Environmental Waste Management - BEN202

The proper treatment and disposal of environmental waste is an ongoing issue across many industries.

This course covers what constitutes waste and how it can be minimized, various forms of pollution and its effects as well as the use of natural processes to dispose of some wastes.


There are 6 lessons as follows:

There are 6 lessons in this course:

  1. Domestic Waste
    • Definitions
    • The Earths environment
    • Conservation and use of resources
    • Value of resources: economic, ecological and aesthetic
    • Damage being caused
    • Urbanisation -The impact of humans
    • Sewage and it's treatment
    • Characteristics of Sewage
    • Components of Sewage -solids, organic material, industrial waste
    • Decomposition of Sewage
    • The nitrogen cycle
    • Classification of Sewage Systems
    • Storm Water Systems and Management
    • Dry Rubbish
    • Nature of Refuse
    • Placement and protection of bins
    • Trade waste
    • Refuse Collection Systems
    • Refuse Collection vehicles
    • Salvage materials
    • Safe disposal of household chemicals
  2. Street Cleaning & Disposal Of Refuse
    • Types of Street Refuse
    • Methods of street cleaning -gritting, sanding, sweeping, washing, etc
    • Cleaning storm water pits
    • Managing snow
    • Refuse disposal-separation, controlled tipping, combustion, pulverisation, etc
    • Refuse for fertiliser
    • Methods of Refuse Sorting -screening, magnetic, hand sorting
    • Types of incinerators
    • Vacuum systems for refuse collection -garchey system, gandillon
    • Harvesting energy from combustion.
  3. Industrial Waste
    • Types of industrial pollution
    • The greenhouse effect
    • Ozone depletion
  4. Toxic and Nuclear Waste
    • Nuclear power
    • Nuclear fission
    • Mining nuclear fuel
    • Uranium enrichment
    • Gas Diffusion
    • Gas centrifuge
    • Nuclear waste
    • Transporting nuclear waste
    • Reprocessing
    • Health risks of nuclear waste
  5. Water Quality and Treatment
    • Industrial effluent
    • Pricing control compared with direct control
    • Types of water impurities
    • Scope of purification
    • Managing water for public supply
    • Water treatment methods
    • Purification methods -sedimentation, filtration, disinfection, aeration, screening, etc
    • Recycling sewage water
    • Recycling waste water
    • Reed bed treatment
    • Improving water quality from any source -physical, chemical, biological impurities
    • Water borne diseases
  6. Recycling Waste
    • Scope and nature of recycling
    • Rubbish tips (dumps)
    • Recycling plastics
    • Recycling metals
    • Recycling glass
    • Recycling paper
    • Recycling rubber
    • Actions by individuals (at home or work) -reducing, reusing and recycling waste

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.



On completion of the course you should be able to do the following:

  • Explain the nitrogen cycle and how it relates to waste treatment.
  • Determine the economic considerations of different waste disposal systems.
  • Compare industrial waste management with domestic waste management procedures.
  • Determine the principles of "polluter pays" legislation and how it is applied.
  • Describe how a budget is applied to managing a specific waste management enterprise.
  • Discuss issues in nuclear power and nuclear waste technology (including hospital waste).
  • Explain the cyclic nature of the water system and its relationship to environmental waste

    Career Tips

    • Ensure your skills are up to date, by pursuing further studies or attending professional development activities.
    • Keep up to date with what's happening in the field of Environmental Waste Management. What are the most pressing issues and where is there likely to be more work?
    • Join a networking group to meet people who are working in the field of Environmental Waste Management.
    • Get some experience. Whether paid or unpaid, experience will always make your CV look more impressive and give you some practical knowledge to apply in your interview.


    How important is Recycling?

    The reason that life has lasted on earth in one form or another through millions of years is because of nature's recycling system. Waste does not exist in nature; everything is recycled. This even includes human and animal breath, where oxygen is inhaled and carbon dioxide exhaled. The plants take up the carbon dioxide and give off oxygen.

    Another of nature's recycling processes is that rain falls and forms puddles. It then evaporates into the air and forms clouds, where the water condenses and falls as rain. Another recycling process is a fox that kills a rabbit. The fox eats the rabbit, adds it droppings and eventually its own carcass to the soil. Nature uses these nutrients to grow more grass, and more rabbits to feed more foxes.

    Humans create the most waste but have tried to opt out of waste recycling and have in many ways adopted a one way system. For example, metals are extracted from the earth and made into tin cans. After use the cans are dumped. This amounts, in some countries, to millions of tins per day.

    Many of these cans are dumped as litter at sports stadiums, parks and other public places, even highways. Retrieval of this litter is very costly for example: the cost of retrieving a tonne of litter from litter bins may be as little as a tenth of the cost of disposing of litter retrieved from the streets.

    In some countries it is an offence to litter – in others, it is not.

    The most conspicuous items in world litter are tins, non-returnable bottles and plastic: partly because paper-packaging breaks down in sunlight. Bottles do not breakdown naturally and therefore last forever. Tin cans last for a very long time if they are buried and oxygen around them is limited. In the open air cans, made of tin and iron rust relatively quickly: iron-based cans turn into ferrous oxide: aluminium tins take many hundreds of years to degrade.

    A survey conducted in Greece provided the following information:

    • A bus ticket takes one month to biodegrade.
    • Cotton takes five months to degrade.
    • A wool sock takes one year to biodegrade.
    • A bamboo pole takes three years to biodegrade.
    • A wooden stake takes three years to biodegrade.
    • An aluminium can take 500 years to degrade.
    • A glass bottle could take more than 5000 years to degrade.

    Obviously, if a product cannot be reused, then, if at all possible, it should be recycled. In a general sense, the public are somewhat aloof with regard to recycling their waste. In some countries, residents are encouraged to separate domestic waste into different components:

    • Glass
    • Metals
    • Plastics
    • Wet refuse
    • Paper and cardboard

    Globally, however, this has met with only limited success. One problem associated with this system is having suitable facilities for reclaiming and processing this collected material. In Australia for example some council authorities have huge stockpiles of some materials, i.e. plastic bottles, because they have no one willing to take them and reprocess them. In some situations governments need to provide financial incentives for firms to develop and run suitable processing facilities for such recyclable materials and suitable products need to be developed that can utilise the reprocessed material.


    • Professional development for anyone working in waste removal or recycling who hasn't previously studied the subject
    • Students of the environment
    • Land managers, property managers, and anyone else whop is faced with managing waste
    • Teachers, writers and consultants
    • Anyone passionate about environmental protection and sustainability

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    Fee Information (S2)
    Prices in Australian Dollars

    PlanAust. PriceOverseas Price
    A 1 x $781.66  1 x $710.60
    B 2 x $416.96  2 x $379.05

    Note: Australian prices include GST. 

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