Hazardous waste is produced both on a huge scale by major industries and on a relatively tiny scale by individuals. No matter where it comes from, waste can be dangerous.
One of the main causes of the abundance of hazardous waste is that people
do not realize how large a problem it is. Because it can be simply removed and sent to a landfill, it is often assumed that the problem ends there.
Industries have often displayed an unwillingness to find ways to deal with hazardous waste because of the expenses associated with it.
Many industries and governments create crude landfills to store waste, and often just dump waste chemicals into nearby bodies of
Chemicals used for industrial processes often create dangerous forms of waste. The amount of these chemicals has risen heavily in the past, as more areas of the world industrialize and new products are produced.
Over 80,000 different chemicals are used in industries worldwide. Often, it is difficult and expensive to get rid of these chemicals and to store them in a way that does not
endanger human life or the environment. Obviously, not all of these chemicals are dangerous, but many are and they do create serious problems.
Around the world, hundreds of millions of tons of hazardous waste are produced annually. Rather than cleaning up or storing waste more carefully, one method of reducing the hazardous waste problem may be to simply stop producing so much of it.