Waste is a part of our everyday lives. We generate waste at homes and offices. Commercial businesses and industries also produce waste. The type, amount, and how Indiana residents and businesses manage the waste they produce will determine how much of an impact the waste will have on the environment.
IDEM encourages the 3Rs of waste – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Reduce, to the extent feasible, the amount of waste we make. By using resources wisely and using less than usual we can avoid waste. For example, packaging. Reducing waste will not only protect the environment, but will also save on costs or reduce expenses for disposal. In the same way, recycling and/or reusing the waste that is produced can benefit the environment, improve the health of Hoosiers, and even lower the cost of doing business.
It is helpful to keep our environment clean when we process these wastes properly. But there are still wastes that must be disposed in landfills because they cannot be reused or recycled. Properly managing waste in compliance with the rules and approvals will keep our environment clean.
The poor handling of waste can impact the quality of surface water, ground water, land, and the air. For instance, when waste is illegally dumped along roadsides, in the woods, in illegal landfills, in wetlands, in lakes and streams, or by being improperly burned, these are all examples of improper handling. Once waste affects the environment, it is not long before it starts to impact the health of humans and animals.