Explore BrainMass

Environmental Studies

Describe in detail the three main components of waste management. Which method is preferred and why? What are the benefits and environmental disadvantages of modern-day landfills in the United States? Describe five ways in which we can recycle materials commonly used around the house and the benefits of doing such to both the consumer and the environment. Do you recycle? Why or why not?

Solution Preview

Waste management of materials produced by human activity attempts to reduce the harmful environmental impacts through different methods. The goal of waste minimization strategies is known as the "3R's", reduce, reuse and recycle.

Source reduction, which is the preferred method of waste management, is an aspect of waste management in which products are designed and manufactured in ways that decrease the volume of solid waste and the amount of hazardous waste in the solid waste stream. Innovations and product modifications can reduce the waste produced after a consumer has used the product. Dry-cell batteries, for example, contain much less mercury today than they did in the early 80's. The 35% weight reduction in aluminum cans since the 1970's is another example of source reduction (Technical Issues, 2000).

The best practice for waste management is to not produce it. One way to do this is by shopping carefully such as; buying in bulk to use less packaging, avoiding over packaged goods that are difficult to recycle, avoid disposable goods, or use durable goods that last ...

Solution Summary

Description of waste management and preferred method. Discussion of benefits and environmental disadvantages of modern-day landfills in the United States. Identify recycle materials commonly used around the house. Lists of consumer and environmental benefits.