Resource Challenges for Local Governments: Solid waste management in local municipalities
For most of the era since 1960, when environmental policy and resource policy have been central public issues, the focus of public debates on those policies was at the federal and state levels. But as we enter the last decade of the century, we find that more and more of the decisions and policies that will determine the quality of life for our citizens are being made at the local level. Issues that have historically been local prerogatives-water supply, solid waste disposal, sewerage disposal, land use planning, and transportation infrastructure – are increasingly identified as crucial for effective environmental policy and for insuring “quality of life.” To be sure, those local decisions are often constrained by a wide variety of state and federal policies on environmental policy and resource use. But clearly, effective management of quality of life issues by local governments will require more than reluctant reaction to rules and deadlines imposed from above.