Waste management relates to all the activities and actions adopted to manage waste from its inception to its final disposal. Waste management includes actions such as collection, transportation, treatment and disposal of waste, as well as monitoring and regulation.
Waste can be solid, liquid or gas and based on its type, there are different methodologies of disposal and management. The discipline usually focuses on all the types of waste including the one that is created by industries, households or biological organisms. One of the main aims of waste management is to reduce the adverse effects of waste on health, aesthetics and environment.
There are four principles related to waste management: the waste hierarchy, the life-cycle of a product, the resource efficiency and polluter-pays principle. The waste hierarchy refers to the concepts of reducing, reusing and recycling which are at the base of the waste management strategies. The concept of life-cycle of the product, which consists of design, manufacture, distribution and use, in waste management has to be reconsidered in relation to the concept of reuse, reduce and recycle. As well as this, the theory of resource efficiency is a pillar of the discipline as it reduces the environmental impact which derives from the production and consumption of products. Finally, the polluter-pays principle outlines that the waste generator has to pay appropriate disposal for the unrecoverable materials.
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