Milestone in Municipal Waste Management in the United States of America
The practices of managing solid wastes in the United States of America have been improving substantially over the past two decades (CQ Research, 2009). The focus has been to change from primary activities of collection and disposing on land to a well developed range of methods directed at increasing recycling of wastes and recovery of energy. Several developments have been achieved through these methods, and it can therefore be argued that these practices have improved the situation to a large extent (CQ Researcher, 2009).
The infrastructure for managing solid wastes in municipals has improved greatly for the past few years. The responsibility of waste management in the United States of America is at the level of municipals and counties, and thus, they have the first hand information required to develop the situation (Levy, 2008).
These municipals have recognized the need to use environmentally friendly methods such as recycling rather than the previous methods used such as burning.
Inclusion of both private and public sectors in the MSW has also improved the situation. Private and public partnership has been the leading strategies for encouraging residents to participate in the process such as providing them with waste disposal equipments which the companies then collect and dispose off (Levy, 2008).
The rate of landfills method of waste disposal has reduced greatly over the past decades. Landfills were very common during the 1970s and 1980s. They raised a lot of concern over the environment. However, these have reduced greatly.
Source reduction and waste prevention has been very successful. For example, recycling grass clippings, backyard composition, lawns, using two sided paper and transport reduction in the American industries has been implemented. This has decreased the amount of solid waste that requires collection, handling and disposal.
The process of converting waste to energy has become a major practice among many municipals. Through the use of waste-to-energy projects, municipals have been able to emphasize on composting the organic wastes, with an aim of generating organic gases which are then used for various purposes, including domestic and industrial source of energy (Freeman & Kolstad, 2007).
CQ Researcher. (2009). Issues for debate in environmental management: Selections from CQ researcher. Washington, DC: SAGE.
Freeman, J., & Kolstad, C. D. (2007). Moving to markets in environmental regulation: lessons from twenty years of experience. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Levy, G. M. (2008). Packaging, policy, and the environment. New York, NY: Springer.