Hospital Medical and Infectious Waste Incinerators

This solid waste is produced during diagnosis, treatment, immunization, or research on humans or animals and includes needles, gauze, boxes, packaging materials, dressings, and containers of various types. The material comes from hospitals, nursing homes, pharmaceutical research laboratories, veterinary clinics, and other medical and surgical facilities. The toxic air pollutants produced during the burning of this material include dioxins, mercury, lead, cadmium, etc. (See Chapter 12, “Solid Waste, Hazardous Materials, and Hazardous Waste Management.”)

Lawnmowers and Other Garden Equipment

Lawnmowers and other garden equipment create about 5% of the air pollutants in the United States. This amount increases in urban and suburban areas. This equipment may emit carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, VOCs, and nitrogen oxides. Ozone may be formed in the air. Gardeners while filling machines spill a considerable amount of the fuel which then becomes an air pollutant hazard, a land pollutant hazard, and a water pollutant hazard.

Also debris is produced and has to be removed to landfills or to special plants for production of biogas or spread out on the grounds as mulch. Safety is a major concern since thousands of people go to hospitals for lawn equipment-related accidents and deaths also occur.

Best Practices for Use of Lawnmowers and Other Garden Equipment

  • • Use metal gas cans with spouts or funnels and pour slowly and smoothly while avoiding overfilling of the equipment or the gas can when filling it up.
  • • Tightly close the spout and vent hole after filling up the gas can.
  • • Transport and store gas cans and equipment away from direct sunlight and in cool places.
  • • Do not tip the equipment on the side for cleaning or maintenance purposes to avoid spills of gasoline or oil.
  • • Do not operate equipment during ozone alert days.
  • • Buy and use equipment approved by the EPA for meeting national emission standards.
  • • Keep all equipment in excellent working order through proper maintenance and repair.
  • • Use electrically powered equipment where possible instead of gasoline powered equipment. (See endnote 79.)
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