Problems raised by household wastes
In progress from 03-01-1992 to 09-12-1992
Project manager: Michel PELCHAT, deputy
Environment, Environmental technology, Expert-based, Parliament involvement
The problem of household waste is becoming increasingly serious: rising living standards not only substantially increase its volume but also bring about a growing diversification in its make-up, with a big increase in plastics and toxic materials. This question is especially difficult since the traditional methods of disposal - dumps and incinerators - are no longer able to cope.
Recycling and re-use are not highly reliable means of disposal since the quantities involved are out of all proportion with the disposal potential of these two approaches; however they must nevertheless be encouraged, if only for civic reasons.
However the most effective solution, apart from seeking to reduce the amount of wastes at source, is probably incineration, naturally on condition that it involves energy recovery and that its technical conditions are such that the discharges are not an additional cause of pollution to the air (by smoke) or the ground (by metals).
Finally, European harmonisation of the different methods of treating domestic waste appears absolutely indispensable, if the policies of each country are not to become competitive and hence ineffective.