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Urban Solid Waste Management

  • By: Virginia W. Maclaren
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Urban solid waste refers to industrial, commercial, institutional (collectively known as ICI waste), residential, and construction/demolition waste generated in urban areas. Current waste management practices emphasize approaches such as recycling that attempt to divert waste from landfills as much as possible. This is a significant reversal from practices that existed during most of the 20th century, when the main role of the waste management professional was to collect and dispose of waste as efficiently as possible by burning or burying it. Waste diversion has been increasing at a steady pace since the mid 1980s, when governments in most industrialized countries responded to landfill shortages and growing environmental concerns about excessive waste production by introducing municipal recycling programs.

Another significant change in urban waste management since the ...

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