5.3 Recycling and Reuse Business Risk Assessment

People that work in recycling business have to be careful with the toxic waste, such as glass, paper, plastic, iron and electronic garbage that may generate dust, germ and contaminated substances causing occupational diseases and accidents. The objective of recycling and reuse business risk assessment involves evaluation of the risk and solution of health problems of the workers. The recycling business deals with different substances, such as iron and aluminium, coconut peel, glass, plastic, paper, and others. The workers may cut themselves on metal and glass, may inhale dust, microorganisms and contaminated substances. The diseases that may occur are skin, respiratory, gastrointestinal diseases, cancer and heavy metal toxicity, along with eye injury and hearing loss. The inappropriate position when carrying heavy goods or standing for a long time may cause fatigue. The unsafe process may cause accidents, while lack of personal protective equipment may lead to occupational diseases. There are certain things that can be done to reduce risks, such as: personal protective equipment; ergonomics plan; evaluation of working conditions; physical examinations. Workers should wear protective equipment, including masks, gloves, safety shoes, clothes, eye-glasses, ear plugs, and safety helmets.

Risk assessment has usually been applied into two major areas:

- Adverse health and environmental effects of exposure to hazardous chemicals.

- Failure of complex technological systems.

The use of risk assessment in waste management facilities and especially in landfills has been increased since it was understood that all landfills, especially hazardous waste landfills, can harm both the environment and human health due to both constructional and operational problems.

The accumulated experience in landfill construction and work encourages improvement of risk assessment procedures and their application in almost all phases of a landfill life cycle. In landfill design, the understanding of the physicochemical and mechanical characteristics of the materials used is of major importance. Risk assessment is exercised not only in planning the overall design but also in considering the details of individual materials and their methods of installation.

For risk assessment in landfill design, construction and operation, the following issues must be considered:

• Framework for risk-based engineering in landfills.

• Use of risk-based approaches in evaluation of alternative design models.

• Use of risk-based techniques in evaluation of operational issues.

• Use of risk-based approaches for determination of waste acceptance criteria.

The following events often occur in waste management/recycling:

•     Businesses that generate industrial waste may violate the law or get involved in inappropriate waste treatment.

•     Illegal waste dump.

The common cases and key proactive/counter measures are:

•     Expiration/cancellation of a license for contracted business dealing with waste treatment/recycling.

•     Lack of insurance and violation of the management guidelines for control on industrial waste.

•     Waste outflow from contractors, affiliates and distribution channels, among others.

•     Waste discharged from the department where a waste management/recycling practice is not regularly carried out.

•     Waste products that are sold as usable materials.