What is a sustainable landfill design?

A landfill, a system of waste disposal, is hardly connected with enchanting terminology. Landfill expansion is not an ideal option for the community. We still have to live with it since our garbage is produced daily. The gatekeeper is how we manage the landfill in an environmental-friendly way.

SENT landfill is one of the landfills operating under sustainable design (https://www.epd.gov.hk/epd/english/environmentinhk/waste/prob_solutions/msw_sent.html)

First, the Bottom Liner System is applied to avoid underground water contamination. The wanted liner material is polyethylene (HDPE), which has high density, is strong, resistant to most chemicals, and impervious to water.

The lining system is multi-layered. In the SENT landfill of HKSAR, which collects construction waste only, the layers consist of a non-woven geotextile cushion layer, textured HDPE primary liner, composite bentonite matting, textured HDPE secondary liner, and geocomposite groundwater drainage layer. The system will also collect landfill gas and leachate from obstructing the transfer from landfills to the environment.

Second, it is the leachate collection system. Leachate is the contaminated liquid caused by rainfall or surface water blending with waste and its decomposition products. The pipe network at the sump gathers leachate, which will be pumped to the biological treatment plant for treatment. Without the leachate collection system, leachate will seep underground. Leachate gathering is a critical step to avoid waste polluting the ground.

The biological treatment plant will initially release the ammonia content in the leachate. Pollutants in the leachate will be further cleared through bacteria consumption. The legal discharge depends on the chemical oxygen demand (COD) and biological oxygen demand (BOD).

Why are COD and BOD important to the discharge standards? They are vital measurements for the amount of oxygen that is required to break down pollutants in water. A good BOD and COD levels mean not much organic waste and oxidisable organic material presenting in the water. If the levels are high, the reduction of dissolved oxygen levels will eventually lead to anaerobic situations, which is harmful to higher aquatic life forms.

By: ANewR Consulting Limited, a digital environmental consultant headquartered in Hong Kong since 2008. Our expertise has grown into the context of air and water qualities, noise, green building, waste management, and remediation. With extensive know-how in environmental planning and assessment, feasibility study and policy review, ecological design, monitoring, and audit (EM&A), ANewR has matured to be a leading management consultancy. Standing in the digital transformation reign, ANewR has participated in various environmental digital projects – interactive 3D visualisation, immersive automation virtual environment, Virtual reality, automation system, and monitoring platforms.
(Website: https://anewr.com, LinkedIn: ANewR Consulting Group, Twitter: ANewR – Everyday Newer,
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnpvmxnR9hbNxytSfBdfV8Q/videos)

Sustainable workforce

If you want your business to sustain, you will look for future trends for opportunities. If you’re going to have a well-prepared workforce, you will have to seek them out, teach and offer them career opportunities. Here are recommendations on what you can do to retain talents.

Students are one of the valuable community resources. They are well-educated with essential knowledge and skills. What they lack is real-world industry knowledge. Engage students in your community awareness program as a passage between study and work, help them understand what your industry can do for the community to pave the way for their post-secondary education.

Careers change along with the world and business trends. Offer internship to the university students in a different part of your operations and gain experiences in various cultures.

You may recruit talents through the internship program.

Retaining talents requires career advancement, providing them with the supervisory path from the technical direction. Keep them up-to-date with the information of prevailing industry trends, networks, and technology.

Design and conduct detailed benchmarks for salary review. Support the older technicians free from workplace causality by exempting them work from height.

Introduce digitalisation to perform repetitive work to reduce workload. Organise apprentices programs along with vocational training to increase the training efficiency.

By maintaining social capital and human capital in your corporate vision and strategy, community involvement will benefit your corporate in the meaningful long-run when going after the targets.

By: ANewR Consulting Limited, a digital environmental consultant headquartered in Hong Kong since 2008. Our expertise has grown into the context of air and water qualities, noise, green building, waste management, and remediation. With extensive know-how in environmental planning and assessment, feasibility study and policy review, ecological design, monitoring, and audit (EM&A), ANewR has matured to be a leading management consultancy. Standing in the digital transformation reign, ANewR has participated in various environmental digital projects – interactive 3D visualisation, immersive automation virtual environment, Virtual reality, automation system, and monitoring platforms.
(Website: https://anewr.com, LinkedIn: ANewR Consulting Group, Twitter: ANewR – Everyday Newer,
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnpvmxnR9hbNxytSfBdfV8Q/videos)

How do you feel the communities are essential to corporate?

Investopedia defines corporate social responsibility (CSR) as “a self-regulating business model that helps a company be socially accountable to itself, its stakeholders, and the public. Businesses have numbers of normative frameworks to follow for achieving CSR. Future-Fit Business Framework is one of them. How do you feel the communities are essential to corporate?

One of the notorious cases is the one drinks brand’s dehydrating communities case. The plant has to be fed with water to maintain the operation. In one of their functional areas, a desert area, wells were drying up. Local farmers were ending up in catastrophe situations – a severe decline in water levels leaving them on cultivation hardship.

In another country, the drink company engaged with paramilitary in anti-union activities that their workers and their families were under a death threat. As one of the world’s recognisable brands, the drink company encountered a crisis of ethical standards. The company was far from being “an outstanding corporate citizen in every community.” The case may seem extreme; it happened.

Community involvement does start with a corporate’s social contribution in expanding employment, education, promoting culture and arts, community health, and other forms of stakeholders’ commitment, and considering the community before the corporate project planning. The corporate is supposed to engage in socially responsible behaviour. The drink company’s case addressed environmental issues and human rights in their operation. Their acts already breached the regulations on the basic, while CSR is more than legal obligatory.

Community involvement lies in your corporate strategy and policy. Be specific in particular community groups and activities, plan long term in a focused sector. Trust between the corporate and the community will develop your reputation and support.

By: ANewR Consulting Limited, a digital environmental consultant headquartered in Hong Kong since 2008. Our expertise has grown into the context of air and water qualities, noise, green building, waste management, and remediation. With extensive know-how in environmental planning and assessment, feasibility study and policy review, ecological design, monitoring, and audit (EM&A), ANewR has matured to be a leading management consultancy. Standing in the digital transformation reign, ANewR has participated in various environmental digital projects – interactive 3D visualisation, immersive automation virtual environment, Virtual reality, automation system, and monitoring platforms.
(Website: https://anewr.com, LinkedIn: ANewR Consulting Group, Twitter: ANewR – Everyday Newer,
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnpvmxnR9hbNxytSfBdfV8Q/videos)

Finding the landfills aesthetic

Enchanting is the word we see in fairy tales. In the animation, the characters cast a spell on things ungraceful, turning them into attractive ones. Incorporating in an environmental term, can we perform magic to enchant the landfill to be a greenfield? The great news is that we do not need to work on magic to make things green. In the real world, we have the competence and capability to make our environment better.

At the waste-fill part of the landfill, the HDPE liner and soil will cover on top. This cover ensures the surface water is not penetrating the waste-fill layer, reducing the chance of leachate generation. The waste-fill layer exposure would potentially cause odour and gas leakage, triggering fire hazards.

After the health and safety guarantee, we can transform the landfill into a recreational green space by planting appropriate vegetation. The landfill landscape is then aesthetically appreciative.

Video: How can we bewitch the landfills? (https://youtu.be/Qe3BOCBx-Bo)

By: ANewR Consulting Limited, a digital environmental consultant headquartered in Hong Kong since 2008. Our expertise has grown into the context of air and water qualities, noise, green building, waste management, and remediation. With extensive know-how in environmental planning and assessment, feasibility study and policy review, ecological design, monitoring, and audit (EM&A), ANewR has matured to be a leading management consultancy. Standing in the digital transformation reign, ANewR has participated in various environmental digital projects – interactive 3D visualisation, immersive automation virtual environment, Virtual reality, automation system, and monitoring platforms.
(Website: https://anewr.com, LinkedIn: ANewR Consulting Group, Twitter: ANewR – Everyday Newer,
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnpvmxnR9hbNxytSfBdfV8Q/videos)

What to define the electric vehicle’s effectiveness

The government of Hong Kong has published the “Clean Air Plan for Hong Kong 2035” in June 2021. We had no surprise that the content addresses air quality from the subject – the undeniable health and well-being issue. One of the suggesting measures is the electric vehicle (EV). But here, we should be alarmed that dealing with carbon emission for air quality is somewhat different from dealing with the climate change risk. The EV effectiveness is all based on the aim we target to assess.

Fossil fuel is the notorious carbon emission root. We immediately feel the carbon emission from the land transportation by its exhaust fumes. Vehicular emission poses health risks to bystanders. Another seemingly remote source of air pollution is marine and air transports. Faraway as it may seem, scholar unveils that we had seventy per cent of ship emissions within four hundred kilometres of land (Eyring et al. 2010). Marine transport is no less during the COVID-19 period. It is the cheaper means of transport if compared with air freight. That is why the shipping demand increases because of globalisation, which is becoming the origin of pollution.

The link above: A webinar by Heliox, a world leader in charging infrastructure and power conversion for commercial electric mobility at Matters Academy

The electric vehicle is an alternative technology that produces less waste and is less harmful to well-being, recognised by todays’ news. Figures from one of the intelligent energy management solution providers, Heliox, has shown that EVs may potentially reach the targets of reducing over ninety-seven per cent of NOX, ninety per cent of carbon emission and sixty-six per cent of particulate emissions. EV development issues are still at the early stage as a whole, revealed in the “Clean Air Plan for Hong Kong 2035”. With such an alluring good number of potentially reduced, why is the adoption of the EV technologies slow? The answer may be found at the Pillars of Design Philosophy (Heliox).

The photo above: Pillars of Design Philosophy (information provided by Heliox)

The Pillars of Design Philosophy segments different stages of building an EV compatible program. Each step has to meet certain specifications to implement the EV infrastructure – whether the grid can support the EV facilities, the depot characteristics, what charging strategy is suitable, the connectivity, equipment and maintenance such as charger care and connectivity services. All of these explains well the likely high cost incurred for EV adoption and the difficulty.

All of the above are proposed based on the clean air subject. Does it necessarily imply EV dealing with the more thorny issue – climate change? Remind that EV charging gets to feed on electricity generation and charging facilities. Carbon Brief, an online platform that won investigative journalism, had the following findings (source – https://www.carbonbrief.org/factcheck-how-electric-vehicles-help-to-tackle-climate-change):

  • “EVs are responsible for considerably lower emissions over their lifetime than conventional (internal combustion engine) vehicles across Europe as a whole.”
  • “In countries with coal-intensive electricity generation, the benefits of EVs are smaller, and they can have similar lifetime emissions to the most efficient conventional vehicles – such as hybrid-electric models.”
  • “However, as countries decarbonise electricity generation to meet their climate targets, driving emissions will fall for existing EVs, and manufacturing emissions will fall for new EVs.”
  • “Comparisons between electric vehicles and conventional vehicles are complex. They depend on the size of the vehicles, the accuracy of the fuel-economy estimates used, how electricity emissions are calculated, what driving patterns are assumed, and even the weather in regions where the vehicles are used. There is no single estimate that applies everywhere.”

Be aware that EV is not the panacea for our burning climate issues. Without a detailed assessment, it is hard for us to realise the real impact of EVs on climate change. So far, the information we have found implicates the best possible cure for climate change is non-fossil fuel energy generation. While we are queuing to advance to the next genuine sustainability era, we apply modelling to analyse energy consumption to tackle the problem right in front of us as an environmental consultancy.

By: ANewR Consulting Limited, a digital environmental consultant headquartered in Hong Kong since 2008. Our expertise has grown into the context of air and water qualities, noise, green building, waste management, and remediation. With extensive know-how in environmental planning and assessment, feasibility study and policy review, ecological design, monitoring, and audit (EM&A), ANewR has matured to be a leading management consultancy. Standing in the digital transformation reign, ANewR has participated in various environmental digital projects – interactive 3D visualisation, immersive automation virtual environment, Virtual reality, automation system, and monitoring platforms.
(Website: https://anewr.com, LinkedIn: ANewR Consulting Group, Twitter: ANewR – Everyday Newer,
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnpvmxnR9hbNxytSfBdfV8Q/videos)

Incineration – a notorious name for air pollution. How engineering and process design make it sustainable?

Incineration – a notorious name for air pollution because of the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and oxides of nitrogen (NO and NO2, together known as NOx) associated in the process. It involves the operation of waste storage, feed preparation, combustion, ash handling, and disposal. Emission is associated with notorious incineration combustion. How does sustainability relate to incineration?

Operation consumes electricity. This is quite an inevitable fact, and this applies to incineration operations. Researchers had the energy analysis of the energy consumed in incineration and landfill with the transportation system. It showed that 406.08 GJ is consumed mostly because of transportation. Streamlining the operation process is essential in reducing energy consumption.

Waste-to-energy is the strategy of the sustainable incineration process. The state-of-art incinerator utilises its heat generated from combustion and facilitates boiling the desalinated water through the pipes inside the incinerator’s wall to produce steam. This process triggers the steam turbine to operate to create electricity. The desalinated water used in the process has to be of very high purified quality to avoid minerals condensed in the utility system. Water matters most for the waste-to-energy process – without the high-quality water supply, the whole incineration plant has no choice but to stop.

Waste-to-energy facilitates a self-sufficient incineration operation because of the automated electricity self-supply. The process closes the loop when the steam condenses after the turbine and becomes water again. It will then go back to the incineration process and repeat the power generation. The added value is when desalination is set up in the incineration plant. The site operator will benefit from the electricity generated and desalinated water supply for daily use as potable water.

Waste-to-energy management does not rely on fossil fuel for massive energy consumption to maintain the operation; the self-produced electricity off-sets the need to create power from fossil sources.

Another design to streamline incineration is by strategically locating the incineration plant near the coastline. The barge can unload the waste container and near the inert ash dumping ground. It dramatically reduces transportation distances and associated carbon footprint.

The primary aim of incineration is to destroy the waste we massively generated daily. By capitalising on the self-sufficient waste-to-energy innovation and design thinking, we can achieve sustainability in autonomous waste management and even for industries with vast energy and water consumption.

Video – What is sustainable operation? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q46gVs8VSVc

By: ANewR Consulting Limited, a digital environmental consultant headquartered in Hong Kong since 2008. Our expertise has grown into the context of air and water qualities, noise, green building, waste management, and remediation. With extensive know-how in environmental planning and assessment, feasibility study and policy review, ecological design, monitoring, and audit (EM&A), ANewR has matured to be a leading management consultancy. Standing in the digital transformation reign, ANewR has participated in various environmental digital projects – interactive 3D visualisation, immersive automation virtual environment, Virtual reality, automation system, and monitoring platforms.
(Website:
https://anewr.com, LinkedIn: ANewR Consulting Group, Twitter: ANewR – Everyday Newer, YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnpvmxnR9hbNxytSfBdfV8Q/videos)

What is your sustainability calendar this year?

What is your sustainability calendar this year?

A year’s plan starts with spring—plan to achieve your environmental goal and sustainability target this year. What is your sustainability calendar this year? You may begin to follow the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals calendar as your guideline to practice sustainability. Download now.

Remarks: The following calendar is with the bank holidays of England.

By: ANewR Consulting Limited, a digital environmental consultant headquartered in Hong Kong since 2008. Our expertise has grown into the context of air and water qualities, noise, green building, waste management, and remediation. With extensive know-how in environmental planning and assessment, feasibility study and policy review, ecological design, monitoring, and audit (EM&A), ANewR has matured to be a leading management consultancy. Standing in the digital transformation reign, ANewR has participated in various environmental digital projects – interactive 3D visualisation, immersive automation virtual environment, Virtual reality, automation system, and monitoring platforms.
(Website: https://anewr.com, LinkedIn: ANewR Consulting Group, Twitter: ANewR – Everyday Newer,
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnpvmxnR9hbNxytSfBdfV8Q/videos)