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Waste Management Practices - Essay Example

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Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), commonly known as garbage has increased in its generation from the nineteenth century, with the rise in population as well as industries and corporate sector. However, the steps in its generation and management have also evolved along with…
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Milestones in Municipal Solid Waste Generation and Management Milestones in Municipal Solid Waste Generation and Management MunicipalSolid Waste (MSW), commonly known as garbage has increased in its generation from the nineteenth century, with the rise in population as well as industries and corporate sector. However, the steps in its generation and management have also evolved along with improvement in technology and sanitary practices ever since, a process that began after the First World War.
The first major landmark in MSW generation and management was the idea of ‘sanitary landfill’ that was first built in California soon after the First World War (Oklahoma, 2007). Slowly, the landfill trend spread across the entire nation. However, they were not enough to solve the sanitary problems of the ever-increasing generation. The MSW generation rate increased from 2.7 pounds per person per day in late twentieth century to around 4.5 pounds per person per day (United States, 2002). It then stabilized to this amount due to various policies and methods of efficient management strategies.
The inception of The Solid Waste Disposal Act and later, Environmental Protection Agency were two important milestones, since they led to talks and ideas about waste disposal which lead to reduction in generation and proper management. Source reduction was also one of the methods deployed by the United States. It aimed to design products that reduced toxicity upon wastage and included reuse of products and composting of yard trimmings. This greatly reduced the generation of MSW.
Another method that dealt with management of waste and reduction in MSW generation is recycling, and the tax levy. Recycling involved recycling of plastic and paper – a method commonly used and promoted to date and tax levies led to reduction in disposal of waste. Thus, these milestones have promoted in creating a more sanitary, healthy United States of America.
References
Oklahoma. (2007). Garbage, the black sheep of the family: A brief history of waste regulation in the United States and Oklahoma. Oklahoma City: Dept. of Environmental Quality.
United States. (2002). Municipal solid waste in the United States: 2000 facts and figures. Washington, DC: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Solid Waste and Emergency Response. Read More
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