Geography WC contemporary sustainability issues
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How much waste does the average person in the UK produce every year?
In 2010, how much money did London Borough council spend on waste management?
How many plastic bottles are thrown away every year in the UK?
Approx. 10 billion
How many mobile phones are thrown away every year in the UK?
15 million (which could be reused or recycled)
What is energy recovery as a waste management option?
- Waste that can't be composted, reused or recycled is incinerated to generate heat and electricity.
- Hazardous materials such as biological medical waste can be disposed via this method.
What is composting as a waste management option?
- Breakdown of organic waste which can be used on a small scale to fertilise gardens or on a larger scale to be burnt and generate electricity
- Germany is a country which do this
What is landfill as a waste management option?
Burying waste, usually in old quarries or hollows
What is reduction as a waste management option?
Lowering the amount of waste produced
What is re-using as a waste management option?
Making use of products multiple times. This tends to be easier for individuals
What is recycling as a waste management option?
The process of extracting resources or value from waste to be made into new products, such as plastic bottles
What is are the main advantages to energy recovery as a waste management option?
- Reduces the use of fossil fuels
- Creates a range of jobs
What is are the main advantages to composting as a waste management option? (list 4)
- Can be done on individual and large scale
- Household composts reduce cost of waste disposal for local authority
- Produces biogas and fertiliser
- Composting is sustainable
- Decreases waste to landfill
- Renewable and not reliant on fossil fuels
What is are the main advantages to landfill as a waste management option?
- Convenient and cheap
- System established and waste is dealt with quickly
- Once a landfill site is full, it can be covered up and serve a different purpose (eg car-park)
What is are the main advantages to reducing as a waste management option?
- Easy for individuals to do (eg taking their name off mailing lists to reduce paper waste)
- Large companies can reduce packaging resulting in less waste and less money spent on packaging (more profit for them)
What is are the main advantages to re-using as a waste management option?
- Less waste ends up in landfill
- Potential to make it fashionable, sell re-used wares like jars that are now candle holders etc
What is are the main advantages to recycling as a waste management option?
- Quicker and cheaper than making things from scratch
- Less energy used to make new products
- Reduces landfill waste
What is are the main disadvantages to energy recovery as a waste management option?
- Releases harmful carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere which may result in incinerators being shut down
- There are not enough incinerators to fulfil the total energy needed for entire nation
What is are the main disadvantages to composting as a waste management option?
Has to be managed properly in order to succeed, ensuring that there are no contaminants such as metal. If it is contaminated it cannot be sold for agriculture as it would be harmful if consumed
What is are the main disadvantages to landfill as a waste management option?
- Wind blows surface litter into nearby areas
- Vermin attracted to landfill sites
- Finite use
- Items in landfill do not decompose easily, some items take 500 years
What is are the main disadvantages to reducing as a waste management option?
- People are buying more products than ever before so whilst individual items may reduce packaging, the total is still increasing
- Majority of companies are not currently reducing packaging
What is are the main disadvantages to re-using as a waste management option?
- Not easy to apply on a large scale
- Not all products can be easily reused
- People do not have time to find another purpose for items
- Hard to get people to donate products they no longer want in order for them to be reused by those who need it (mobile phones sit in drawers etc) (charity)
What is are the main disadvantages to recycling as a waste management option?
- Collection schemes can be expensive
- Householders may be unwilling to separate rubbish from recyclable products
- Cost of hot water and cleaning process is expensive
- There is confusion about what can and cannot be recycled which leads to items being in the wrong place and takes money and manpower to sort out
How many kilograms of recycling rubbish was collected per person in the UK in 2005?
- this falls short of the EU'S 30% target
What percentage of UK household waste contains organic material?
What is biogas a mixture of?
Methane and CO²
What is the Buchan Report?
- A 1963 document called 'Traffic in Towns'
- Showed private cars were clogging up city centres
- Concluded that car usage had to be controlled through 'good cheap public transport'
What is 'suppressed demand'?
People who would like to travel by car but do not because congestion makes it hard to do so. As soon as a new road opens, the road becomes congested as people flock to use it
Why is driving cars not a sustainable transport method?
- It causes CO² pollution
- More cars means more congestion
The UK government favour private road transportation, such as expansion of roads. Why is this not a sustainable option?
- Expanding roads encourages people to use cars which increases congestion, making it unsustainable. There is increased CO² emissions and less focus on public transport.
- Space will run out to alter roads.
How does a large urban working population increase urban traffic?
- Commutes take place from one suburb to another where there is little public transport, so car must be used
- People drive children to school on the way to work which reduces the use of school bus services and increases congestion
How does economic growth increase urban traffic?
- More goods being transported via roads
- More online shopping means more delivery vans on roads
- More people commute to jobs in urban areas via cars
How does a growth in urban income increase urban traffic?
- More likely to drive in a suburban area
- more people travelling for leisure
- Both men and women working so families have multiple car ownership
- More people can afford cars
How can small scale road schemes be a solution to urban transport?
Creation of bus lanes with priorities at junctions is an effective way of encouraging public transport use and decreasing car traffic.
This happened in Doncaster where bus lanes have been added on approach to the town centre
What is the congestion charge?
A scheme introduced in London in 2003 which charges people a toll for driving through zones on a weekday with the aim to discourage driving
What are road traffic management schemes?
- Restrictions on street parking
- Expensive car parks
- Restricted access for cars and increased pedestrianisation
- one way systems and traffic calming measures
- Park and Ride schemes
What is streamlining of public transport?
Running and maintaining efficient and integrated public transport that correlate with each other (eg bus, trains, ferries)
How can new mass transit systems help to manage urban congestion?
They provide low cost public transport from suburbs to city centre so people do not need to use private cars to get into city
Metrolink in Manchester is an example
What are High Occupancy Vehicle lanes?
- Special road lanes which can only be used by vehicles with a minimum number of occupants inside. They operate during rush hour times and promote car sharing
- They are used in Toronto, Canada where car sharing has gone up by four times in three years
How can low carbon vehicles help to reduce the effects of congestion?
- They run on electricity or biofuels which are renewable energy sources, this improves air quality as there are less emissions produced
- However they are expensive to buy and do not meet the needs of many people
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