Nearly everything we do leaves behind some kind of waste. Households create ordinary garbage. Industrial and manufacturing processes create solid and hazardous (有害的)waste. And what can we do to prevent ourselves from being drowned in the waste?
Q: What is integrated waste management?
A: Integrated waste management refers to the complementary use of a variety of practices to safely and effectively handle municipal solid waste.
Q: What are the measures of integrated waste management?
A: The following is EPA's (Environmental Protection Agency美国环保署) preferred hierarchy (层次) of approaches. Source reduction is the design, manufacture, purchase, or use of materials (such as products and packaging) to reduce the amount or toxicity (毒性) of trash generated. Recycling is the process by which materials are collected and used as raw materials for new products. Waste combustion (燃烧) and landfilling (垃圾掩埋法)play a key role in managing waste that cannot be reduced or recycled. Combustion in specially designed facilities reduces the bulk (体积) of waste and provides the added benefit of energy recovery. Landfilling is—and will continue to be—a major component of waste management.
Q: Among the above measures, which is the basic one?
A: Among these, source reduction is a basic solution. Because source reduction actually prevents the generation of waste in the first place, it comes before other management options that deal with trash after it is already generated. Source reduction can help reduce waste disposal and handling costs because it avoids the costs of recycling, municipal composting (堆肥), landfilling, and combustion. It also conserves resources and reduces pollution.
After source reduction, recycling (and composting) are the preferred waste management options because they reduce the amount of waste going to landfills and conserve resources. Recycling prevents potentially useful materials from being landfilled or combusted, thus preserving our capacity for disposal. Recycling often saves energy and natural resources.
Q: As individuals, what can we do to reduce solid waste?
A: There are four basic principles for individual consumers: REDUCE: Reduce the amount of unnecessary packaging. When choosing between two similar products, select the one with the least unnecessary packaging.
Adopt practices that reduce waste toxicity. Take actions that use nonhazardous or less hazardous components to accomplish the task at hand. Instead of using pesticides, for example, plant marigolds(金盏花) in your garden to ward off certain pests. REUSE: Consider reusable products. Reusable products and containers often result in less waste. Maintain and repair durable products. Reuse bags, containers, and other items. Borrow, rent, or share items used infrequently. Sell or donate goods instead of throwing them out.
RECYCLE: Choose recyclable products and containers and recycle them; select products made from recycled materials; compost yard trimmings(修剪下来的东西) and some food scraps.
RESPOND: Educate others on source reduction and recycling practices. Make your preferences known to manufacturers, merchants, and community leaders. Be creative—find new ways to reduce waste quantity and toxicity，and share your experence with others.