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The Reducing of Harmful Wastes


This study talks about how to manage harmful waste. The impact it has in terms of cost to individual firms and the society at large. This can be achieved by reducing the quantity of wastes that a producer releases. The three ways of reducing include source reduction, treatment as well as resource recovery.

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Background information

New set of laws limiting land disposal of dangerous waste and increasing costs of managing waste gives real incentives for polluters to reduce the amount of harmful waste they generate. One approach of reducing the cost of Waste management is waste reduction. It can decrease the expenditure of risky waste management at the same time reducing the amount of waste obtained from land disposal. Most of the wastes which are hazardous are as a result of economic activities and they have a social cost to the society as well as to the individuals in the society.

In California there is a broad explanation of waste reduction. One of the classifications is Source reduction and this is the chief approach. It involves employing methods that get rid of or cut the quantity of hazardous waste resulting from a particular process of production either by means of process or method modifications or substitutions of raw materials. For the residual that remains after all feasible source- reduction methods have been used, the additional approaches comprise recycling as well as treatment methods which are not part of the production process. Particularly, these treatment methods make the waste not hazardous. These practices are referred to as waste reduction because they get rid of or reduce the quantity of untreated hazardous waste that has to be ultimately disposed (Fayad, Edora, El-Mubarak, Polancos, 1992).

Whereas many real waste cutback practices are precise not only to specific industries but to specific manufacturing processes inside a plant, the methods of waste reduction as well as the ways of implementing the cutback practices are alike and are capable of being generalized among plants and industries. Equally, many of the merits and demerits of waste decrease may be universal to numerous industrial applications. For instance, many manufacturing plants facing rising offsite management and dumping costs are realizing that waste cutback practices are capable of saving the costs of waste disposal management. Source decrease practices are also capable of limiting the costs of potential liabilities gotten from managing the waste.

State as well as federal laws and laws of many countries need producers of hazardous wastes to use existing waste cutback techniques ahead of using other waste management techniques. All polluters must declare on their legal documents that they are having a waste- reduction agenda primed and it is a must that they submit a Biannual Generator’s report. Furthermore, state as well as federal restrictions on land disposal techniques gives incentives for the generators to minimize the rate of hazardous waste discharge in the environment. They prohibit discharge of certain dangerous waste and banned disposal of any untreated wastes by the year 1990. Only those waste that meet a certain treatment standard can be allowed in to the environment (Bragg, Prince, Harner & Atlas, 1994)

Literature review

The methods of reducing the quantity of waste are regularly classified into three divisions namely; source reduction, treatment of the wastes as well as resource recovery.

Source Reduction

It includes the use of technologies which are being used to reduce the volume of wastes discharged in the environment before they reach their point of generation. It might be installation of an additional machine or premises specially planned to minimize the quantity of waste produced in a production process. They involve extra costs and many firms tend to evade them hence the need for laws as well as regulation to ensure that all polluters comply with the laws (Athman, 1999).

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Resource Recovery

This refers to the ability of the firm to use the waste products of a production process as an input or primary resources of another production process; a good example is the use of the remains of sugar cane in sugar production to make manure or as an input of generating electricity. Recycling is taken as a resource recovery since it can get back a usable matter from a waste stream. It can either take place within the firm or outside the firm, that is, in a different firm (Burtler, 2005).


This is where the wastes generated passes through another process where they are mixed with chemicals or other components like biological organisms which minimize the volume of harmful substances in the wastes or even the final volume of the wastes discharged. It may be viewed by manufacturers as increasing their costs instead of reducing the costs because it carries with it a private cost. But viewed from the societal point of view it reduces the social costs of those wastes to the society. Such costs include the expenses of curing the diseases caused by the harmful wastes. Even though the individuals may not incur the costs directly because they are being incurred by the government, they will incur it through the increase in tax burden.


Studies have shown that there is a higher chance of the society incurring more costs in dealing with the effects of disposal of harmful products in the environment than preventing or reducing the amount of harmful wastes into the environment (Atlas, 1995). Other studies have shown that the environment has mechanisms of neutralizing these harmful discharges. Ecological economists have also found that it is impossible to have zero pollution as long as there is economic activity in the environment.


The paper examines the various methods of dealing with reducing the costs of managing waste and in particular the use of reducing the amount of waste discharged as a way of reducing the costs. It also states some of the findings that were found by some famous researchers in the field of environmental management.

Work cited

Athman, K. (1999) Waste disposal management.2nd Ed, London: Rayal educational publisher.

Atlas, Ronald M. (1995). Petroleum Biodegradation and Oil Spill Bioremediation. Marine Pollution Bulletin 31, 178-182.

Bragg, James R. Prince, Roger C. Harner, E. James, Atlas, Ronald M. (1994). Effectiveness of bioremediation for the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Nature 368, 413-418.

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Burtler, G. (2005) Introduction to environmental management. New York: fayul & sons Inc.

Fayad, Nabil M., Edora, Ruben L., El-Mubarak, Aarif H., Polancos Jr., Anastacio B. (1992). Effectiveness of a Bioremediation Product in Degrading the Oil Spilled in the 1991 Arabian Gulf War. Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 49, 787-796.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, November 18). The Reducing of Harmful Wastes. Retrieved from


StudyCorgi. (2021, November 18). The Reducing of Harmful Wastes.

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"The Reducing of Harmful Wastes." StudyCorgi, 18 Nov. 2021,

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StudyCorgi. "The Reducing of Harmful Wastes." November 18, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "The Reducing of Harmful Wastes." November 18, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'The Reducing of Harmful Wastes'. 18 November.

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