Hazardous-waste snag piles up

One of the major international challenges of this decade will be to find environmentally sound and cost-effective ways to monitor, control, and dispose of hazardous wastes, according to Battelle Memorial Institute.

Safe and effective waste management methods have failed to keep pace with the millions of tons of hazardous wastes generated each year throughout the world. And such wastes, multiplying at an estimated annual rate of 5 percent, are not easily biodegradable or recyclable.

The dimensions of the worldwide hazardous-waste problem are enormous. Europeans say they produce about 28 million tons of it each year. And in the US , industry generates an estimated 33 to 44 million tons per year. Much of this waste is handled under practices that would not comply with proposed US regulations.

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