Throughout most of history, the «amount» of waste generated by humans was insignificant Low population density Low exploitation of natural resources Irrilevant amount of waste Common waste produced during pre- modern times was mainly ashes and human «biodegradable waste» and these were released back into the ground locally, with minimum «environmental impact» Tools made out of wood or metal were generally reused or passed down through the generations
However, some civilizations do seem to have been more profligate in their waste output… Maya, for instance, used to have a fixed monthly ritual, in which the people of the village would gather together and burn their rubbish in large «dumps» An example of Maya’s dump
The modern era represents a time of changes: following the onset of industrialization and the sustained urban growth of large population centres, the build up of waste in the cities caused a rapid deterioration of sanitation and the general quality of urban life. industrialization Waste increasing Deterioration of the conditions of life
Waste management consists of different stages : collection of rubbish transport disposal managing monitoring recycling
« Waste management» usually relates to the materials produced by the human activities and the process is generally undertaken to reduce their effect on health, the environment and the quality of urban life. There are different kinds of waste materials: solid, liquid, gaseous and radioactive materials. Waste management practices aren’t equal all over the world, in fact they can differ for developed and developing countries, for urban and rural areas, and for residential and industrial producers. Management of non-hazardous waste residential and institutional waste in metropolitan areas is usually the responsibility of local government authorities, while commercial and industrial waste management is usually the responsibility of local, national or international authorities.