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What is waste?
November 22, 2010, 2:08 pm
Filed under: 5/5, Recycling, Theories | Tags: ,
Main Entry: waste
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: garbage, refuse
Synonyms: debris, dreck, dregs, dross, excess, hogwash, junk, leavings, leftovers, litter, offal, offscourings, rubbish, rubble, ruins, rummage, scrap, slop, sweepings, swill, trash
Main Entry: waste
Part of Speech: verb
Definition: spend or use without thought; dwindle
Synonyms: atrophy, be of no avail, blow, burn up, consume, corrode, crumble, debilitate, decay, decline, decrease, deplete, disable, disappear, dissipate, divert, drain, droop, eat away, ebb, emaciate, empty, enfeeble, exhaust, fade, fritter away, frivol away, gamble away, gnaw, go to waste, lavish, lose, misapply, misemploy, misuse, perish, pour down the drain, run dry, run through, sap, sink, splurge, squander, thin, throw away, trifle away, undermine, wane, wear, wear out, wilt, wither

Source: http://thesaurus.com/

‘Waste (also known as rubbish, trash, refuse, garbage, or junk) is unwanted or unusable materials. Litter is waste which has been disposed of improperly, particularly waste which has been carelessly disposed of in plain sight, as opposed to waste which has been dumped to avoid paying for waste disposal fees.’ (Source: Wikipedia)

‘Waste includes all items that people no longer have any use for, which they either intend to get rid of or have already discarded.’ (Eionet-European Topic Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production)

‘Wastes are substances or objects which are disposed or are intended to be disposed or are required to be disposed of by the provisions of national laws.’ (according to the Basel convention)

‘Wastes are materials that are not prime products (that is products produced for the market) for which the generator has no further use in terms of his/her own purposes of production, transformation or consumption, and of which he/she wants to dispose. Wastes may be generated during the extraction of raw materials, the processing of raw materials into intermediate and final products, the consumption of final products, and other human activities. Residuals recycled or reused at the place of generation are excluded.’ (The United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD))

Who does waste belong to? When does something turn into waste? Is waste defined in its context or by its charasteristics? Would you eat waste? It is intruiging and apalling to realize that we use the same word as a verb meaning to spend or use something without thought and at the same time as a noun naming refused unwanted material. Amd would it be a contradiction to say: We are wasting waste (by wasting it and calling it waste)?

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