Waste is a product of many human activities and has risen with increasing populations with the demand for more products. Waste therefore needs to be managed responsibly. The concept of sustainable development promotes waste minimisation and supports the use of renewable material and recycling where possible. The use of waste in general and the handling of hazardous waste, for example radioactive waste, has been regulated by a number of groups including the European Union.
- Waste generation
Indicators relate to the total amount of waste produced by sources including domestic, industrial and nuclear waste. Intensities are also used to show the amount of waste produced per capita and per unit of GDP for a given country.
- Waste recycling
Indicators apply to paper and glass, although they can and should be adopted for many other resources. Statistics are used to show the percentages of the materials being recycled. For example, in 1996, 22% of glass and 37% of paper produced in the UK was recycled.