As you have learned in this first unit, pollution is a worldwide issue that must be combatted. Read the scenarios provided below, and choose one to write about for your essay.
A consumer products company in a third-world country manufactures a cough medicine to be sold in the United States as an over-the-counter medicine in grocery stores and in pharmacies. At the manufacturing plant, the flavoring of the medicine is very volatile, and the smell permeates the plant. After the production run is completed, the mixing tanks are washed, and the contents are discharged into a trench that runs for a mile down to the local river. Filters used to remove any particles from the cough syrup are collected and discarded into a local trash pile located at the edge of the property.
Identify the various environmental compartments that will be impacted by this manufacturing facility.
If you were hired to be an environmental consultant at the facility, what would be your first steps in changing the manufacturing process (use the waste management hierarchy)?
Environmental Compartments to the Manufacturing Facility
The manufacturing facility can prevent the pollution of the local river by building a water treatment plant. Allowing water to flow in the local river when it has not been purified will lead to the increase of the pollution hazards that may affect human life, aquatic organism as well natural environment (Giurco and Jade 2013). Considering this is third world country, it may lack appropriate facilities and technology necessary for the treatment of wastewater (Giurco and Jade 2013). Therefore, this discussion will suggest the application of the basic water treatment. This approach will help to eradicate suspended solid and reduce organic particles that might be harmful to the environment. The strategy can be executed better by adopting to biological and physical water treatment methods.
Steps to be adopted Environmental Consultant at the Facility
Waste management hierarchy comprises of six major steps namely prevention, minimization, reuse recycling, energy recovery and disposal (The United States Environmental Protection Agency 2009). Upon analyzing the case of this manufacturing facility, the environmental consultant should start with the first step. Even though the company has adopted to the filters that get rid of some of the particles contained in a syrup cough, the washing of the tanks and allowing the wastewater to flow into the local river without any treatment is a major concern. Therefore, the consultant should consider recycling that water. This will help in the minimization and prevention of the pollution. Again, this discussion has observed that particles discarded from a syrup cough are not put into alternative use. Instead, they are collected and dumped into the trash. These particles might be still useful for the manufacturing company. Therefore, this paper will suggest that the consultant should focus on energy recovery method to ascertain whether the discarded particles can be used again.
Giurco, Damien, and Herriman Jade. 2013. "Integrated Resource Planning for Urban Waste Management." Resources 4 (2): 3-24.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency. 2009. "What is an Integrated Waste." Tribal Waste Journal 7 (2): 1-27.