Globally, the amount of waste from human activities is increasing. In 2006, the amount of municipal solid waste (MSW) generated worldwide was 2.02 billion tons. Some estimates predict global MSW will increase by 37.7 percent from 2007 to 2011. This enormous amount of waste requires appropriate disposal mechanisms. This article discusses some of the options available for waste disposal.

The simplest definition of waste includes all items no longer useful to humans. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “solid waste means any garbage, or refuse, sludge from a wastewater treatment plant, water supply treatment plant, or air pollution control facility and other discarded material, including solid, liquid, semisolid, or contained gaseous material resulting from industrial, commercial, mining, and agricultural operations, and from community activities.” However, ...

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