The weather affects nearly all commercial, industrial and institutional sectors, but those operating outdoors are especially vulnerable to harsh weather. The wind has the potential to blow around debris and emissions from landfill sites, recycling facilities, and other waste management operations. Therefore, if the wind is monitored, the environmental and social impact of waste management can be minimised.
Waste management operations can release harmful substances such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particulate matter (PM) and carbon monoxide (CO). VOCs and PM have both short and long-term effects on health, while CO can be lethal for humans at relatively low concentrations. All of these pollutants can be transported around by the wind, and they also undergo chemical reactions that give rise to even more pollutants, especially when exposed to abundant sunshine and warm temperatures.
How the Wind Influences Pollution
Air pollution is often found far away from where it was released, and this is caused by large-scale wind patterns. In fact, the impact of a waste management facility can be reduced by choosing an adequate site before construction. Ideally, these sites should be placed in a location where the wind will not carry pollution to population centers.
Some regions may experience a phenomenon called temperature inversion, where upper levels of the atmosphere are warmer than lower levels (normally, temperature decreases with altitude). This then blocks air convection and traps local pollution preventing it from dispersing, whilst additional air pollutants can be carried by the wind from other places.
Temperature also has an impact on air pollution by influencing the rate at which chemical reactions occur. Ozone formation is a key example of this. The compound is beneficial in the upper atmosphere because it blocks cosmic radiation, but is considered a pollutant at ground-level. At ground-level, ozone is rarely emitted directly, and most of it is formed from chemical reactions involving VOCs and nitrogen oxides (NOx).
Wind patterns, temperature and solar radiation all influence air pollution. WINDCRANE provides affordable and reliable monitoring and can be equipped with sensors to measure and track all three variables. Additionally, it is highly adaptable, making it suitable for any combination of site conditions.
Enhancing Site Safety in Waste Management
The weather has a big influence on the spread of air pollution from waste management operations. Strong winds are also a risk factor for site personnel. For example, the wind can disrupt dust and fine particles, irritating the eyes and respiratory system. Additionally, larger objects can become projectiles during a strong gust of wind.
WINDCRANE comes factory-configured for use with a proprietary application and web dashboard. It provides 24/7 visibility of site conditions, and can also be configured to display simultaneous data from multiple sites. Key decision makers can view live data at any time, and are notified automatically when an event requires attention, such as a wind gust.
To help minimize the potential social and environmental hazards of your waste management operations, you need access to live weather data. Effective weather monitoring allows you to carry out planning to reduce the potential impact the weather has on your operations.