The world-wide industrial development of recent decades, with its effects on the manufacture of goods and on the consumption patterns of the population, particularly in areas of high population density, has led to an appreciable increase in the volume of waste. In this respect, targeted and target-group-related waste disposal (WD), involving careful analysis and taking into account not only the local conditions and options, but also the environmental aspects of the relevant plant, can bring about the necessary improvements. As a rule, these relate to measures not only in the fields of waste management and waste technology, but also in the fields of law, administration, business management and organisation.
The controlled disposal of domestic waste and commercial and industrial waste forms a vital part of the infrastructure of human settlements built on the principles of hygiene. It is an essential component of waste management, whose function must be to help
- to protect human health;
- to contribute to the quality of life by improving environmental conditions;
- to maintain the ecological equilibrium of the environment, particularly of the soil and groundwater, and - where it has been disturbed - to restore it;
- to ensure safe disposal of the waste produced by the population as well as by commercial and industrial establishments, depending on the quantity and type of the waste and taking into account the need for avoidance and minimisation, ensuring the long-term sustainability of resources which serve the well-being of the general public and the legitimate needs of individuals.
In many countries there is a marked imbalance between waste production and controlled waste disposal. This is because in the countries in question, a clear priority has been given to the matter of industrial development, without however paying at least equal attention to the necessary development of waste disposal facilities.
Very often this relates to waste arising from imported industrial goods. There are seldom incentives to avoid waste.