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For more information, please see full course syllabus of AP Environmental Science
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Materials Management

  • Resources are considered renewable or non-renewable. In order to preserve our limited resources as long as possible: eliminate subsidies for virgin materials, establish “green building” incentives, provide financial rewards for sound practices (and penalties for offenders)
  • Mineral resources include ore deposits (like silica, zinc, copper, iron, etc), and sedimentary processes/weathering have to do with how we get access to these precious substances
  • The question of how much of minerals remain is a good one, especially because resources and reserves are very different. The need/use of minerals has a lot to do with the demand for extraction
  • Impacts of mineral development are environmental and social, and we need to do what we can to minimize the impact
  • The resource cycle traces minerals from their formation/origin, through extraction, through refining, through use, and then recycling/disposal
  • Management of the mineral wastes is important, and the eventual goal is zero waste production!
  • Integrated Waste Management (IWM) involves a set of management alternatives that include reuse, reduction, recycling, composting, landfills, and incineration
  • Municipal solid-waste management involves open dumps, sanitary dumps, composting, and incineration
  • Site selection and monitoring are important to consider with landfills, and there is plenty of legislation regarding how to properly maintain them
  • Hazardous waste is a major issue considering the U.S. alone produces more than 700 million metric tons of it per year. The story of Love Canal, NY is a classic example of the dangers of unregulated, illegal dumping. The RCRA and CERCLA were important pieces of legislation to deal with this problem
  • Ocean dumping is also a huge problem leading to death/retarded growth of organisms, reduction of oxygen levels, and eutrophication. It also harms the microlayer at the top of the ocean. There is a large “plastic island” in the middle of the Pacific Ocean as a result of unregulated and irresponsible ocean dumping
  • Electronic waste (e-waste) has been a bigger problem recently with the increased use and disposal of electronic devices like cell phones and personal computers. We can do a better job of recycling/reusing the parts
  • Pollution can be prevented: purchase only what is needed, control manufacturing to reduce waste, substitute nontoxic materials for toxic ones, improve engineering related to pollution

Materials Management

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • The Importance of Resources 0:04
    • Renewable vs. Nonrenewables
    • Goal
    • Ways to Achieve Goal
  • Mineral Resources 5:06
    • Ore Deposits
    • Sedimentary Processes Result
    • Weathering
  • How Much is Left? 8:15
    • Resources
    • Reserves
    • Varied Use of Minerals Worldwide
    • When the Resources is Limited…
  • Mineral Development and Its Impact 13:42
    • Environmental Impacts
    • Social Impacts
    • Minimizing the Impact
  • Resource Cycle Flowchart 18:47
  • Materials Management and Waste 21:38
    • History or Waste Disposal
    • Industrial Ecology
  • Integrated Waste Management 28:06
    • IWM
    • Single Stream Recycling
    • Public Support
    • Recycling Human Waste
  • Solid-Waste Management 35:48
    • What It's Composed Of
    • Composting
    • Incineration
    • Open Dumps vs. Sanitary Landfills
  • Landfills: Site Selection and Monitoring 43:51
    • The Hazard of Leachate
    • Site Selection
    • Entrance into the Environment
  • Legislation and Waste Reduction in Landfills 49:03
    • Federal/ EPA Standards
    • Waste Reduction Strategies
  • Hazardous Waste 54:20
    • Illegal Dumping
    • Pollution of Groundwater and/or Soil
  • Hazardous Waste Disposal, Management 59:35
    • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
    • CERCLA
    • Environmental Audits
    • Secure Landfill
  • Alternatives to Land Disposal 1:03:58
    • We Can Improve Hazardous Waste Disposal
    • Source Reduction
    • Recycling, Resource Recovery
    • Incineration
  • Ocean Dumping 1:05:52
    • Oceans Cover More Than 70% of Earth
    • Some of Marine Pollution's Harmful Effects
    • Microlayer Dangers
    • 'Plastic Island' in the Pacific
  • E-Waste 1:10:56
    • Danger of Electronic Waste
    • Treasure of the Cell Phone
    • Some Areas Factor Recycling/ Disposal Into Costs
    • We Can Do Better!