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Solid Waste Analysis - Essay Example

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When one considers the role that waste plays within the current economic system as compared to what it did but a few decades previously, there has inarguably been a paradigm shift…
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Solid Waste Analysis
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Download file to see previous pages Moreover, the underlying question of whether or not all waste products are resources waiting to be used will be answered. Before delving into such a critique, it is necessary to understand that the current economic system is gravely different from even that which existed but a few scant years ago. This is the result of the fact that when one views the history of industrial creation within the world, raw materials were plentiful, cheap, and readily available. As a function of this, a particular type of consumer culture developed in which it was oftentimes more expedient and cheaper to purchase an entirely new product than it was to have the older one fixed. However, as resources have increased in price as a function of scarcity and increasing demands on consumer markets, the use and re-use of recycled material has become increasingly popular. The example that is used is the way that waste, formerly understood as worthless mass that must find a place to be stored, came to be something that was desirable and profitable for firms to seek to reclaim. One can of course consider that forms of plastic and metal would of course be something valuable to firms; however, biomass as well has the potential of generating profits for many firms (Middleton, 2008). Although it is interesting that the technology has increased in the way that it has, the fact of the matter is that it is the profitability of the waste that has driven companies and individuals to seek to extract it from refuse is the real motivating factor; not the desire to be more efficient or to reduce the impact on the environment. Although it is definitely a positive thing that the overall level of waste has been reduced, it would be premature to assume that the technology alone can solve the issue of waste within our current system. The fact of the matter is that the world economy has grown and continues to grow, world populations have grown as well and the overall level of waste that is being produced is increasing each and every year. Due to the fact that the world currently has a much higher population concentration as well as a subsequently high level of consumer goods demanded, it is vitally important to consider the means whereby these needs and demands might continue to be met without the disastrous effects on the environment that previously have been engaged as a function of short sighted means of production and a complete lack of recycling. (Weitz et al, 2002). By pointing out high density populations as a prime example of the way in which an economic system can utilize waste to increase growth, the reader can use this as a powerful example for the way in which other entities and governments can engage the same idea to effect positive change and profits as well. Ultimately, the reader can understand that the changes in technology and economics have meant that nearly no form of waste is without a potential to be used in a profitable way. Although it is not possible to state that there will soon be a time in which nothing will be discarded entirely, the movement that has been experienced and exhibited within the past several decades illustrates the way in which interested parties can seek to increase efficiency and generate a profit based upon refuse that had previously been marked as a liability to the surrounding area (Wang & Nie, 2001). Although the discoveries and changes that have given to the system help the reader to understand the ways in which current technology has helped to reclaim a wide variety of man-made material from solid waste, there is also the unmentioned issue with relation to the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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