Old Problems, New Challenges
Chapter 7: Solid waste collection and disposal utilities
Municipal solid waste (MSW) is waste generated by commercial and households and commercial sources that is collected and either recycled, incinerated, or disposed of in MSW landfills that are approved and monitored by the EPA and local environmental and health authorities. The EPA divides municipal waste into four broad categories: containers and packaging, yard wastes, durable goods, and nondurable goods. MSW does not include dried and sanitized sludge from domestic sewage or other municipal wastewater treatment residues. Not accepted in sanitary landfills are demolition and construction debris, agricultural and mining residues, combustion ash, and wastes from industrial processes. Most highly regulated are toxic and other hazardous wastes. Solid-waste programs are managed by states and municipalities according to individual community needs. Landfills are located and designed according to federally mandated landfill design, operating and recycling criteria.
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