APWA Book Review

Waste Management Practices: Municipal, Hazardous, and Industrial
688 pp * 2005 * CRC Press * John Pichtel

Regardless of how passionately some Americans may adhere to the "reduce, reuse, and recycle" mantra, wastes of varying toxicity and mobility in the biosphere will continue to be produced in incomprehensible quantities. It is therefore critical that Americans become aware of the hazards and potential benefits of wastes in order to manage them in the most appropriate fashion.

A practical guide for the identification and management of a range of hazardous wastes, Waste Management Practices: Municipal, Hazardous, and Industrial integrates technical information including chemistry, microbiology, and engineering with current regulations. Emphasizing basic environmental science and related technical fields, the book is an introductory manual for waste management as mandated by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and related statutes. This book is intended to serve as a comprehensive manual for the identification and management of a wide range of wastes ranging from those that are merely a nuisance to extremely hazardous.

The first part of this book (Part I) provides the reader with a framework within which to establish a context for the management of many types of wastes. Following the introduction is a history of waste management and then a discussion of regulatory development in waste management. The second part (Part II) delineates the management of municipal solid wastes, i.e., those we encounter on a daily basis. Both conventional (e.g., sanitary landfill, aerobic composition) and innovative (bioreactor landfill, high-solids anaerobic digestion) technologies are discussed. The third part (Part III) addresses hazardous wastes and their management, from the perspectives of identification, transportation, requirements for generators, treatment of storage, and disposal facilities. Disposition via incineration, chemical treatment, and land disposal is also presented. The final part (Part IV) is devoted to special categories of waste that cannot find a regulatory "home" under either RCRA Subtitle D (Solid Wastes) or Subtitle C (Hazardous Wastes). These include used motor oil, medical waste, and electronic waste among others.

This publication features:

  • The management of three major categories of wastes under regulation in the United States
  • Real-world problems drawn from the author's extensive experience
  • The management of electronic wastes—a new area of concern for regulatory agencies
  • Review questions in every chapter that allow you to apply the chapter concepts

Complacency has brought us to where we are today; we now need comprehensive knowledge combined with committed action to establish a new framework in managing wastes. The garbage crisis, as it became known in the late 1980s, will not go away as long as humans continue to produce materials that nature does not possess the capability to decompose. Yet there are few, if any, references that collectively and comprehensively address the management of household, industrial, commercial, and hazardous wastes. Filling this need, Waste Management Practices focuses on the entire spectrum of wastes and their management.

For more information on purchasing this book and other American Public Works Association books, please visit the APWA Bookstore online at www.apwa.net/bookstore or call the APWA Bookstore at (800) 848-APWA, ext. 5254.