Waste Management Across the World

United Kingdom

Waste management in the United Kingdom is separate, and the administrations of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are responsible for their waste management policy and strategies autonomously. This practice provides better operation efficiency determined by smaller territories under control. Nevertheless, the Waste Framework Directive’s requirements are integrated into domestic law by every region’s Waste Regulations. At the same time, national priorities in every part of the country refer to the waste hierarchy that includes the transition from landfilling waste, waste prevention, re-use, recycling, energy recovery, and the reduction of gas emissions related to waste management.

Waste management is generally legally controlled by the country’s Environment Agency. However, according to official regulations, all local authorities are responsible for waste collection and utilization. Thus, all households receive a door-to-door collection of separate food, garden, residual, bulky, and dry recyclable waste or operate co-mingle collection. The collection is funded party by local authority taxes and partly by the government. Businesses are responsible for charges for weekly waste collection and landfill taxes. Moreover, easy access to the recycling system for citizens, the development of a streamlined recycling structure, and educating of citizens concerning waste management led to a huge increase in the country’s recycling rate.


Highly efficient waste management is determined by the policy of Avfall Sverige, the Swedish Waste Management and Recycling, which focuses on the massive reduction of waste at landfills. 1% of waste is sent to landfills, 49% is fully recycled, and 50% is burnt in power plants to generate electricity used for buildings’ heating. Thus, in Sweden, waste management hierarchy priorities are waste prevention, re-use, biological treatment and material recycling, other recycling, disposal to landfills. Civic amenity sites, municipal waste services, and waste collection are funded by fees billed by municipalities and may be funded through taxation in the case of fees’ deficits. Moreover, businesses should recycle waste using specific services for a fee. In addition, the government has approved the introduction of a waste incineration tax for the production of district heating and electricity.




Waste Management and Recycling Department of the Ministry of the Environment is responsible for waste management in Japan. This country focuses on recycling and the reduction of waste in landfills due to the limited size of the country’s territory, as well. Waste incineration is regarded as the most ecological and safe way for waste disposal. Moreover, according to the Act on the Promotion of Sorted Collection and Recycling Containers and Packaging and the 3R Policy, can, food trays, and PET bottles are collected separately for recycling and production of new products. The hierarchy of waste management in Japan is waste reduction, waste re-use, recycling, thermal recovery, and disposal. Waste management is considered at all levels – government formulates policies, promotes environmental education, and provides information, local authorities implement governmental regulations, and citizens are responsible for the cooperation with established measures. People pay for the utilization of large garbage by paying for garbage disposal tickets. Business are responsible for the utilization of waste paying for its volume. Waste management is funded by cooperatives and municipalities through tax revenue.




South Korea

In South Korea, municipal waste disposal includes landfilling, composting, recycling, and incineration. The Ministry of Environment is responsible for waste management, and the waste hierarchy consists of waste reduction, waste utilization, waste incineration, and landfill. All waste should be separated into general waste, recyclable items, food waste, or bulky items at the household level. In addition, governmental waste management policies currently focus on personal responsibility for waste generation. Thus, the Volume-Based Waste Fee (VBWF) introduces individual fees that depend on the volume of waste, especially food waste. People should pay bags in advance, the cost of which is determined by the cost of waste disposal. Subsequently, charges will depend on waste weight and volume. For business, charges also depend on waste volume according to the Waste Disposal Charge System. In addition, in South Korea, the government made waste disposal taxes obligatory for waste incineration and landfilling.



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