Questions to ponder:

1. State the percentage of the world's solid wastes that is produced by the United States. State the percentage of solid waste produced in the United States that is municipal solid waste. Define hazardous waste. State the percentage of hazardous waste that is not regulated. List seven substances that are "linguistically detoxified."

2. Compare waste management and pollution prevention approaches to solid and hazardous waste. List the hierarchy of goals for a low-waste approach. Evaluate which approach makes the most sense to you. Give reasons for your choice. List seven ways to reduce waste and pollution. List four goals of an ecoindustrial revolution.

3. List reuse strategies for refillable containers, grocery bags, and tires. Compare the costs and benefits of disposable vs. cloth diapers. Define compost. Analyze the impact that widespread use of composting would have in the United States.

4. Distinguish between closed-loop recycling and open-loop recycling; centralized recycling of mixed solid waste and a source-separation approach.

5. List seven obstacles to recycling in the United States and suggest ways to overcome them. Summarize lessons to be learned from Germany's experience with tough packaging laws. Summarize the U.S. experience with recycling aluminum, wastepaper, and plastics.

6. Summarize Denmark's experience with detoxification of hazardous waste. Assess the pros and cons of incineration of hazardous and solid wastes. Compare U.S. incinerators with the Japanese fluidized-bed incinerators.

7. Describe a modern sanitary landfill. Summarize the benefits and drawbacks of burying solid wastes in sanitary landfills. Summarize the benefits and drawbacks of deep-well disposal of hazardous wastes. Summarize the status of export of wastes. Summarize the causes, effects, and ways to deal with lead, dioxins, and chlorine.

8. Name and briefly describe two U.S. hazardous-waste laws. Describe how Superfund has been subverted and how its enforcement can be improved.

9. Summarize the goals of the ecojustice movement. Visualize a low-waste society. Describe the pieces that will form the framework and fill in this picture.

Key Terms (Terms appear in the same font style as they appear in the text.)

dioxins (p. 551)



hazardous waste (p. 526)

lead (p. 547)

municipal solid waste (p. 526)


plasma (p. 542)

polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

radioactive waste

resource productivity

sanitary landfill (p. 544)

solid waste (p. 526)

toxic waste