Title: Waste management policy revisions: lessons learned from the Katrina disaster

Authors: William E. Roper

Addresses: College of Science, George Mason University, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA

Abstract: The main objective of this paper is to identify debris and waste management policies that need to be changed based on the lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina. Policy issues addressed include fragmented jurisdictional problems, issues related to types of debris, burning of house hold debris, wood infestation with Formosan termites and banning of yard wastes from landfills. Current practices and trends in the building material waste management following disasters are examined from a building life cycle standpoint or cradle to cradle concept. Completing the proper planning before the disaster is critical. Having a plan in place can allow for maximum, integrated recycling, resource optimisation, waste reduction and deconstruction. Examination of the waste management hierarchy and life cycle management of material is used to improve the understanding of reuse and recycle opportunities. Based on the lessons learnt from Hurricane Katrina proposed changes in debris management policy following natural disasters.

Keywords: building material reuse; C&D; materials recycling; debris management planning; debris management policy; policy assessment; deconstruction; emergency debris removal; hurricane debris management; waste diversion; sustainable construction management; construction; demolition; Hurricane Katrina; sustainability; waste management; resource optimisation; waste reduction; life cycle management; natural disasters.

DOI: 10.1504/IJETM.2008.017335

International Journal of Environmental Technology and Management, 2008 Vol.8 No.2/3, pp.275 - 309

Published online: 27 Feb 2008 *

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