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Waste prevention and management
Avoiding the production of waste is above all acting at the level of prevention. As for waste management, it concerns collection, transport, sorting and pre-treatment, recovery, and then disposal.
Waste: a long-standing management problem
Humans have long been able to entrust their waste to nature. What could not be used to feed the animals was buried, burnt or used for fertilizer.
In the 19th century, hygiene and public safety became a real concern. In the nineteenth century, cities put in place decrees obliging owners to provide their tenants with a receptacle for household waste.
As a result of changes in lifestyles and consumption, the quantity and nature of waste have changed significantly.
During the second industrial revolution, the manufacture of synthetic products developed, new sources of energy were used, and the means of transport diversified. The population is increasing and concentrating, lifestyles and consumption are changing, resulting in less easily biodegradable waste, with larger quantities produced.
Why worry about waste today?
Waste can have impacts on human health and the environment if not properly managed.
And the announced scarcity of certain non-renewable resources makes it essential to consume these resources efficiently, hence the urgency of waste prevention; take advantage of waste, through reuse, recycling and then energy recovery.
Waste, due to its variability, quantity and more protective standards for health and the environment, represents an economic burden for its producers, responsible for their disposal. Waste prevention and recycling solutions can help control these costs.
Beyond the legislative objectives, the prevention and management of waste are closely framed by regulations, which define responsibilities and objectives. French waste policy is closely linked to that of the European Union.
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