Solid Waste ManagementSolid Waste

Many communities in America are faced with a solid waste disposal problem. In 2007, we generated 254 million tons of municipal solid waste, an increase of 24% since 1990. During this same time period, per capita waste generation has increased only 3%, so much of the total increase is due to a larger population. In fact, the per capita rate of waste disposed of (as opposed to generated) has actually decreased since 1990 by 23% due to improved waste recovery efforts.

The two primary types of disposal practices are landfilling and municipal waste combustion, or incineration, which may employ conventional techniques or a "waste-to-energy" approach.

LGEAN resources most applicable to solid waste include:

  • Solid Waste. Provides a summary of issues including national waste generation rates, landfill capacity problems, and landfill and incinerator regulations. This resource also includes links to numerous useful documents.

  • Hazardous Waste. Many local governments must deal with hazardous wastes both as a hazardous generator and as the responsible entity for protecting landfills and other municipal solid waste collection/disposal operations from hazardous waste disposal. Use this resource to learn more about federal and state rules.

  • Construction and Demolition Debris. Provides an overview of C&D debris issues and links to useful documents and tools.

  • Groundwater. Groundwater replenishes our streams, rivers, habitats and also provides fresh water for irrigation, industry, and communities. Provides EPA published Ground Water Rules (2006).

Additional resources (exit LGEAN):

  • EPA Landfill page. Provides an overview of landfill issues and numerous links to useful resources.

  • Solid Waste Resource Locator. The solid waste resource locator contains links to state regulatory agencies/departments and state regulations covering solid waste topics, including recycling.

  • Construction & Demolition Debris Resource Locator. Locate regulatory information and other compliance assistance, lists of C&D landfills, and pollution prevention resources for your state.

  • Regulated Medical Waste (RMW) Resource Locator. Learn how medical wastes are regulated in your state. Link to the rules and compliance resources and locate persons you can contact in your state agency for additional assistance.