Tradewaste consists of all the substances that enter the sewage system that are not domestic waste. In times of water scarcity effluent is being viewed as an alternative water source for servicing parks and food production areas.
Issues for the sewer system and the community are:
- Blockages caused by oil and grease leading to overflows and costly maintenance;
- Cost of expanding or constructing new infrastructure;
- Waste minimisation, recycling and recovery;
- Waste management and life cycle analysis.
There are other reasons for improving the quality of sewage and these may include:
- Protecting public assets (e.g. sewer mains, pumps and treatment facilities);
- Protecting the environment (e.g. heavy metals, pesticides and biological contaminants);
- Protecting public and worker health and safety.
AES has accredited staff that conduct tradewaste assessments and investigations. We currently service over 200 businesses in northern Victoria and the Riverina, and also maintain "Preferred Consultant" status with EPA Victoria.
Industrial Ecology and Cleaner Production
There are five essential elements:
- Input Choice and Substitution
- Efficient Equipment and Strict Procedures
- Internal Recycling
- Technological Optimisation/Change
- Optimisation of the Product
This is all about choosing the right product for the task taking into consideration the longevity of the material for the job at hand and where it will live in its second or subsequent life as a recycled product and what hazards might be generated.
Using efficient equipment and operations to minimise inputs can results in significant savings. A small increase in capital expenditure can be quickly recovered with reduced equipment running costs. For example, jet heads for washing vessels will use 80% less water, therefor less cost in purchasing and disposal of water (tradewaste), less heating time for boilers and less pumping time.
Closed material and energy loops for water, wood, solvents, plastics and heavy metals reduces costs for purchase and disposal.
Cascading of material and energy streams can occur, for example disposal of saline water can occur though evaporation in a system of ever increasing salt tolerant vegetation and soil drainage (Red gum, slat bush, etc), to eventually be concentrated and evaporated and the a salt reused in another process.
New technologies bring opportunities for redesign of processes and a change in or substitution of hazardous processes. Implementation of new technologies and improved process control enhance profitability and reduce waste.
Increasing the lifetime of products makes for a reduced footprint over time. Making products easy to repair and de-manufacturing also assists in further reducing the footprint and makes for cheaper recycling into sec ond life procducts.