What is waste?

Industrial Waste can be anything from cardboard and plastic wrapping to demolition waste and spent barrels like in the above image and everything in between. The difference between this from hazardous waste is generally that it may not contain certain substances known to be toxic but is nevertheless waste that could be recycled or might have to be incinerated.

Sometimes a real-world equivalency is better to illustrate a given amount of waste.

The YvesBlue Impact Assessment for Waste compares a company's annual reported waste tonnage to the weight of an African Bush Elephant which weighs 13,000 lbs. *

Calculations:

Step 1: Convert: a company's annual reported waste in tonnes to pounds

1 tonne = 2204.62 lbs

Step 2: Divide: lbs of company waste by 13,000 lbs = the number of African Bush Elephants that is represented by that weight.

Example:

42,000 tonnes * 2204.62 = ~92,594,150 lbs

92,594,150 lbs / 13,000 = ~7122 African Bush Elephants

Hope:

Industrial Ecology is a very new sub-field, usually within Industrial Engineering or Civil Engineering, that studies material and energy flows through industrial systems in order to optimize resource use, lessen waste and support a circular economy. A waste stream from one industry can be re-used by another industry. It is hoped that the growth of this field will deliver solutions to the industry's waste issues.



* https://www.nature.org/en-us/get-involved/how-to-help/animals-we-protect/african-bush-elephant/

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