Introduction In many nations, waste management has emerged as a dominant environmental issue at an operational planning level. It is a problem that features a high degree of public attention to site-specific, community-based environmental protection issues focused on the practice of landfilling, alternatives to landfilling and the special problems associated with disposing of hazardous and radioactive wastes. It also is a problem that is continuing to grow in its severity and its impact. For example, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) alone presently spends in excess of $1.4 billion annually on the problem of solid waste disposal (Dower, 1990).