Waste can be defined as any material that is unwanted by its present owner and is deemed to be of little or no use to anyone. It can be solid (e.g., paper, plastic, metals, food, wood, concrete, or soil); liquid from kitchens, bathrooms, laundries, and factories; or gas or chemical. Location differentiates waste from resource rather than being an inherent characteristic of the material itself. As explained in Susan Strasser’s book Waste and Want: A Social History of Trash (2000), like dirt, waste is merely “matter out of place.” As well as being matter in the wrong place, waste is a problem when viewed as a potentially useful but lost resource. Phrases such as “wasted time” and “wasted food” have an implication that some better ...

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