Waste Management Definition

A good waste management definition can be summed up neatly in one sentence. It can be defined as “the generation, prevention, characterization, monitoring, treatment, handling, reuse and residual disposition of solid wastes.” Solid waste differs, ranging from municipal (including residential waste, commercial waste and institutional waste) to agricultural to special waste (waste created through health care, sewage and household hazardous solid waste). A general waste management definition is materials that are produced by humans, and its purpose is to reduce waste’s negative effect on the environment, health or aesthetics.

Waste Management Definition: The Issues that are Related to Waste Management


The issues that encompass waste management include minimizing and removing waste, the generation of waste, transporting waste, recycling and reusing, waste treatment, the storage, collection and transfer of waste, the environment, landfills, policy and regulation of waste, the financial ramifications of waste, education and training about waste, and implementation and planning.
A good waste management definition will include the fact that different countries and different regions handle their waste differently. However there is a core similarity in all waste management definitions for different reasons.

Common Ideas in All Waste Management Definitions

The waste hierarchy. When the waste hierarchy is discussed, it refers to reducing, reusing and recycling which refer to waste management strategies. The waste hierarchy aims to reduce waste as much as possible and extract the maximum benefits from waste products. Reducing is at the top of the hierarchy because it focuses on preventing the damage that is done by tossing trash in the garbage. Next is reuse in the hierarchy because it minimizes the damage done by waste. Next is recycling, including composting. After this is recovery of materials. Finally is disposal, a last resort for waste. The waste hierarchy represents the progression of a material through the stages in the pyramid that follow sequentially.

The next core idea of the waste management definition is the life-cycle of products. It starts with design, then the product goes through manufacture, then distribution then use, then it will go through the waste hierarchy: reusing products, recovering them, recycling waste then waste disposal. Each of these stages in the life cycle presents an opportunity to intervene with policy, to make us question the need for a product, to reduce the potential of waste, and to extend the period of time that we use it. Critical to the life cycle idea is that it is essential to use earth’s limited resources by avoiding generating unnecessary waste.

The third idea of the waste management definition is resource efficiency. This idea is founded upon the fact that we can’t sustain the earth with the way that we produce and consume products today. In other words, we are using more resources to make our goods than the earth can replenish. This idea is centered around reducing the negative impact of our production and consumption from using raw materials to our last use and disposal.

One last idea completing the waste management definition is the “polluter pays principle.” This principle dictates that the party that pollutes must pay for the negative impact it causes on the earth.


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  1. Avatar for Arman مهرجانات says:

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