Dealing with waste management has become an issue of major importance. Some things, like landfills, are becoming increasingly full. This creates a situation in which we are forced to find new ways to dispose of waste.
This said; let's explore some of the concepts of waste management.
Some interest groups seem to oppose any new development anywhere. It can seem as though their goal is to avoid all new developments. In the UK, these groups are commonly referred to as BANANA, which means Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything. By contrast, NIMBY means Not In My Back Yard. These groups do not oppose development projects as a whole. They only disagree with certain ones that they feel are inappropriate for their particular neighbourhood.
Great Britain has come up with a way of managing waste called the BPEO, which stands for Best Practical Environmental Option. The BPEO essentially looks at a project and determines the best course of action. They look at the implications to the environment in the short term and the long term. They are dedicated to minimizing environmental impact and maximizing benefits.
EPR, or Extended Producer Responsibility, is the concept that producers must incorporate the cost of disposing or reusing a product once it has served its purpose. A company who manufactures these things must ultimately take care of the waste it generates. The company can do this alone, or outsource it to a PRO, a Producer Responsibility Organization.
Linguistic Detoxification is an environmental term used to describe a process in which the level of toxicity is downgraded by assigning it a different term through legislation. The naming of this phrase is credited to Barry Commoner, an environmental activist.
Some places have taken the Pay As You Throw approach. Consumers are charged a fee based on the amount of municipal solid waste they turn in at the collection site. Normally, recyclable materials are accepted free of charge. PAYT is also known as variable rate pricing or unit pricing.
The Polluter Pays Principle basically means that the person or entity producing the waste product is fiscally responsible for the damage done to the natural environment. This is also known as Extended Polluter Responsibility. The government seeks to put the responsibility for disposal onto the producer, hopefully providing incentive for them to improve the recycling ability of their products.
There is a moral and political principle called the precautionary principle. This principle states that if harm to the public might occur, then if there is no scientific consensus that states that harm will not occur, the responsibility for the result falls on the advocates. In regards to the environment, this principle is most often applied to the release of toxins.
Product stewardship is a concept that says that everyone involved in the product is responsible for its disposal after its useful life. The manufacturer must plan for and even pay for the disposal of the product. The consumer must recycle or properly dispose of the product. Everyone takes a part to minimize environmental impact.
Waste Hierarchy is talking about the "three Rs", and classifies waste management approaches based on their desirability. These are reduce, reuse, and recycle. Basically the goal is to get the most use out of a product and to generate the least amount of waste.
The Zero Waste concept essentially promotes the idea that the current recycling procedures be enhanced to create a circular pattern in which the most use is obtained from a product. The goal is to create zero waste by reusing a product as many times as possible.