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Best Practices in Disposal of Solid Waste in Incinerators

  • • See various waste minimization practices above.
  • • Utilize a variety of pretreatment sorting processes to remove recyclables and to reduce the size of the waste materials. Homogenize the waste to get better burning.
  • • Obtain a permit for the incinerator facility from the authorizing authority which will cover design review, safe operating procedures, maintenance procedures, operator certification, and inventory and record-keeping.
  • • Obey all rules and regulations concerning air quality and potential contamination of land and water established by state and local authorities.
  • • Locate the municipal solid waste incineration plant in areas where there is typically medium or heavy industry, but close enough to collection areas to be economical and reduce pollutants of vehicles traveling long distances to dump the waste. Keep away from residential areas, athletic fields, shopping centers, etc.
  • • Determine the amount, composition, moisture level, etc. of the waste on a daily, weekly, and seasonal basis and allow room for expansion in the determination of the size of the incineration plant.
  • • The design and operation of the incinerator should be such that it always achieves desired temperatures and time necessary for burning of all wastes, destroys all pathogens and hazards within the waste, reduces all types of ash, avoids internal damage from the heat and sudden bursts of additional heat from substances being destroyed, and uses a minimum amount of fuel.
  • • Waste destruction efficiency should be greater than 90% by weight.
  • • Fully preheat the incinerator system before introducing solid wastes for destruction.
  • • Separate out from the normal solid waste very wet materials which must then have moisture reduction, and high heat fuels such as plastics, paper, and textiles which may spike the temperature within the unit. Supplemental fuel may be necessary to reduce moisture.
  • • Provide continuous combustion and emission monitoring through stack tests, in-stack monitoring, and environmental monitoring of the air, soil, food, and water, and also use observational techniques.
  • • Use appropriate maintenance procedures such as hourly removal of ash; daily evaluation of the temperature within the incinerator as well as the pollution control equipment; weekly lubrication of all latches, hinges, wheels, and other movable parts of equipment; monthly inspections of all parts of the incinerator and chimney and make repairs as needed; and every 6 months inspect the hot external surfaces and paint with a high-temperature paint as needed.
  • • Provide appropriate personal protective equipment such as a facemask, heavy-duty gloves, proper footwear, and an apron.
  • • Allow ash to have a cool-down period of 3-5 hours before removal.
  • • Provide facility inspection by highly trained technicians on a regular basis to determine any potential problems which may be corrected immediately.
  • • Keep complete and accurate records of all activities, waste delivery, and composition, as well as information concerning any hazardous events which have occurred, results of the problem, and how it was handled and by whom.
  • • All incinerator facilities must be administered and supervised by operators with professional certification and training.
  • • Provide necessary roads for the heavy vehicles which will be coming to and going from the incinerator.
  • • Make the incinerator facility accessible to the part of the electrical grid where it can contribute electricity from the refuse burning process.
  • • Utilize the heat produced by the incineration plant within the facility and where feasible in other facilities.
  • • Have an appropriately established landfill for final disposal of all ashes and other unburned materials if not salvageable.
  • • Use air pollution control devices such as cyclones, baghouse filters, electrostatic precipitators, dry scrubbers, and wet scrubbers to remove air pollutants from the dirty gas stream. High-efficiency particle filters are used within the system to remove tiny ash particles.
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