Integrated Solid Waste Management (ISWM)

Integrated Solid Waste Management (ISWM) represents a contemporary and systematic approach to solid waste management. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines ISWM as a complete waste reduction, collection, composting, recycling, and disposal system. An efficient ISWM system considers how to reduce, reuse, recycle, and manage waste to protect human health and the natural environment. It involves evaluating local conditions and needs. Then choosing, mixing and applying the most suitable solid waste management activities according to the condition.

With rapid population expansion and constant economic development, waste generation both in residential as well as commercial/industrial areas continues to grow rapidly closing on three billion tons per annum. These puts pressure on society’s ability to process and dispose of this material. Also, inappropriately managed solid waste streams can pose a significant risk to health and environmental concerns. Improper waste handling in conjunction with uncontrolled waste dumping can cause a broad range of problems, including polluting water, attracting rodents and insects, as well as increasing floods due to blockage in drains. As well, it may bring about safety hazards from explosions and fires. Improper solid waste management will also increase greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, already accounting for up to 20% of annual GHG emissions, thus contributing to climate change.

Having a comprehensive waste management system for efficient waste collection, transportation, and systematic waste disposal – together with activities to reduce waste generation and increase waste recycling – can significantly reduce all these problems. While nothing new, an ISWM approach provides the opportunity to create a suitable combination of existing waste management practices to manage waste most efficiently.

The WOIMA solutions can integrate easily into the waste management processes to better serve the local population and enterprises, decrease waste management costs and support the SME creation and local employment opportunities. The four components or functional elements of ISWM include source reduction, recycling and composting, waste transportation and landfilling. These waste management activities should be undertaken interactively.

Source Reduction, also known as waste prevention, aims at reducing unnecessary waste generation. Source reduction strategies may include a variety of approaches, such as designing products for recycling and reusability, refurbishing goods to prolong product life or redesign of goods to utilize less or no packaging.

Recycling and Composting are crucial phases in the entire ISWM process. Recycling includes the accumulation, sorting and recovering of recyclable and reusable materials, as well as the reprocessing of recyclables to produce new products. Composting, a component of organics recycling, involves the accumulation of organic waste and converting it into soil additives. Both recycling and composting wastes have a number of economic benefits such as they create job opportunities in addition to diverting material from the waste stream to generate cost-effective sources of material for further use. Both recycling and composting also significantly contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

The WOIMA pre-sorting facility segregates solid waste streams for easy recycling to save virgin raw materials, composting or biogas production of biodegradable waste and energy utilization of the remaining waste fractions. The process minimizes the waste destined for landfilling and supports the creation of SMEs to utilize the recyclables.

Waste Transportation is another waste management activity that must be integrated systematically with other activities to ensure smooth and efficient waste management. Typically this includes the collection of waste from curbside and businesses, as well as from transfer stations where waste may be concentrated and reloaded onto other vehicles for delivery to the landfill.

The decentralized wasteWOIMA® waste-to-energy power plant network minimizes the need to transport waste long distances. It enables the use of local waste in local power generation for local people and enterprises. It also offers significant savings in transportation costs, GHG emissions and grid losses. We have made a case study about decentralized W2E power generation where we discuss more about how the decentralized model brings significant savings up to several million euro’s per year.

Waste Disposal, in particular through the use of landfills and combustion, are the activities undertaken to manage waste materials that are not recycled. The most common way of managing these wastes is through landfills, which must be properly designed, well-constructed and systematically managed.

Utilizing the waste streams in power generation offers an unsurpassed alternative to landfilling. The WOIMA Ecosystem incorporating all the different waste-to-value solutions extracts the maximum amount of energy out of the waste, while rendering less than five percent of the original waste quantity for landfilling.

All the WOIMA solutions are modular and adapt easily to the changes in waste generation, whether increases through population and economic growth or decreases through better source sorting and recycling. They offer several levels of flexibility in power generation, operation and new business generation.

You can read more about wasteWOIMA® flexibilities by clicking the link below.

22 levels of wasteWOIMA flexibility blog series

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WOIMA Corporation is a Finnish supplier of best-in-class waste-to-value products, projects and services worldwide. We have developed solutions that enable us, and the customer, to transform and recycle virtually any waste stream into raw materials and energy.  At WOIMA we combine Finnish engineering know-how in waste management with power generation design expertise. These solutions are used in Finland every day. They support the circular economy ideology and ensure that less than 1% of Finland’s waste ends up in landfills.

Our mission is to improve quality of life both locally and globally, as well as empower people to utilize waste as a commodity. Our decades of international project management experience ensure an on-time, in-budget and high-quality WOIMA solution delivery across the globe.

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