A little over a decade ago, hazardous wastes and waste sites were a rela­ tively obscure public health and land use issue. Isolated incidents of public controversy over municipal "sanitary" landfills were reported in the media, and less frequently in the corpus of professional and academic circles. The controversy usually centered on malodorous gaseous emissions, infestation by microbial organisms and rodent vectors, open pit fires, and aesthetically displeasing appearance. While these concerns are well justified as public health and land use issues, they are dwarfed by over four decades of im­ properly managing hazardous wastes. The improper management of haz­ ardous waste has not only created public health and environmental impacts, but it also has left a deep psychological imprint of mistrust in the minds of the public that threatens to undermine efficacious management programs.