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With Reference To Either Waste Management In Urban Areas Or Transport Management In Urban Areas, Discuss The Extent To Which Sustainability Can Be

895 words - 4 pages

Sustainability is defined as meeting the needs of people today without hindering future development. Sustainability is often difficult to achieve, particularly in urban areas. Urban areas have larger and denser populations, thus this causes environmental issues. For instance, a larger population creates more waste which needs to be disposed of. To improve urban sustainability waste needs to be managed. By producing less waste and altering the ways that waste is disposed of, the amount of resources used and the impact on the environment can be reduced.
It is estimated that every person in the UK produced 452kg of waste in 2010. Most of this waste was sent into landfills which is ...view middle of the document...

Although this method reduces the use of fossil fuels it is not entirely sustainable as it produces CO2 and other emissions. Energy recovery is widely used in Sheffield; the Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) provides heat for 140 buildings in the city centre. Without the ERF an additional 21,000 tonnes of CO2 would be produced by heating these homes. The ERF also provide 17MW of electricity to the National Grid while simultaneously reducing the waste going into landfills.
Additionally, reducing and reusing is a very sustainable method of waste management. Some waste can be reduced by individuals (e.g. by registering with the Mail Preference Service to reduce the amount of junk mail received), and by businesses (e.g. by reducing the packaging on food). Waste products can also be reused, this is easier for some products such as plastic bottles. However, on a larger scale only certain products can be reused. A prime example is in Germany, drinks companies charge a deposit for drinks in refillable glass or plastic bottles, which customers get back when they return the bottle to a designated collection point.
Composting is an additional method of waste management. In the UK, household waste contains approximately 38% of organic material which is biodegradable, so it can be composted either by individuals or on a larger scale. If composting is carried individually in house owners’ garden it reduces the costs for the local authority to dispose of it. Large-scale composting involves collecting compost from homes and from public waste. The material is broken down by microbes which produces 2 useful products: biogas and a nitrogen-rich fertiliser. Composting is sustainable because it decreases the amount of waste going to...

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