chapter  5
Solid and Hazardous Waste
WithDJ Peterson
Pages 34

The issue of solid waste was treated as an afterthought for which little provision was made and for which few people were prepared to take responsibility. Despite the magnitude of the problem, the issue of solid waste disposal has not commanded the level of public attention that other environmental issues, such as water and air pollution, have received. Given the lack of available data, it remains impossible to say conclusively how much waste the region's economies produce, how it is treated, or where it is disposed. Although official data on solid wastes are scarce, official information on the generation and fate of radioactive waste is for the most part unavailable—first because of poor monitoring, but more important, because of military secrecy. Comprehensive data on the generation of hazardous waste were a closely guarded secret under the Soviet regime because many firms that created the waste were part of the defense industry.