water Quality and Treatment
    • Industrial effluent
    • Pricing control compared with direct control
    • Types of water impurities
    • Scope of purification
    • Managing water for public supply
    • Water treatment methods
    • Purification methods -sedimentation, filtration, disinfection, aeration, screening, etc
    • Recycling sewage water
    • Recycling waste water
    • Reed bed treatment
    • Improving water quality from any source -physical, chemical, biological impurities
    • Water borne diseases
  6. Recycling Waste
    • Scope and nature of recycling
    • Rubbish tips (dumps)
    • Recycling plastics
    • Recycling metals
    • Recycling glass
    • Recycling paper
    • Recycling rubber
    • Actions by individuals (at home or work) -reducing, reusing and recycling waste



Waste comes in many forms -solids, liquids and gases.

Sometimes management may involve finding an ingenious way to use or reuse the waste (or part of it); but often management may be more complicated and perhaps require storing it in a place where it won't cause an ongoing problem.  Polluted water for instance, may become a significant health issue if left uncontrolled in the environment, however, if treated to remove harmful components, it can become clean and able to be reused in a constructive way.



This includes interventions from small up to large scale. An example of a large-scale intervention is where strict controls are applied to gas emissions from factories.  This may reduce nitrous oxide and sulphur dioxide gases entering the air and forming acid rain which can fall into water and pollute it. Another example is where the use of pesticides and fertilisers in farming are strictly controlled to reduce runoff and leaching losses of agrochemicals into water. Public education can also contribute to reduction in pollution e.g.  people are encouraged not to throw waste on beaches where it can enter marine environments.  On the small-scale end, water treatments can be applied at locations e.g.  a mining wastewater outlet to reduce pollutants and improve water quality in discharged effluent.

Direct controls include approaches such as setting limits and quotas on polluting activities, banning certain activities or specifying by law minimum processing requirements. Voluntary compliance relies on public opinion.  

Both environmentalist and economist groups are in favour of pricing measures; that is the use of monetary rewards or penalties.  These controls are believed to be more efficient and more permanent.  However, some argue these methods are too narrow in their approach and an effective control policy requires a wide array of tools and a willingness to use each as directed.


Water purification steps often involve a series of different treatments before arriving at an acceptable level of water purity. The number and type of steps depend on the pollution level and types in the initial water e.g. wastewater requires many treatment steps.  

Often drinking water purification follows the steps of:  Screening, coagulation, settling, filtering, disinfection. 

Wastewater may involve many variants of Primary treatment (screening, aeration, sedimentation etc.); Secondary treatment (aeration, digestion settling and separation); and Tertiary Treatment (disinfection, filtering) depending on wastewater type and facility.