(a) The General Assembly finds that:
(1) Inefficient and improper methods of managing solid waste create hazards to public health, cause pollution of air and water resources, constitute a waste of natural resources, have an adverse effect on land values, and create public nuisances.
(2) Problems of solid waste management have become a matter statewide in scope and necessitate State action to assist local governments in improving methods and processes to promote more efficient methods of solid waste collection and disposal.
(3) The continuing technological progress and improvements in methods of manufacture, packaging, and marketing of consumer products have resulted in an ever‑mounting increase of the mass of material discarded by the purchasers of the products, thereby necessitating a statewide approach to assisting local governments around the State with their solid waste management programs.
(4) The economic growth and population growth of our State have required increased industrial production together with related commercial and agricultural operations to meet our needs, which have resulted in a rising tide of unwanted and discarded materials.
(5) The failure or inability to economically recover material and energy resources from solid waste results in the unnecessary waste and depletion of our natural resources; such that, maximum resource recovery from solid waste and maximum recycling and reuse of the resources must be considered goals of the State.
(6) Certain solid waste, due to its quantity; concentration; or physical, chemical, biological, or infectious characteristics; is exceptionally hazardous to human health, safety, and to the environment; such that exceptional attention to the transportation, disposal, storage, and treatment of the waste is necessary to protect human health, safety, and welfare; and to protect the environment.
(7) This Part should be integrated with other State laws and rules and applicable federal law.
(b) It is the purpose of this Part to:
(1) Regulate in the most economically feasible, cost‑effective, and environmentally safe manner the storage, collection, transport, separation, processing, recycling, and disposal of solid waste in order to protect the public health, safety, and welfare; enhance the environment for the people of this State; and recover resources which have the potential for further usefulness.
(2) Establish and maintain a cooperative State program of planning, technical assistance, and financial assistance for solid waste management.
(3) Require counties and municipalities to adequately plan and provide efficient, environmentally acceptable solid waste management programs; and require counties to plan for proper hazardous waste management.
(4) Require review of the design, and issue permits for the construction, operation, and closure of solid waste management facilities.
(5) Promote the application of resource recovery systems that preserve and enhance the quality of air, water, and land resources.
(6) Ensure that exceptionally hazardous solid waste is transported, disposed of, stored, and treated in a manner adequate to protect human health, safety, and welfare; and the environment.
(7) Promote the reduction, recycling, reuse, or treatment of solid waste, specifically including hazardous waste, in lieu of disposal of the waste.
(8) Promote methods and technology for the treatment, disposal, and transportation of hazardous waste which are practical, cost‑effective, and economically feasible.
(9) Encourage counties and municipalities to utilize all means reasonably available to promote efficient and proper methods of managing solid waste and to promote the economical recovery of material and energy resources from solid waste, including contracting with persons to provide or operate resource recovery services or facilities on behalf of the county or municipality.
(10) Promote the education of the general public and the training of solid waste professionals to reduce the production of solid waste, to ensure proper disposal of solid waste, and to encourage recycling.
(11) Encourage the development of waste reduction and recycling as a means of managing solid waste, conserving resources, and supplying energy through planning, grants, technical assistance, and other incentives.
(12) Encourage the development of the State's recycling industry by promoting the successful development of markets for recycled items and by promoting the acceleration and advancement of the technology used in manufacturing processes that use recycled items.
(13) Give the State a leadership role in recycling efforts by granting a preference in State purchasing to products with recycled content.
(14) Require counties to develop and implement recycling programs so that valuable materials may be returned to productive use, energy and natural resources conserved, and the useful life of solid waste management facilities extended.
(15) Ensure that medical waste is transported, stored, treated, and disposed of in a manner sufficient to protect human health, safety, and welfare; and the environment.
(16) Require counties, municipalities, and State agencies to determine the full cost of providing storage, collection, transport, separation, processing, recycling, and disposal of solid waste in an environmentally safe manner; and encourage counties, municipalities, and State agencies to contract with private persons for any or all the services in order to assure that the services are provided in the most cost‑effective manner. (1989, c. 784, s. 2.)