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Recycling of Municipal Solid Waste

  • By: Stewart Barr
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

The term recycling has become commonplace in the lexicon of environmentalists since the so-called environmental crisis of the 1960s and early 1970s. Indeed, recycling is commonly associated with a process whereby materials are remade into the same or different products. This process needs to be distinguished from a plethora of other terms such as waste reduction or minimization (the process of actively seeking to reduce waste by not purchasing or using materials in the first place), reuse (the use of a product or material for the same or other purpose without a change to the material itself), and the rise in charitable giving, which is a formalized system of reusing materials. This entry explores recycling by examining both its cultural-historical context and the current theoretical ...

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