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European Topic Centre on Resource and Waste Management, 2006; OECD Environmental Data 2004
Uploaded on Wednesday 22 Feb 2012
Waste management choices in Europe
Not long ago the amount and composition of waste was such that it could be simply diluted and dispersed into the environment. Most items were reused and only a few remained, that would not decompose naturally. With industrialisation and rising urban density, a new concept followed: collect and dump out of sight. The aim was to eliminate waste or at least protect the population from it. This generally involved either openly burning it (still practised today in many countries, this is a major source of toxic gas emissions such as dioxins and furans) or dumping it on specially designated landfi ll sites.