A waste management facility is a place where trash and matter, reusable or not, is sent to its final destination. The term is usually not synonymous with a dump or landfill, although it may be located on the same site as a dump, and may be considered a better alternative to simply lumping together all refuse a society produces. Minimizing the amount of waste a society creates by reusing and recycling as much as possible is now one of the primary purposes of a waste management facility.
A waste management facility's actual service varies greatly depending on context and location. The one thing all such facilities have in common is that they deal with discarded materials discarded, with the intention of storing, altering, or destroying that waste. Newer technologies and better ways of minimizing waste are often the waste management facility's primary concern, and some countries place significant resources into improving waste management facilities.
In some cases, people call the place where recycling is sorted a waste management facility. More commonly, this is called a recycling center. When recycling is picked up in bins from the sidewalk, it is usually taken to a facility specially designed to deal with this type of refuse. Sometimes, a recycling center may also be responsible for refunding deposits on recyclable items if consumers bring the product directly to the center.
Sites where liquid waste is processed are also often referred to as waste management facilities, but this is a somewhat rarer usage. Liquid waste management involves very different processes than solid waste management. Treatment for liquid waste places a high emphasis on environmental impact and converting the waste into a usable form, as it is not convenient or safe to simply dump liquids.
Some facilities employ unique and intelligent methods of dealing with solid waste. For instance, composting is an easy way to put biodegradable items back into the environment and is simple to implement even on a large scale. When care and attention are paid to processing waste, very little cannot be completely destroyed or reused. Some facilities, particularly in areas with little available land, incinerate waste and convert it into energy. This has the benefit of creating energy, but may be dangerous for people living around the incineration facility and bad for the environment.
Overly wasteful strategies of waste management that were employed in the past, and which may remain popular in some locations, led some people to search for ways to reduce large amounts of waste. This practice, for which waste management facilities may someday be responsible, is often compared to mining due to the useful materials that may be found in dumps. As waste management facilities continue to develop and evolve, they must be designed not only to combat waste produced every day by human beings, but also to reduce the waste of past generations until the problem is resolved.