Solid Waste Engineering – Careers and All you need to know

The primary role of solid waste and management engineers is to supervise and control solid waste gathering, waste disposal, and recycling operations. This implies that they ensure that solid wastes are safely gathered and transported according to the law. Solid wastes are meant to be collected, transported, and disposed of properly because failure to do so can endanger the environment and the lives in it.

The demand for solid waste engineers is on the rise daily and they are one of the best-paid professionals around the world. The continuous rise in population and the advancement in technology have made the demand for solid waste engineers very high. However, to work as a solid waste engineer, you would have to fulfill some requirements before you would be deemed eligible to function as a solid waste engineer.

To work as a solid waste engineer, you would require a college degree in waste management, or relevant courses like chemical and physical science, earth sciences, biochemical science, geography, environmental science, geology, and mechanical engineering. In this article, I would go into detail about all you need to know about solid waste engineering and its line of work.

The Job of a Solid Waste Engineer

Working as a solid waste engineer can be a full day spent on the site or in the office, depending on one’s jurisdiction. Here is the day-to-day expected line of work for a solid waste engineer:

  • Keeping a keen eye on the pollution level in the waste disposal areas.
  • Surveying various kinds of important paperwork; which includes reports and statistical records.
  • Working as a team with other individuals to formulate an effective and hitch-free waste disposal strategy.
  • Make sure that all solid waste regulations are in tandem with the existing waste disposal, supervising, and transportation laws.
  • Ensure that the budgets for waste disposal are properly allocated and that the funds allocated are put to good use.

Work Schedule

The work schedules of solid waste engineers are usually from Monday to Sunday. However, during cases where the sites are open through the week, the environmental engineer might have to work through the weekend.

The Work-Life of a Solid Waste Engineer

The work of solid waste engineers might vary from person to person, depending on the job assigned to them. Depending on your work line, you may be present in a federal office, a landfill site, or a lab.

A solid waste engineer actively takes part in the waste removal system in any location you are assigned to and in various capacities. As a solid waste engineer, you would have to be a team player; this is because you would be required to work as a team to collect, transport, and dispose of solid wastes.

You may also be required to survey various waste materials to ensure the environment isn’t in any way affected by dangerous chemicals. The primary job of an environmental engineer is to monitor and dispose of solid waste products, and also, to run routine checks to ensure the environment is free of any hazardous chemicals.

Places You Can Work as a Solid Waste Engineer

A solid waste engineer stands to get a chance at working in environmental agencies, federal and state departments, recycling companies, manufacturing firms, non-profit-making conservative programs, private waste firms, and other available firms. 

In most cases, applicants who show pre-entry work experience are mostly employed by potential employers. This shows that it’s important to take part in internships and training offered during your college days, it would boost your chances of getting hired into the level of service that suits your taste and preference.

Some companies one can opt for as a solid waste engineer that knows their onions include LLC, CDM Smith, BWX Technologies, Inc., Trihydro Corporations, Land O’Lakes, Inc’s., ITER, and AECOM.

However, it’s important to note that various factors are the chief contributors to the employment rate and demand for environmental engineers. With the rise in population, the need for solid waste engineers has skyrocketed. This is because the need to control the solid waste in landfills has increased tremendously.

Also, the evident improvement in technology is a factor that has boosted the job description of solid waste engineers since there are new and more inventive ways of getting rid of solid waste without endangering the environment and the living things in it.

This way, a solid waste engineer stands a chance to deepen their experience and go for more juicy positions during the course of his/her work life. You can move from an area manager to an operational manager, and so on. This helps you rise in rank, both in the public and private sectors, where you work.

You can also be self-employed as an environmental engineer and consultant. If you feel the jobs available don’t suit your taste, you can always move to areas that suit you best. Working as a solid waste engineer guarantees that. Generally, working as a solid waste engineer is juicy and the job is in high demand in various places of the world, due to the rise in population and the everyday advancement in technology.

How to Become a Solid Waste Engineer

Solid waste engineering jobs are in high demand in various locations of the world and they are one of the best-paid professionals. However, for one to be recognized as an environmental engineer, there are several expectations you must meet.

To begin with, you are expected to have at least a bachelor’s degree in Waste Management or relevant courses like Geology, Biochemical Science, Chemical and Physical Science, Earth Sciences, Geography, Environmental Sciences, and Mechanical Engineering.

Most solid waste engineers can be hired directly; however, with the rising competition, some are mandated to work in construction firms or must have a deepened knowledge of environmental roles after internships in specialized firms. This is currently so because the entry has become more controlled. The primary expectation of every solid waste engineer is to work towards the protection of the immediate environment and lives from hazardous chemicals while controlling the presence of solid waste products.

Methods of Solid Waste Disposal and Management

While collecting, transporting, and disposing of solid waste materials by solid waste engineers, there are expected methods to go about it, to ensure the protection of the environment and lives. Not properly disposing of solid waste products can be hazardous. It can lead to the spread of diseases in the environment. Here, I would give you a detailed method of solid waste disposal and management:

Sea Dumping Process

The process of dumping solid waste products in the sea is generally considered unhealthy and it’s not environmentally friendly. This procedure is very costly and can only be performed in coastal cities.

Composting Process

The composting procedures are usually seen in developing countries of the world. There are two types of composting processes: open-window composting and mechanical composting.

This method has a very close resemblance with sanitary landfilling. The remnants are very good end derivatives and the best soil conditioners.

Salvaging Procedure

Some materials like rags, cloths, glass, metal, papers, plastics and other materials can be regained, converted, and then reused in the future.

Incineration Method

If the solid waste is flammable, then it’s best to use the incineration method. However, it’s important you know that this method can be costly due to high operation costs and building. The incineration method is best in crowded cities and cities where there are no landfilling sites.

Solid Wastes Sanitary Landfills

This process is considered one of the best solid waste disposal and management methods. It’s an easy, productive, and healthy method. This method involves you mashing the layers, using mechanical tools. It would be wrapped underneath the earth, grounded, and compressed.

Disposal by Ploughing on the Fields

Disposal by plowing into the field isn’t a well-used and known method. This might be because it’s not environmentally convenient.

Disposal by Hog Feeding

This procedure isn’t a popular method and is also not frequently used. This method involves grounding solid wastes in grinders and then having the end products dumped in sewers. Recently, the disposal of garbage materials into sewers that involve TBS and BOD has increased by over 20 to 30%.

Solid Waste Open Burning

This is a very popular method; however, it’s important you know that this isn’t a particularly safe method of solid waste disposal and management because it’s not environmentally friendly.

Fermentation and Biological Digestion

Using this method, biodegradable solid wastes are recycled to compost and conversion can be done whenever it’s convenient. As for hazardous wastes, they can be gotten rid of, using any means suitable for the waste product.

Final Thoughts

Solid waste engineers are in high demand due to the growing population worldwide and the advancement in technology which has introduced new and innovative ways of collecting, transporting, and disposing of solid waste without endangering the environment. The primary job of a solid waste engineer is to ensure that the process of waste disposal isn’t hazardous to the environment and the lives in it.

If you want to know everything about solid waste engineering, then you are in the right place as I gave a comprehensive rundown of everything you need to know about solid waste engineers and their career path.

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