"Over 1.8 billion tonnes of waste are generated each year in Europe. This equals to 3.5 tonnes per person. This is mainly made up of waste coming from households, commercial activities (e.g., shops, restaurants, hospitals etc.), industry (e.g. pharmaceutical companies, clothes manufacturers etc.), agriculture (e.g., slurry), construction and demolition projects, mining and quarrying activities and from the generation of energy. With such vast quantities of waste being produced, it is of vital importance that it is managed in such a way that it does not cause any harm to either human health or to the environment" European Topic Centre on Resource and Waste Management, Topic Centre of European Environment Agency http://waste.eionet.eu.int/waste
The disposal of waste, whether through landfill or incineration, is a source of environmental pollution to air, water and land. Landfill sites are becoming increasingly scarce and are a source of the greenhouse gas methane. A number of incentives are needed: (i) for new and stronger recycled material markets, (ii) to encourage less waste to be sent to landfill, (iii) to achieve the practice of alternative means of waste disposal, including re-use and recycling of non-organic waste and composting and digestion of organic waste.
Obtaining case studies for PETUS of the waste sector has been more difficult
than other sectors. This could be due to a number of reasons including:
The waste case studies presented within PETUS are concerned with the reduction and reusing/recycling of waste streams within the urban infrastructure. This includes general waste management (waste streams associated with domestic and other buildings), construction waste management and recovering waste (brownfield) sites. The case studies do not include waste from specific industrial/manufacturing processes or hazardous waste.