Sustainable Waste Management Considerations
Properties of materials in municipal solid waste (MSW) (soft, hard, compostable, combustible).
Economic and environmental costs of action and non-action.
Short- and long-term effects on soil, water, and the atmosphere.
The means for SWM, in order of preference:
Recovery of materials for recycling by separation at the source or my mechanical processing.
Compost and biogas recovery by aerobic composting or anaerobic digestion (AD).
Energy, metals, and minerals recovery by controlled combustion or gasification.
Controlled landfilling (“sanitary”) of solids that are not recyclable or combustible. Regrettably, waste dumps are still used for over 50% of the global MSW.