Part 1 The nature of the problem: pollution and ecosystems, A.D.Bradshaw; the nature of the waste problem - a question of prevention, M.Backman and T.Lindhqvist; regulation - legislation, L.Kramer. Part 2 Transformation and re-use: waste management by prevention, R.P.Bringer; treatment and use of sewage sludge, J.E.Hall; municipal solid waste management - an economic perspective, R.K.Turner. Part 3 Dispersal: possible future trends in acid rainfall in the UK, F.B.Smith; the migration of pollutants in groundwater, J.Rae and D.J.V.Campbell; the dispersal of radionuclides in the sea, D.S.Woodhead and R.J.Pentreath. Part 4 Degradation: degradation of hazardous wastes, A.T.Bull; degradation of organic wastes, G.K.Anderson and M.B.Pescod. Part 5 Deposition or storage: the assessment to the tenth millennium of the safety of radioactive waste disposal, P.T.McInerney; a perspective from the waste management industry, H.G.Pullen; gaseous waste control from coal-fired power stations, W.D.Halstead. Part 6 Conclusions: some outstanding problems, L.E.J.Roberts; towards an industrial ecology, R.A.Frosch and N.E.Gallopoulos.