Waste management

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Waste management

As waste management means all the operations and tasks associated with the avoidance, reduction, recycling and disposal of is waste , referred related. At the same time, waste management is an industry .


It includes the planning, execution and control of these activities and tasks. This applies to waste from industry, trade and the service sector as well as waste from households and public areas (streets, parks, etc.). Waste management activities can be organized publicly, privately or in mixed forms.

Waste management is also considered an applied natural science. Due to the increasing need for the systematic disposal of household waste in large cities at the end of the 19th century and the then still close connection to urban planning , sewage disposal and cleaning , this subject is traditionally integrated into civil engineering .


Waste management as an activity, task and science deals with:

  • the legal basis of waste disposal, e.g. B. in the Recycling Management Act and the associated ordinances (definitions of waste, disposal, disposal; recovery requirements, take-back obligations, municipal statutes, law on fees, approval procedures for waste treatment plants, etc.)
  • the quantities of waste, the types of waste, the composition and origin of the waste (examination methods, toxicological assessment)
  • strategic waste management planning (local, regional, state), waste management concepts and plans
  • the possibilities of waste avoidance z. B. through waste advice
  • the separate collection of usable and hazardous components from mixed waste
  • of waste disposal
    • the collection and transport of waste (container systems, vehicles, reloading stations)
    • the treatment of waste with the aim of recovery ( recycling ) and disposal (mechanical, chemical, biological, thermal; e.g. dismantling, shredding, sorting, separation, stabilization / inerting, composting / fermentation, incineration / pyrolysis)
    • the disposal of waste in landfills (location search , planning, waste installation , landfill gas, landfill leachate , etc.)
  • the recycling and marketing options for separately collected waste components (fractions, qualities; e.g. compost , substitute fuels, building materials, soil, metals)


The scientific principles of waste management are developed at numerous universities (e.g. at the Montanuniversität Leoben and RWTH Aachen University ) and universities of applied sciences (e.g. at Münster University and the Technical University of Cologne ) and non-university research institutions (e.g. at Fraunhofer -Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology ) is researched and taught in corresponding courses.

See also


  • Bernd Bilitewski, Georg Härdtle, Klaus Marek: Waste Management. Manual for practice and teaching. Springer, Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-540-64276-5 .
  • Oktay Tabasaran (Ed.): Waste management, waste technology. Ernst & Sohn Verlag, 1994, ISBN 3-433-01168-0 .
  • Peter Lechner (Ed.): Municipal waste disposal . Facultas UTB, 2004, ISBN 3-8252-2114-8 .
  • Norbert Thomas: Luxury garbage . Zebulon Verlag, Düsseldorf 1994, ISBN 3-928679-19-8 .
  • What is left: what to do with the remnants of civilization? ( Special Issue ), Culture & Technology: The Magazine from the Deutsches Museum, Volume 43, Issue 1/2019, ISSN  0344-5690

Web links

Wiktionary: Waste management  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations