- Public policy - Integrated waste management - Incentives to reduce MSW - State efforts
Managing municipal solid waste (MSW) requires legislation, enforcement and management as well as prevention.
Regulations include the Solid Waste Disposal Act of 1965, the Resource Recovery Act of 1970, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976, the Superfund Act of 1980 and the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984. These federal mandates require states to comply in building integrated waste management plans to recycle, encourage source reduction, and improve landfills.
Integrated waste management refers to a system with multiple processes to handle waste, from reduction to combustion, recycling, materials recovery, composting and management of landfills and waste facilities.
The United States leads the world in waste production today. We are known as the "throwaway" society. Changing this requires education and concerted effort through programs, fees and incentives and management.
3 incentives to reduce waste include: - WasteWise - PAYT - EPR
WasteWise encourages MSW reduction through partnerships with local governments, schools and organizations to build their own MSW reduction programs.
PAYT involves charging for recycling curbside. In 2010, New England communities reduced waste by 49%. EPR involves assigning responsibility for the eco impact of a product at each stage in its life cycle to the producer. This process is well established in some countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden.
Some states have taken action to encourage recycling through different means. This includes setting minimum post-consumer levels for recycled newsprint and glass, and requiring that some products contain recycled materials even if they cost more than virgin materials.
Other requirements include having packaging that is reusable or recyclable, offering tax credits for recycling, and providing assistance in developing recycling markets. Local governments also encourage source reduction and setting up e-waste delivery via a certified recycling company.