Managing wastes resulting from human activities in the most sustainable and least environmentally damaging ways using suitable wastes, as far as practicable, as resources for productive purposes.
All human activities, industrial, agricultural, domestic, or others inevitably produce waste. Some waste is harmful to health. Others, during decomposition, cause nuisance from odor, attract vermin, or cause contamination of soils and pollution of water. This chapter focuses on solid and liquid waste (but not waste water or radioactive waste). Disposal of waste by tipping has been used for thousands of years (early sites are now archaeologically valuable). But landfill has caused increasing problems as large populations in growing urban areas have produced ever greater volumes of waste. Large, numerous landfills divert land from other productive uses and can also cause short and long term hazards.
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