The widespread generation of, ever increasing volumes of and the sustainable management of solid wastes are global issues of great concern. Due to wide variations in composition and associated complexities, significant efforts are required for their collection, processing and environmentally safe disposal in a cost effective manner. An overview of solid wastes is presented in this article with a specific focus on municipal solid wastes and industrial waste from the iron/steelmaking and aluminium industries. Key waste issues such as its sources, compositions, volumes, the factors affecting waste generation and waste processing are first discussed, followed by a further discussion regarding recycling, resource recovery, disposal and the associated environmental impacts. In a special case study, waste generation and management in Chile is presented in greater detail. Detailed information is provided on government initiatives and legislation for integrated solid waste management and its movement towards a circular economy. Measures include regulations on waste management framework which concerns the transboundary movements of hazardous wastes, persistent organic pollutants, the closure of mining activities and installations and restrictions on plastics disposal. With Chile being world’s largest producer of copper, significant efforts for mining waste management, its infrastructure and procedures are being put in place to reduce the environmental impact of the mining sector and its associated waste generation.
Áreas temáticas de ASJC Scopus
- Geografía, planificación y desarrollo
- Energías renovables, sostenibilidad y medio ambiente
- Ciencias ambientales (miscelánea)
- Ingeniería energética y tecnologías de la energía
- Gestión, supervisión, políticas y leyes