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Quiz about Please Accept Our Refuse Now
Quiz about Please Accept Our Refuse Now

Please Accept Our Refuse Now! Trivia Quiz


One person's refuse can be another's useful resource - come see how waste disposal is being handled in the 21st century.

A multiple-choice quiz by looney_tunes. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
looney_tunes
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
358,406
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
1332
Awards
Top 10% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Trivia_Fan54 (8/10), Guest 136 (7/10), Dagny1 (10/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. The European Union, in line with a number of other authorities around the world, has developed a list of steps for waste management called the waste hierarchy. Which of these is the first and most important stage of the waste hierarchy? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. Which of these is NOT a possible material that can be recovered from an old and unwanted mobile phone (cell phone) during recycling and used to make a new phone or some other useful product?

Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. A common Waste to Energy process is incineration. Which of the following does NOT need to be removed from waste before it is processed in an incinerator? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. Many Waste to Energy plants use incineration to dispose of the waste and produce energy. Which of these types of energy is directly produced in this process? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. One of the concerns with incineration is the possibility of hazardous emissions. Modern incineration plants have extensive procedures in place to minimize this. Much of the potential danger is associated with which type of emission? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. What Nordic country has developed such efficient Waste to Energy infrastructure that they do not have enough domestic refuse to power the system, and have started importing waste from other countries? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. Thermal depolymerisation is a process that uses plastics to produce which of the following? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. Plasma gasification is a process that produces synthetic gas from organic matter. What is one major advantage of using this process, as opposed to incineration, when organic waste must be disposed of? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. In 1992, the Western Treatment Plant (more commonly known as the Werribee Sewage Farm) 30 km west of Melbourne, Australia put covers on its treatment ponds to recapture methane. Initially, the covers were installed to deal with what problem? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. On a much smaller scale, Duncan Chew recently set up a company to use which of the following as a source of biogas to use as a fuel? Hint





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quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. The European Union, in line with a number of other authorities around the world, has developed a list of steps for waste management called the waste hierarchy. Which of these is the first and most important stage of the waste hierarchy?

Answer: Reduce consumption

Reduction of consumption means there is less waste, so it is the obvious first step, and most countries have public education campaigns (and often monetary incentives) to encourage individuals and companies to reduce their consumption of raw materials.

There will still be waste, so the next stage is to reuse products - this means that no new resources will be used in the next production cycle for that product. What cannot be directly reused can often be recycled, so that the constituent parts are used to create new products. Since this requires significant energy input, it is less efficient than reuse, but still important. What cannot (or simply is not) recycled then becomes suitable for use in an energy recovery process. All of these steps are in place to reduce the amount of waste that reaches the final stage, disposal, usually to landfill.
2. Which of these is NOT a possible material that can be recovered from an old and unwanted mobile phone (cell phone) during recycling and used to make a new phone or some other useful product?

Answer: SIM card

Your SIM card should be removed before you send your phone in for recycling - you certainly don't want anyone using it again. There are a number of metals used in the construction of a phone, including gold, silver, platinum, copper, tin and zinc; all of these can be recovered and used as raw materials in the production of new phones, or in other industries.

The plastic parts of the phone may (rarely) be directly reusable, but the plastic is more often recycled before being formed into new parts; again, some of the plastic can be sent off to be used in other applications, and reduce the demand for fossil fuels.

The battery of an old phone is often still quite usable, and can be directly used in either another phone or some other application. If it has reached the end of its usable life, it can be taken apart and its components used in the manufacture of another rechargeable battery.
3. A common Waste to Energy process is incineration. Which of the following does NOT need to be removed from waste before it is processed in an incinerator?

Answer: Food contaminants

While improved incineration techniques make it possible to use an increasing range of products, some materials still pose hazards either in the processing or in the potential for hazardous emissions. There are also a number of materials that should be removed before incineration because they can be recycled - newspaper and metals, for example, are better sorted and sent for material recovery. To encourage this, households in some places are encouraged to separate their refuse to varying degrees.

Here in suburban Melbourne, there is a separate bin for all paper, glass, plastic and metal (food containers, not automobiles); in some places these are further sorted by the householder.
4. Many Waste to Energy plants use incineration to dispose of the waste and produce energy. Which of these types of energy is directly produced in this process?

Answer: Heat energy

The incineration process produces large amounts of heat when waste material is burned. Some of this may be used directly to provide heat to the local community (for example, by pumping hot water through pipes), but much of it is usually used to run an electricity generating plant. Water is heated to form steam, which runs a steam turbine to generate electricity.

This energy can be more widely distributed, and replace the need to use other generating technologies which rely on using limited natural resources.
5. One of the concerns with incineration is the possibility of hazardous emissions. Modern incineration plants have extensive procedures in place to minimize this. Much of the potential danger is associated with which type of emission?

Answer: Gas products of combustion

While all of these potentially pose environmental problems, the most significant one is gaseous emissions. The gasses produced in the process will contain all kinds of undesirable substances, and the plant has a series of stages to remove them, so that only carbon dioxide and water are released from the chimneys. These include:
a) electrostatic precipitators to remove particulate matter, which is then disposed of along with the other solid waste products;
b) scrubbers that remove impurities - first a spray of water that contains chemicals to remove heavy metals and acidic gases, next a spray that removes sulfur dioxide, finally a scrubber to remove residual moisture;
c) catalytic conversion or selective non-catalytic conversion removes nitrogen oxides.

The water from the scrubbers is then treated to remove the materials it has absorbed, collecting them as sludge before the cleaned water is released. Solid waste, or slag, is also carefully treated to remove reusable substances such as metals before the solids are separated into fragments according to particulate size. Some fractions are useful as a replacement for gravel in construction. The rest finds its way to landfill.
6. What Nordic country has developed such efficient Waste to Energy infrastructure that they do not have enough domestic refuse to power the system, and have started importing waste from other countries?

Answer: Sweden

All four of these countries import waste for their Waste to Energy programs, but Sweden is the only Nordic country listed. Their Waste to Energy processes are so efficient that only about 4% of all waste ends up in landfill. As of 2012, Sweden had used up existing landfills, and the country was not producing enough refuse to keep the plants running, so they began importing trash.

They started importing the shortfall, nearly 100,000 tons a year, from nearby countries such as Norway. Norway pays Sweden to take their excess waste, Sweden processes it, and the ash product is returned to Norway where it goes into landfill, at a much smaller volume than the original would have been.

There are plans to extend this to take in waste from countries further away which have more substantial landfill disposal practices, such as Italy and the Baltic states.
7. Thermal depolymerisation is a process that uses plastics to produce which of the following?

Answer: Short-chain hydrocarbons

Polymers are large molecules made up of smaller ones that have joined together. In this context, the reference is to molecules made by combining molecules that contain a short chain of carbon atoms along with hydrogen atoms and, possibly, some other elements. Depolymerisation means breaking the large molecules down to make smaller ones again.

Thermal depolymerisation uses superheated water to turn plastic waste into the kind of small hydrocarbons that can be used in industry to make more plastics, replacing the need to use the corresponding fraction of crude oil as an ingredient.
8. Plasma gasification is a process that produces synthetic gas from organic matter. What is one major advantage of using this process, as opposed to incineration, when organic waste must be disposed of?

Answer: It safely destroys bio-contaminated waste

Plasma is gas that has been heated to such a high temperature that its molecules and/or atoms have been ionized by losing electrons. The organic matter subjected to this process loses its original nature, which means that hazardous molecules are safely destroyed.

The target is to produce clean syngas, which is a mixture of flammable gasses such as hydrogen, carbon monoxide, methane and others. The solid waste byproduct can also be used in the same way as the solid waste produced by incineration plants.
9. In 1992, the Western Treatment Plant (more commonly known as the Werribee Sewage Farm) 30 km west of Melbourne, Australia put covers on its treatment ponds to recapture methane. Initially, the covers were installed to deal with what problem?

Answer: Odour

The covers allow the Western Treatment Plant to use the captured methane to generate all of its electricity needs, and it is planned to start exporting electricity to the grid. Greenhouse gas emissions were, of course, significantly reduced by this process, and nearby residents were pleased to have the odour emissions virtually eliminated.

The plant also produces recycled water for industrial and agricultural use.
10. On a much smaller scale, Duncan Chew recently set up a company to use which of the following as a source of biogas to use as a fuel?

Answer: Dog faeces

Poo Power plans to set up public-access biogas generators in locations such as off-lead parks where dog owners currently place their dogs' 'gifts' into plastic bags and leave them in rubbish bins. The generator would store the methane produced in a canister, which could then be used to run a barbecue, for example, or to light the area during the evening hours. Mr Chew reported in a television interview in March of 2013 that his boxer produces over 50 litres of biogas a week in his domestic setup. With four million dogs roaming the parks of Australia, that is a lot of energy currently being left unused!
Source: Author looney_tunes

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor WesleyCrusher before going online.
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