These adaptation strategies offer possible ways to address the difficulties in recycling, composting, and other waste reduction efforts that may be thwarted during and after extreme weather events.
Adaptation strategies for waste reduction and recycling
- Consult haulers, owners, and operators of waste management facilities, including reuse and recycling facilities, and other entities
- For unique waste streams, specialized expertise may be needed for transport and other waste management activities. Make sure all entities understand their roles in the event of an extreme weather event.
- Determine what opportunities exist outside of the immediate area as local facilities could be damaged during an extreme weather event.
- Identify options for reuse, recycling, and composting for different materials and wastes
- Consult with facilities and appropriate regulatory authorities about establishing acceptance criteria for these materials and wastes.
- Consider available reuse and recycling opportunities in other regions, states, and countries, including materials (or waste) exchanges as local facilities might not be operational or accessible.
- Alarm networks
- Integrating a series of sensors linked to electronic control devices that trigger a shutdown of the system, or linked to audible/visual alarms that alert workers of the need to manually shut down the system, when specified operating or ambient parameters are exceeded will help prevent damage to the system.
- Hazard alerts
- Using electronic systems that actively inform subscribers of extreme weather events or provide internet postings on local/regional weather and related conditions will inform managers when risk is high and they need to implement protective measures.
- Remote access
- Integrating electronic devices that enable workers to suspend pumping or selected activities during extreme weather events, periods of impeded access or unexpected hydrologic conditions can prevent contaminants from being released from the system.
- Weather alerts
- Electronic systems actively inform subscribers of extreme weather events or provide internet postings on local/regional weather and related conditions to help prepare the system in the event of extreme weather.
- Flood controls
- Building one or more structures to retain or divert floodwaters, such as vegetated berms, drainage swales, levees, dams or retention ponds will reduce the risk of damage from flooding.
- Retaining wall
- Building a structure (commonly of concrete, steel sheet piles or timber) to support earth masses having a vertical or near-vertical slope will hold back loose soil, rocks or debris and prevent damage to the system.
- Run-on controls
- Building one or more earthen structures (such as vegetated berms, vegetated swales, or stormwater ponds) or installing fabricated drainage structures (such as culverts or French drains) at vulnerable locations will prevent stormwater accumulating at higher elevations from reaching a system and causing damage.
- Power from off-grid sources
- Constructing a permanent system or using portable equipment provides power generated from on-site renewable resources, as a primary or redundant power supply, that can operate independent of the utility grid when needed so the system can keep running even if power is lost.
- Renewable energy system safeguards
- Building extended concrete footing for ground-mounted photovoltaic systems, adding additional bracing for roof-top photovoltaic or solar thermal systems, and adding additional masts for small wind turbines or windmills will help protect the systems from damage. For utility-scale systems, safeguards to address climate change vulnerabilities may be addressed in the site-specific renewable energy feasibility study.
These strategies are adapted from The Climate Change Adaptation Technical Fact Sheet Series. For more information please view these strategies in the context provided by the primary source document.
The adaptation strategies provided are intended to inform and assist communities in identifying potential alternatives. They are illustrative and are presented to help communities consider possible ways to address current and future climate threats to contaminated site management. Read the full disclaimer.