Waste disposal implies collecting, transporting, processing (waste treatment), and recycling of waste products, usually produced by human activity, in order to reduce their impact on human health, environmental, aesthetic, or local approval. Recently, the focus of the industry has been on reducing the environmental impact of waste on nature and its more efficient utilization.
Waste disposal concerns all types of waste, whether solid, liquid, or gas, each in its specific sector.
Ways to manage waste differ depending on economic situation of a country and the type of waste producing area. The disposal of non-hazardous waste for individuals or institutions in urban areas is usually the responsibility of local authorities, while waste management in commerce and industry is under their own responsibility.
The waste disposal has long been a natural action of people. The residues of craftsmen (metals, rags, paper, and pulp for paper, etc.) were recovered, the rest was organic (that is to say composed of natural material and rapidly biodegradable) went to the countryside to be used as fertilizer or animal feed, while in city gutters or other wasteland harvested low polluting trash. Due to the first industrial revolution, cities grow and become raw material deposits, which resulted in the appearance of two specific professions: a cesspool cleaner that collects urine and feces in the cesspools and sells it as fertilizer to farmers and a rag-and-bone man, who, by waste recycling, contributed to the industrialization.
Along with the gradual disappearance of these two businesses during the twentieth century (the industry began to use more plastic and agricultural fertilizers produced by petrochemistry), the system of discharges appeared and developed. It implied the storage of the more consistent and non- short-term biodegradable waste (old furniture, metal, rubble …) in a place usually away from homes. Landfills or dumps had already existed in the antiquity (and now they allow archaeologists to find pottery, jewelry, etc.), but the system of discharges became over the centuries a way to get rid of growing amount of waste, without concern for the environment (odor, emissions of gases such as methane, risk of fire, land pollution).
From the 1960s, the incineration has become very popular due to a new range of incineration equipment capable of processing large amounts of waste, and the increasing difficulty of finding landfill sites. The incineration implies a simple burning of the waste collected. Unfortunately, this treatment has many environmental impacts that long have not been taken into account.
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