Metals are one of the more obvious components of waste for recovery. Several reasons exist. First, there exists a long history of a scrap-metals industry entirely separate from existing solid waste management. This became a high-visibility activity during recent wars. Second, metal cans are among the first very common disposable packaging for comestibles: glass bottles have a longer history, but were commonly re-used; canning of food was an amazing innovation in its day. The steel can (“tin can”) became a very standard waste material, and very readily identified. Third, the technology for the recovery of iron and steel is obvious to the least-educated: magnets. Fourth, today, newer metals in the waste stream have even higher value than common steels; chief among those is aluminum. Finally, the newest concern is over the fate of heavy metals in waste control systems. Lead, mercury, and cadmium feature as arising from electrical equipment, as well as other sources. Their removal prior to land disposal, digestion, or combustion could have significant benefits to the environmental protection afforded by those control options as well as the economics of operating those systems.
KeywordsZinc Combustion Permeability Mercury Chromium
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