42 U.S. Code § 6902 - Objectives and national policy

(a) ObjectivesThe objectives of this chapter are to promote the protection of health and the environment and to conserve valuable material and energy resources by—
providing technical and financial assistance to State and local governments and interstate agencies for the development of solid waste management plans (including resource recovery and resource conservation systems) which will promote improved solid waste management techniques (including more effective organizational arrangements), new and improved methods of collection, separation, and recovery of solid waste, and the environmentally safe disposal of nonrecoverable residues;
providing training grants in occupations involving the design, operation, and maintenance of solid waste disposal systems;
prohibiting future open dumping on the land and requiring the conversion of existing open dumps to facilities which do not pose a danger to the environment or to health;
assuring that hazardous waste management practices are conducted in a manner which protects human health and the environment;
requiring that hazardous waste be properly managed in the first instance thereby reducing the need for corrective action at a future date;
minimizing the generation of hazardous waste and the land disposal of hazardous waste by encouraging process substitution, materials recovery, properly conducted recycling and reuse, and treatment;
establishing a viable Federal-State partnership to carry out the purposes of this chapter and insuring that the Administrator will, in carrying out the provisions of subchapter III of this chapter, give a high priority to assisting and cooperating with States in obtaining full authorization of State programs under subchapter III;
providing for the promulgation of guidelines for solid waste collection, transport, separation, recovery, and disposal practices and systems;
promoting a national research and development program for improved solid waste management and resource conservation techniques, more effective organizational arrangements, and new and improved methods of collection, separation, and recovery, and recycling of solid wastes and environmentally safe disposal of nonrecoverable residues;
promoting the demonstration, construction, and application of solid waste management, resource recovery, and resource conservation systems which preserve and enhance the quality of air, water, and land resources; and
establishing a cooperative effort among the Federal, State, and local governments and private enterprise in order to recover valuable materials and energy from solid waste.
(b) National policy

The Congress hereby declares it to be the national policy of the United States that, wherever feasible, the generation of hazardous waste is to be reduced or eliminated as expeditiously as possible. Waste that is nevertheless generated should be treated, stored, or disposed of so as to minimize the present and future threat to human health and the environment.

Prior Provisions

Provisions similar to those in this section were contained in section 3251 of this title, prior to the general amendment of the Solid Waste Disposal Act by Pub. L. 94–580.


1984—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 98–616, § 101(b)(1), designated existing provisions as subsec. (a).

Subsec. (a)(4) to (11). Pub. L. 98–616, § 101(b)(2), struck out par. (4) which provided for regulating the treatment, storage, transportation, and disposal of hazardous wastes which have adverse effects on health and the environment, added pars. (4) to (7), and redesignated former pars. (5) to (8) as (8) to (11), respectively.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 98–616, § 101(b)(1), added subsec. (b).

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