Waste is a quintessentially ecological economic issue. The generation of waste is rooted in the very laws of nature, but waste is also a social construct, and what we understand to be waste has evolved with human societies. Therefore, a crucial issue in modern waste management is the understanding of attitudes towards waste. This volume examines the ecological economics approach to waste, its conceptualization and management. In order to provide a comprehensive understanding of the issue of waste, the authors utilize an array of disciplinary approaches from both natural and social sciences. They begin by considering waste through the thermodynamics of production processes, and through an assessment of the history of waste. Building on this physical-social background, they concentrate on specific aspects of waste policy. These include the public's attitude towards waste, the economics of waste, and the laws and regulations surrounding waste disposal. Further chapters look in detail at the three main types of waste being generated by modern societies: municipal, toxic and nuclear waste. This book seeks to lay the basis for a general conceptualization of waste in ecological economics and to elucidate the main issues relating to waste generation and management.
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