Rising resource consumption translates into increased waste generation, and local governments are mainly responsible for managing this waste stream. Assisted by state and federal agencies, local governments have implemented solid and hazardous waste prevention programs to protect the environment and public health.
Solid waste prevention programs that have traditionally focused on aluminum, glass, paper, and plastics, now are increasingly handling additional waste types, such as packaging, electronics, construction/demolition debris, organics/green waste and food waste. Hazardous waste prevention programs handle toxic products and compounds generated both by households and by a variety of industries.
The 1991 Ahwahnee Principles — which underpin the Local Government Commission's work on livable, sustainable communities — stipulate that: