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Waste Management

Modern Practices

Three main, inter-related factors influence the way wastes are handled today: government regulation, cost, and public attitudes. Industry and local governments must comply with increasingly strict federal and state regulations for landfills and incinerators. Partly because those regulations have driven up the costs of disposal, it has become critical for local governments, industry and businesses of all sizes to find the lowest-cost waste management options.

Public attitudes also play a pivotal role in decisions about waste management. Virtually every proposed new landfill or waste-to-energy plant is opposed by people who live near the site. Public officials and planners refer to this reaction as NIMBY, which stands for "Not In My BackYard." If an opposition group becomes vocal or powerful enough, a city or county council is not likely to approve a proposed waste-disposal project. The public also wields considerable clout with businesses. Recycling and waste prevention initiatives enjoy strong public support.

About 19% of United States municipal solid waste was recycled or composted in 1994, 10% was incinerated, and 71% was landfilled. The recycling rate is expected to rise to 25% by the year 2000.

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Verbena Family (Verbenaceae) - Tropical Hardwoods In The Verbena Family to WelfarismWaste Management - History Of Waste Management, Municipal Solid Waste, Agricultural, Mining, And Industrial Waste, Hazardous Waste