Although countries have streamlined and merged their working practices, the business of waste remains a matter for national or local governments – and attitudes towards waste disposal differ widely between countries.
The main waste disposal methods across the European continent are landfill, incineration and recycling.
Few would argue against recycling, but a fierce debate continues surrounding landfills and incineration. The main problem with landfills, apart from the obvious space and odor issues, is the production of methane – the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that methane emissions have an effect on global warming up to 86 times higher than CO2 over a 20-year period.
But landfills are cheap to build and modern landfills can now prevent the leakage of harmful gases.
Incineration has modified too to become a potential source of energy, but plants are expensive to build and need a lot of trash to fuel.