Duquesa Landfill Arroyo Norte, Los Casabes Santo Domingo

Literature Review[edit | edit source]

See Arroyo Norte sustainable market materials for the project that this research was completed for.

This section is based on research of the most up-to-date information relevant to the Arroyo Norte sustainable market materials project. Most of the information outlined below is pulled from credible sources and project pages of successfully implemented projects or processes to upcycle materials from the waste stream. Upcycling is done by processing previously used materials that would otherwise go to the waste stream, and creating something new that is better aesthetically or more purposeful than the original material(s).[1]

Santo Domingo Waste Stream Study[edit | edit source]

Santo Domingo creates a total of 11,000 pounds of trash daily. Its population density, nearly 4 million Dominican citizens and 2.5 million tourists annually, is the major contributing factor. The largest landfill in the country, Duquesa, is located in Arroyo Norte. All of the waste at Duquesa is managed by the ADN National District Municipality. According to the an interview with Max Da Silva, manager of operations in Duquesa, by DiarioLibre, there are around 400 trips by grabage trucks a day during the operation times which are from 6:00 am to 8:00 p.m.[2] Management of this waste is too much for the municipality to handle and a disproportionate financial burden(as much as 300 pesos a month according to local accounts) on the citizens of Santo Domingo. Waste pickup is often sporadic due to poorly maintained equipment. There are programs however to combat the waste management issues, including alternative energy projects, non-profit organizations such as trashmountain, and recycling implementation (2009).

This table is from a 2001 study on the Dominican Republic waste stream contents, published in a USAID Environmental study of the Dominican Republic.[3]

As of 2002, 95% of solid waste collection services are privatized in Santo Domingo. The statistics for where the trash ends up in the Dominican Republics are:

  • 3.7% throw garbage into the river
  • 23.7% burn their waste
  • 52.7% of trash from independent homes gets collected by the city council[4]

Environmental concerns arise from the open-air disposal, which is the case for all dumpsites, where 98% of the country's trash resides. This style of waste management creates serious environmental risks and groundwater contaminations.[4]

Common Upcycled Waste Stream Materials[edit | edit source]

The most common materials re-used from the waste stream include plastics, metals, and paper. For the scope of this project, we will examine all materials present in the waste stream that have potential to be re-used or up-cycled into indoor furniture for a marketplace in Arroyo Norte.

Plastic[edit | edit source]

Plastic is a petroleum-based material that can be manufactured in various sizes, shapes and strengths. Each type of plastic that is produced usually has the chemical formula, or Plastic codes, identified somewhere on the product in the form of a number, surrounded by a recyclable sign. Each of these material signatures helps the end user to sort the plastics accordingly and identify which materials can be used again.

Image Description Melting Temperature
PETE #1: Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) can be found in the form of plastic bottles that contain liquid like water or soda, and also peanut butter containers.[5] 540 degrees F[6]
HDPE #2: High Density Polyethylene is mostly found in the waste stream in the form of soda caps, milk jugs, but is also used to create juice bottles and some trash bags.[5] HDPE rigid plastic facts:
  • Maximum Temperature: 248°F 120°C
  • Minimum Temperature: -148°F -100°C
  • Autoclavable: No
  • Melting Point: 266°F 130°C
  • Tensile Strength: 4550 psi
  • Hardness: SD65
  • UV resistance: Poor
266-400 degrees F[6]
PVC #3: Polyvinyl Chloride is a type of plastic used for PVC piping, juice bottles or cling wrap.[5] 325-350 degrees F[6]
LDPE #4: Low Density Polyethylene is used for flexible items such as ziplock freezer bags, squeezable condiment bottles, and flexible lids.[5]The softening point for this type of plastic is 248 degrees F.[6] 284 degrees F[6]
PP #5: Polypropylene is used to make many single-use cups, lids, and yogurt containers.[5] This material has the strength to withstand high heat and stress. 575 degrees F[6]
Polystyrene cup lid.JPG
PS #6: Polystyrene can be used for things such as packing peanuts, egg cartons, disposable cutlery and disposable food containers.[5] 350-390 degrees F[6]
Other #7: Other plastics refer to polycarbonate or ABS usually, and are used to case electronic equipment, and sometimes are used to make to-go containers, or Legos as shown.[5] (ABS): 400-420 degrees F[6]
Melting Plastics Vs. Burning Plastics[edit | edit source]

The process of melting and reshaping plastics is more safely implemented when the plastic reaches temperature to melt, but never reaches a high enough temperature to burn. Health hazards are associated with burning plastics because once the material reaches a high enough temperature to burn, it off-gasses, which means it releases toxic chemicals into the atmosphere, unique to each type of plastic. Dioxins are the most potent carcinogen when tested on animals, and are present in halogenated plastics, such as PVC and plastics containing chlorine and fluorine. When these halogenated plastics are burned, dioxins pose the highest threat to human health.[7]

Rubber[edit | edit source]

Tires will be the most applicable form of rubber to be used in the creation of furniture and walls for the marketplace. Another application of upcycled rubber is to find bicycle tire tubes or any rubber tubing of the like, and weave them together to create a seat for a chair.

Metals[edit | edit source]

Metals enter the waste stream in many types, forms, and conditions. The most common metals that will be examined for this project are tin cans, aluminum cans, and electronic waste. Although many other materials enter the waste stream that can be used to make furniture in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, these materials seem to be the most readily available to every one, and can be repurposed in any home before entering the waste stream.

Tin[edit | edit source]

Tin enters the waste stream in the form of tin cans, mostly intended to store food. Tin cans are a widely distributed material, and are an excellent choice for upcycling because the material is 100% recyclable and is a non-renewable resource.[8]

  • Melting point: 449.4 degrees F[9]
Steel[edit | edit source]

Steel is most commonly found in the waste stream in the form of steel cans. Throughout history, steel cans have been manufactured with different materials to eliminate corrosion of the steel and toxicity of the materials entering the food contained within the cans.

Tin-coated cans are manufactured by coating the steel can with tin on both sides of the metal before forming the cans. The tin acts as an anti-corrosive material, but acidic foods can cause the tin to corrode, leaching tin into the food and causing gastrointestinal distress. Tin-coated cans are still manufactured today, but are an expensive option so are not used as often as some other anti-corrosion methods.[10]

Tin-free cans are made of tin-free steel, which is coated with a material (originally chromium metal and chromium oxide) to prevent rusting. Although this process is cheaper than tin-coated cans, it is not as effective in preventing corrosion, and these products are more difficult to weld.[10]

Bi-metal cans are made by mixing two different types of metals together. The main body of these type of cans are made of steel, and the top or bottom of the can is made up of another metal, usually aluminum. These cans are difficult to recycle because unlike tin-coated cans, these are not alloy metals (an even mixture of two metals). For this reason, these cans should not be melted down.[10]

  • Melting Point of steel: 2600-2800 degrees F[9]
Aluminum[edit | edit source]

Aluminum cans, like those used to store soda and other single-serving beverages are very commonly found in the waste stream. These cans be be used in a variety of ways, especially by crushing, cutting, and melting them to create larger objects, such as chairs or dividing walls.

  • Melting Point: 1220 degrees F[9]
E-Waste[edit | edit source]

Electronic waste includes computer-chips, motherboards, wires, and sometimes contains precious metals that can be used in the marketplace for purely decorative purposes.

Tree Products[edit | edit source]

The most relevant tree products that enter the waste stream for this project are wood and cardboard. Wood products will be available in a variety of forms, conditions, shapes and sizes. The most adaptable transformations of waste wood will be complete shelf pieces or clean scrap wood that can be chopped into chips, and molded with glue to create a home-made particle board-type material. Cardboard materials found in the waste stream could be adapted to create end-tables or chairs. In order to do this, the cardboard would need to be relatively clean to begin with. After collecting pieces of cardboard, they can be glued together to create a 3-D cube, which can be pre-cut to shape before the gluing process or can be cut to shape after the glue dries to create customized shapes or designs.

Cement Alternatives[edit | edit source]

Al-Manaseer and Dalal (1997) conducted a study to determine how much the concrete density can be reduced by mixing recycled plastics into the concrete mixes. The pieces of post-consumer plastic used in the mixtures were no larger than 13 mm. The study concluded that the density of the concrete was reduced by adding plastic to the mixture. In fact, the density of the concrete was reduced by 2.5%, 6%, and 13% for concrete mixtures containing 10%, 30%, and 50% plastic aggregates, respectively.[11]

Al-Manaseer and Dalal (1997)[11]

Furthermore, Bayasi and Zeng (1993) concluded that the addition of polypropylene fibers fibrillated to less than 19mm did enhance the toughness of concrete under pressure and increased the energy absorption of the material.[12]

Earthship[edit | edit source]

In earthship building, spaces are constructed using repurposed rubber tires filled with dirt. The tires filled with dirt are stacked on top of each other, usually with rebar for structural support, making sturdy, hurricane-proof, upcycled homes. Earthship design is appropriate in most climates, and can decrease the indoor temperature during hot days, and heat the indoor temperature during cold nights due to its thermal mass. Earthship structures can be made more aesthetically pleasing by adding a plaster coating over the top as seen in the photo to the left.

Earthship design


Dominican Republic Natural Building[edit | edit source]

The climate in the Dominican Republic is considered tropical maritime. It has small temperature changes throughout the year, and is consistently humid. The rainfall varies with the seasons, which creates flooding. Hurricanes are frequent in the area, and severe storms occur between the months of June and October.[4]

The building code followed in the Dominican Republic is ACI 318 and ASTM. ACI 318 covers the strength evaluation of existing concrete structures, and the design, materials, and construction of structural concrete that is used in buildings. ASTM is the American Society for Testing and Materials, which is a wide-range standards for services, systems, materials, and products.[4]

Existing building materials primarily used in Dominican Republic housing structures include: concrete blocks, pinewood, palm wood (tabla de palma), tejamanil, yagua, and any materials laying around that could make a wall.[4]

Upon further research, potential natural building materials for construction of the walls in this sustainable market include:

  • papercrete blocks
  • One papercrete block can be produced for 66 pesos less than the cost to produce one typical cement block.[14]
  • hullcrete blocks
  • compressed earth brick (with a little cement)
  • Auroville in India specializes in this technology
  • Factor E Farms has an open-source machine for making the bricks<ref>Conversation with Lonny Grafman, June 17,2014<ref>source for further research www.csuchico.edu/~jpgreene/itec144/m144_ch03.../m144_ch03-01.ppt

References[edit | edit source]

FA info icon.svgAngle down icon.svgPage data
Authors Justine Cook
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Language English (en)
Related 0 subpages, 1 pages link here
Impact 319 page views
Created July 13, 2014 by Justine Cook
Modified June 8, 2023 by Felipe Schenone
Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies.