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Proses daur ulang sampah adalah penjaga kelestarian alam. Sebenarnya sampah bukanlah limbah, melainkan sumber daya bahan baku untuk proses daur ulang yang menghasilkan humus atau kompos, pupuk ciptaan alam pelindung / pembangun kesuburan tanah. Terus berputarnya siklus daur ulang alam yang merupakan kunci keselamatan bumi, sebenarnya menjadi tanggung jawab manusia di lingkungannya masing-masing. Sehingga sampah menjadi tanggung jawab kita semua untuk mendaur ulangnya menjadi kompos demi keselamatan bumi.

Para ahli pertanian yakin bahwa kunci dari tanaman yang sehat adalah tanah yang sehat pula. Tanah yang sehat adalah tanah yang kondisi fisik, kimia dan biologinya baik, tanpa faktor penghambat yang berarti. Kondisi biologis yang baik berarti mempunyai populasi organisme tanah optimal dalam ekosistem biologis yang sehat seimbang, yang dijamin oleh kadar bahan organik tanah optimal + 5%. Mungkin kita akan berfikir 2 x untuk mengkonsumsi barang-barang yang tidak bersahabat dengan lingkungan, setelah kita mengetahui bahwa waktu yang dibutuhkan untuk menghancurkan sampah adalah sebagi berikut :

Jenis Sampah Lama Hancur
Kertas 2-5 bulan
Kulit Jeruk 6 bulan
Doos Karton 5 bulan
Filter Rokok 10-12 tahun
Kantong Plastik 10-20 tahun
Kulit Sepatu 25-40 tahun
Pakaian/Nylon 30-40 tahun
Plastik 50-80 tahun
Alumunium 80-100 tahun
Styrofoam tidak hancur

Dengan melihat tabel diatas maka tidak ada salahnya kalau kita mulai dari rumah kita masing-masing untuk mengurangi sampah yang tidak dapat dipergunakan semaksimal mungkin. Salah satu caranya adalah dengan mendaur ulang sampah yang dapat dimanfaatkan.

Daur ulang adalah penggunaan kembali material / barang yang sudah tidak digunakan untuk menjadi produk lain. Selain berfungsi untuk mengurangi jumlah sampah yang harus dibuang ke tempat pembuangan akhir (TPA). Daur ulang bermanfaat memenuhi kebutuhan akan bahan baku suatu produk. Dan dari segi penggunaan bahan bakar adanya daur ulang dapat menghemat energi yang harus dikeluarkan suatu pabrik.

Langkah-langkah yang perlu dilakukan untuk daur ulang :  Pemisahan. Pisahkan barang-barang / material yang dapat didaur ulang dengan sampah yang harus dibuang ke pembuangan sampah. Pastikan material tersebut kosong dan akan lebih baik jika dalam keadaan bersih. Penyimpanan. Simpan barang / material kering yang sudah dipisahkan tadi ke dalam boks / kotak tertutup tergantung jenis barangnya, misalnya boks untuk kertas bekas, botol bekas, dll. Jika akan membuat kompos, tumpuk sampah rumah tangga pada lokasi pembuatan kompos. Pengiriman / Penjualan Barang yang terkumpul dijual ke pabrik yang membutuhkan material bekas tersebut sebagai bahan baku dijual ke pemulung.

Secara garis besarnya, sampah dapat dibedakan menjadi 3 jenis, yaitu :

I. Sampah An Organik Sampah tidak mudah hancur / lapuk bukan berupa cairan & gas dan sering disebut sebagai sampah kering. Sampah an organik dibedakan menjadi 2 bagian yaitu :
a. Barang lapuk. Barang yang dapat di daur ulang kembali dalam keadaan bersih dan tidak rusak, mempunyai nilai ekonomis tinggi. Contoh : Logam, besi, kaleng, plastik, karet, dll.
b. Bukan barang lapuk Sampah an organik yang betul-betul rusak dan tdk dapat diperjualbelikan sehingga tidak memiliki nilai ekonomis.

II. Sampah Organik Sampah yang mudah lapuk / hancur, bukan berbentuk cairan / gas dan sering disebut sampah basah. Sampah organik terdiri dari 3 bagian :
a. Sampah organik segar, seperti : sampah dapur, kebun, pasar dan restoran.
b. Sampah organik oleh seperti : kertas, kardus, dll.
c. Sampah organik pilihan untuk daur ulang menjadi kompos dipilih sampah organik yang segar dan lunak tidak termasuk yang keras dan berbentuk basah seperti sisa sayuran, rempah-rempah & sisa buah.

III. Sampah Berbahaya Sampah yang harus ditangani secara khusus untuk menetralisir akibat pencemaran. Sampah ini harus dipisahkan dari yang lainnya sehingga proses daur ulang lebih cepat dan menghasilkan produk yang bebas dari bahan berbahaya. Contoh: pecahan kaca & gelas, sisa bahan kimia, baterai, botol obat nyamuk & paku.

LIMBAH BAHAN BERBAHAYA DAN BERACUN (B3)

Limbah B3 banyak terdapat disekitar kita misalnya obat nyamuk/ pestisida, oli bekas, sisa tinta, batu baterai, dll. Jika limbah ini dibuang dalam TPA yang tidak dilengkapi persyaratan khusus maka racun yang ada dalam limbah tersebut dapat meresap ke tanah dan mencemari air tanah maupun tanaman yang akan dikonsumsi manusia. Oleh sebab itu, pisahkan limbah B3 dari sampah lain.

Bagaimana meminimalkan timbunan sampah? Menggunakan barang seefisien dan semaksimal mungkin. Contohnya : Penggunaan plastik pembungkus selama dapat digunakan kembali. Pergunakan botol lama tanpa harus membeli baru. Memperbaiki perabot lama dengan cara memberi design baru dengan upaya pemakaian kembali. Sadar dan cinta akan lingkungan dan memahami berbagai permasalahan dan cara mengatasinya sangat penting.

PEMBUATAN KOMPOS RUMAH TANGGA

Prinsip pengomposan Sampah rumah tangga mengandung bahan organik + 75%. Proses pengomposan menyesuaikan diri dengan tersedianya bahan baku, yang tidak sekaligus terkumpul dalam jumlah besar, melainkan sedikit demi sedikit setiap hari. Kondisi ini seperti terjadi di alam di lantai hutan, dimana sisa-sisa organik jatuh keatas tanah selapis demi selapis sampai menjadi tebal.

Proses perombakan-fermentasi organisme tanah terjadi dari bawah merambat ke atas mengejar bahan baku yang baru jatuh, diikuti terbentuknya humus dari bawah ke atas pula. Kecepatan pengomposan sangat tergantung a.1. pada komposisi bahan baku, perbandingan kadar C (bahan berserat tinggi) dengan kadar N (jenis kacangan, pupuk kandang, dsb.). Untuk bahan baku kompos yang optimal perbandingan C/N = + 30, hasil akhir humus atau kompos yang matang C/N = 12-15 Cara dan Alat Membuat kompos yang sebenarnya mudah dan sederhana, tetapi karena lokasinya di pekarangan rumah harus bebas dari polusi bau, lalat, binatang berbahaya dan bebas dari gangguan ayam, anjing, kucing, dsb. Apalagi sisa-sisa organik tidak terkumpul sekaligus tetapi berangsur setiap hari dari buangan dapur dan kotoran pekarangan.

Untuk pembuatan kompos di pekarangan rumah, dibutuhkan dua macam wadah :
1. Wadah besar, penampung bahan baku dan tempat terjadinya proses pengomposan, yang disebut "Komposter" dan ditaruh di pekarangan di tempat teduh.
2. Wadah kecil berupa ember plastik kecil bertutup, tempat penampungan sementara sisa organik dapur.

Alat Komposter paling praktis dan aman adalah alat yang direkomendasikan STU Campbell (buku "let It Rot", Storey Books, Vermont 1998) untuk dipakai di pekarangan rumah. Komposter ini dibuat dari drum bekas 200 liter, dinding atas dibuang, dan dinding dasar pada tengahnya dilobangi untuk dapat dimasuki pipa PVC 3-4 inci, yang juga berfungsi drainase. Pada pipa PVC berjarak 5 cm dibuat lobang (bor) sepanjang empat sisinya. Drum dipasang berdiri, diberi ganjal 2-3 lapis batu bata. Pipa PVC dimasukkan ke lobang dasar, sampai ujung bawah menyentuh tanah dan ujung atas menonjol keatas drum + 10 cm, menembus tengah-tengah tutup tambahan (bisa dibuat dari tripleks). Ember Kecil Ember plastik 5 l - 10 l yang ada tutupnya, disediakan khusus untuk penampungan sementara (1-2 hari) sisa organik dapur dan selalu ditaruh di dapur dalam keadaan tertutup.

Cara Kerja Komposter (drum) ditaruh di pekarangan di tempat teduh. Sebaiknya dibuatkan tutup atas dari tripleks yang tengahnya berlobang tempat munculnya pipa PVC. Setiap kali pembersihan halaman, kotoran berupa rontokan daun, potongan pagar rumput, dll dimasukkan ke dalam komposter, diratakan, sedikit dipadatkan dan diatasnya ditaburi selapis kotoran ternak lama, kompos baru atau setengah matang, tanah subur hitam, dsb. sebagai starter penambah N dan organisme tanah.

Kalau terlalu kering diberi air agar lembab dan ditutup untuk mencegah dari hujan berlebihan, terik matahari dan pencemaran lalat. Untuk memudahkan didekat komposter disediakan wadah berisi starter (kotoran ternak, dll) yang selalu ditutup. Setiap satu atau dua hari sekali, kotoran dapur dalam ember kecil yang sudah penuh, juga dimasukkan, diratakan dan dilapisi starter.

Demikian pengisian dilakukan setiap kali terkumpul sisa organik atau kotoran dapur baru, sampai komposter penuh, yang memakan waktu 1 bulan - 2 bulan untuk keluarga sedang. Setelah penuh, ditutup dan dibiarkan tidak dibalik-balik selama + 1 bulan yang diperkirakan pengomposan sudah selesai menjadi matang berupa kompos berwarna hitam, remah dan berbau segar. Komposter dikosongkan, isinya diangin-anginkan, langsung dapat dipergunakan sendiri atau disaring (saringan kawat kasa) dibungkus dan dijual.

Proses pengomposan terjadi sejak awal bahan organik dimasukkan, dan merambat keatas mengikuti bahan organik baru. Disini akan terjadi proses fermentasi panas oleh bakteri termofilik, karena suhu dapat meningkat didalam komposter tertutup, yang juga berguna membunuh bibit hama- penyakit dan gulma. Komposter I yang sudah penuh dan sedang dalam proses pemasakkan, digantikan komposter II yang sudah disiapkan dan nanti setelah komposter I selesai dokosongkan, disiapkan untuk menggantikan komposter II bila sudah penuh, dst.

Sisa organik dapur terdiri dari potongan / kulit sayuran, kulit buah lunak, daun pembungkus, kertas, sisa lauk-pauk, dipisahkan dari sisa / sampah non organik. Sisa dapur tersebut dimasukkan kedalam ember kecil dan yang non organik ditampung dalam wadah lain untuk dibuang di bak sampah. Setiap kali memasukkan sisa organik dapur yang mudah busuk (sisa lauk-pauk), diatasnya langsung ditaburi selapis serbuk gergaji halus rapat-rapat. Maka di dapur selalu disediakan serbuk gergaji halus dalam wadah khusus. Ember kecil harus selalu ditutup rapat dan biasanya dalam 1-2 hari sudah penuh, lalu langsung dibawa ke kebun dimasukkan ke dalam komposter, dan ditaburi selapis starter diatasnya.

Agar ember plastik tidak kotor, sebaiknya dilapisi kantong plastik sehingga sisa organik dapur yang mudah busuk dapat ditampung dengan aman dan rapat. Apabila dapat terwujud setiap rumah tangga mau dan mampu mendaur ulang sampah organik pekarangan, dan dapurnya menjadi kompos, maka sampah rumah tangga yang dibuang tinggal sedikit dan tidak menimbulkan polusi lingkungan.

Sampah yang dibuang tinggal berupa limbah non-organik seperti barang-barang bekas plastik, kaleng, besi, dll dan sedikit limbah organik keras seperti barang-barang bekas dari kayu, bambu, kardus, kulit buah keras dan kebanyakan barang-barang tersebut dapat dimanfaatkan lewat para pemulung. Dengan cara ini hampir semua bahan organik dapat didaur ulang sehingga masalah sampah kota dapat diatasi secara sehat dan mendukung keselamatan bumi.

Tinggal satu hal, dimana manusia belum berhasil menyambung siklus daur ulang yang terputus, yaitu masalah kotoran (taeces) dan urine manusia karena masih terbentur pada masalah budaya.

Waste management is the collection, transport, processing, recycling or disposal, and monitoring of waste materials. The term usually relates to materials produced by human activity, and is generally undertaken to reduce their effect on health, the environment or aesthetics. Waste management is also carried out to recover resources from it. Waste management can involve solid, liquid, gaseous or radioactive substances, with different methods and fields of expertise for each.

Waste management practices differ for developed and developing nations, for urban and rural areas, and for residential and industrial producers. Management for non-hazardous waste residential and institutional waste in metropolitan areas is usually the responsibility of local government authorities, while management for non-hazardous commercial and industrial waste is usually the responsibility of the generator.

Integrated waste management using LCA (life cycle analysis) attempts to offer the most benign options for waste management. For mixed MSW (Municipal Solid Waste) a number of broad studies have indicated that waste administration, then source separation and collection followed by reuse and recycling of the non-organic fraction and energy and compost/fertilizer production of the organic waste fraction via anaerobic digestion to be the favoured path. Non-metallic waste resources are not destroyed as with incineration, and can be reused/ recycled in a future resource depleted society.

Disposing of waste in a landfill involves burying the waste, and this remains a common practice in most countries. Landfills were often established in abandoned or unused quarries, mining voids or borrow pits. A properly designed and well-managed landfill can be a hygienic and relatively inexpensive method of disposing of waste materials. Older, poorly designed or poorly managed landfills can create a number of adverse environmental impacts such as wind-blown litter, attraction of vermin, and generation of liquid leachate. Another common byproduct of landfills is gas (mostly composed of methane and carbon dioxide), which is produced as organic waste breaks down anaerobically. This gas can create odour problems, kill surface vegetation, and is a greenhouse gas.

Design characteristics of a modern landfill include methods to contain leachate such as clay or plastic lining material. Deposited waste is normally compacted to increase its density and stability, and covered to prevent attracting vermin (such as mice or rats). Many landfills also have landfill gas extraction systems installed to extract the landfill gas. Gas is pumped out of the landfill using perforated pipes and flared off or burnt in a gas engine to generate electricity.

Incineration is a disposal method in which solid organic wastes are subjected to combustion so as to convert them into residue and gaseous products. This method is useful for disposal of residue of both solid waste management and solid residue from waste water management.This process reduces the volumes of solid waste to 20 to 30 percent of the original volume. Incineration and other high temperature waste treatment systems are sometimes described as "thermal treatment". Incinerators convert waste materials into heat, gas, steam and ash.

Incineration is carried out both on a small scale by individuals and on a large scale by industry. It is used to dispose of solid, liquid and gaseous waste. It is recognized as a practical method of disposing of certain hazardous waste materials (such as biological medical waste). Incineration is a controversial method of waste disposal, due to issues such as emission of gaseous pollutants.

Incineration is common in countries such as Japan where land is more scarce, as these facilities generally do not require as much area as landfills. Waste-to-energy (WtE) or energy-from-waste (EfW) are broad terms for facilities that burn waste in a furnace or boiler to generate heat, steam or electricity. Combustion in an incinerator is not always perfect and there have been concerns about pollutants in gaseous emissions from incinerator stacks. Particular concern has focused on some very persistent organics such as dioxins, furans, PAHs which may be created which may have serious environmental consequences.

Recycling refers to the collection and reuse of waste materials such as empty beverage containers. The materials from which the items are made can be reprocessed into new products. Material for recycling may be collected separately from general waste using dedicated bins and collection vehicles, or sorted directly from mixed waste streams.

The most common consumer products recycled include aluminum such as beverage cans, copper such as wire, steel food and aerosol cans, old steel furnishings or equipment , polyethylene and PET bottles, glass bottles and jars, paperboard cartons, newspapers, magazines and light paper, and corrugated fiberboard boxes.

PVC, LDPE, PP, and PS (see resin identification code) are also recyclable. These items are usually composed of a single type of material, making them relatively easy to recycle into new products. The recycling of complex products (such as computers and electronic equipment) is more difficult, due to the additional dismantling and separation required.

The type of recycling material accepted usually depends on what city and country you live in. Each city and country have different recycling programs in place that can handle the various types of recyclable materials.

The management of waste is a key component in a business' ability to maintaining ISO14001 accreditation. Companies are encouraged to improve their environmental efficiencies each year. One way to do this is by improving a company’s waste management with a new recycling service. (such as recycling: glass, food waste, paper and cardboard, plastic bottles etc.)

Waste materials that are organic in nature, such as plant material, food scraps, and paper products, can be recycled using biological composting and digestion processes to decompose the organic matter. The resulting organic material is then recycled as mulch or compost for agricultural or landscaping purposes. In addition, waste gas from the process (such as methane) can be captured and used for generating electricity and heat (CHP/cogeneration) maximising efficiencies. The intention of biological processing in waste management is to control and accelerate the natural process of decomposition of organic matter.

There is a large variety of composting and digestion methods and technologies varying in complexity from simple home compost heaps, to small town scale batch digesters, industrial-scale enclosed-vessel digestion of mixed domestic waste (see Mechanical biological treatment). Methods of biological decomposition are differentiated as being aerobic or anaerobic methods, though hybrids of the two methods also exist.

Anaerobic digestion of the organic fraction of MSW Municipal Solid Waste has been found to be in a number of LCA analysis studies[1][2] to be more environmentally effective, than landfill, incineration or pyrolisis. The resulting biogas (methane) though must be used for cogeneration (electricity and heat preferably on or close to the site of production) and can be used with a little upgrading in gas combustion engines or turbines. With further upgrading to synthetic natural gas it can be injected into the natural gas network or further refined to hydrogen for use in stationary cogeneration fuel cells. Its use in fuel cells eliminates the pollution from products of combustion.

An example of waste management through composting is the Green Bin Program in Toronto, Canada, where Source Separated Organics (such as kitchen scraps and plant cuttings) are collected in a dedicated container and then composted.

The energy content of waste products can be harnessed directly by using them as a direct combustion fuel, or indirectly by processing them into another type of fuel. Recycling through thermal treatment ranges from using waste as a fuel source for cooking or heating, to anaerobic digestion and the use of the gas fuel (see above), to fuel for boilers to generate steam and electricity in a turbine. Pyrolysis and gasification are two related forms of thermal treatment where waste materials are heated to high temperatures with limited oxygen availability. The process usually occurs in a sealed vessel under high pressure. Pyrolysis of solid waste converts the material into solid, liquid and gas products. The liquid and gas can be burnt to produce energy or refined into other chemical products (chemical refinery). The solid residue (char) can be further refined into products such as activated carbon. Gasification and advanced Plasma arc gasification are used to convert organic materials directly into a synthetic gas (syngas) composed of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. The gas is then burnt to produce electricity and steam. An alternative to pyrolisis is high temperature and pressure supercritical water decomposition (hydrothermal monophasic oxidation).

An important method of waste management is the prevention of waste material being created, also known as waste reduction. Methods of avoidance include reuse of second-hand products, repairing broken items instead of buying new, designing products to be refillable or reusable (such as cotton instead of plastic shopping bags), encouraging consumers to avoid using disposable products (such as disposable cutlery), removing any food/liquid remains from cans, packaging, ...[3] and designing products that use less material to achieve the same purpose (for example, lightweighting of beverage cans).

Waste collection methods vary widely among different countries and regions. Domestic waste collection services are often provided by local government authorities, or by private companies in the industry. Some areas, especially those in less developed countries, do not have a formal waste-collection system. Examples of waste handling systems include:

In Australia, curbside collection is the method of disposal of waste. Every urban domestic household is provided with three bins: one for recyclables, another for general waste and another for garden materials - this bin is provided by the municipality if requested. Also, many households have compost bins; but this is not provided by the municipality. To encourage recycling, municipalities provide large recycle bins, which are larger than general waste bins. Municipal, commercial and industrial, construction and demolition waste is dumped at landfills and some is recycled. Household waste is segregated: recyclables sorted and made into new products, and general waste is dumped in landfill areas. According to the ABS, the recycling rate is high and is 'increasing, with 99% of households reporting that they had recycled or reused some of their waste within the past year (2003 survey), up from 85% in 1992'. This suggests that Australians are in favour of reduced or no landfilling and the recycling of waste. Of the total waste produced in 2002–03, '30% of municipal waste, 45% of commercial and industrial waste and 57% of construction and demolition waste' was recycled. Energy is produced from waste as well: some landfill gas is captured for fuel or electricity generation. Households and industries are not charged for the volume of waste they produce.

In Europe and a few other places around the world, a few communities use a proprietary collection system known as Envac, which conveys refuse via underground conduits using a vacuum system. Other vacuum-based solutions include the MetroTaifun single-line and ring-line systems. In Canadian urban centres curbside collection is the most common method of disposal, whereby the city collects waste and/or recyclables and/or organics on a scheduled basis. In rural areas people often dispose of their waste by hauling it to a transfer station. Waste collected is then transported to a regional landfill. In Taipei, the city government charges its households and industries for the volume of rubbish they produce. Waste will only be collected by the city council if waste is disposed in government issued rubbish bags. This policy has successfully reduced the amount of waste the city produces and increased the recycling rate. In Israel, the Arrow Ecology company has developed the ArrowBio system, which takes trash directly from collection trucks and separates organic and inorganic materials through gravitational settling, screening, and hydro-mechanical shredding. The system is capable of sorting huge volumes of solid waste, salvaging recyclables, and turning the rest into biogas and rich agricultural compost. The system is used in California, Australia, Greece, Mexico, the United Kingdom and in Israel. For example, an ArrowBio plant that has been operational at the Hiriya landfill site since December 2003 serves the Tel Aviv area, and processes up to 150 tons of garbage a day.

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