World Cities Essay

1301 Words Jun 13th, 2016 6 Pages
Assess how cities reduce their impact on the physical environment by the way they deal with waste, and consider the implications for sustainability. (10 marks)

For cities to be considered sustainable, a key aspect of this is to manage their waste efficiently and cause the least possible damage to the environment. England and Wales collectively produce a total of 400 million tonnes of waste every year, and the way in which this waste is dealt with is vital to the future of urban cities. Waste management methods vary widely, from landfill to recycling, and each one has its positive and negative impacts. In the UK, the EU and UK government produced targets for local authorities to reduce the amount of municipal waste not recycled, and
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They are a serious threat to ground water and river systems where toxic chemicals called leachates can leak and contaminate the water, creating issues with habitats and even our own drinking supply. Even with some of the gases being converted into electricity, it was still found that 27% of the UK’s emissions are from landfill sites. A build up of methane can cause explosions, leading to threats to the surrounding population and wildlife habitats. The UK is now running out of land for use as landfill sites, and the ones that already exist are too unstable to build upon as building foundations are known to have subside on these sites. It is therefore essential that the government finds a more sustainable way to manage waste. Incineration is another option, which involves the combustion of waste material at very high temperatures and converts it into heat, gas, steam and ash – which can then be converted to electricity. There is a poor public perception of incinerators due to the out-dated style from the 60s of a huge pipe with smoke pouring from it, with little control of emissions. Some of this is true, the gases from incineration still contribute to greenhouse gases and therefore it is not sustainable environmentally. They also require considerable investment. In Saltend, Hull, the cost of building an incinerator soared to £144 million and the opening had to be delayed to

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