The Environmental And Societal Impact Of Waste Management Essay

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Emerging understanding of the environmental and societal impact of waste management has led to a significant development of municipally lead practices under the model of sustainable resource management (Cimpan, 2015). Recycling--the recovery of the material value in waste-- provides opportunities for both economic and environmental sustainability by reducing fuels usage, carbon dioxide emissions, and the quantity of waste sent to landfills. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has identified that one year of recycled material translates to a reduction of 186 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, and 40% of the material waste that annually ends up in US landfills are products that could have been recycled (Trudel). Decreasing landfill space and increasing urban waste generation require the implementation of both an effective and efficient recycling system, as recycling is a costly waste management strategy for municipalities (Lakhan, 2015). Single-stream sorting and dual-stream sorting programs are popular policy responses to municipal managing of recyclables. There are several context-specific factors that impact the efficiency and effectiveness of both sorting systems that must be considered by municipalities when deciding which system to implement.
Choosing to Recycle
According to the waste hierarchy, source reduction and reuse are far more sustainable waste management practices than recycling, but it can be extremely difficult to implement
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