The year is 2020, and America’s wasteful ways are a thing of the past. New technologies and a changed economic climate, combined with enlightened government policies and a pronounced shift in societal and corporate attitudes have resulted in dramatic decreases in the volumes and toxicity of industrial wastes generated by the country’s industries.
Materials that were once considered wastes suitable only for landfilling are now continually reused and recycled, and
“industrial ecology” has become the mantra of corporate executives across the nation. Landfills are becoming obsolete—the small volumes ofwastes that actually need disposal are carefully managed under an efficient and environmentally protective system that features a mix of economic incentives, voluntary measures, and regulatory controls.Cleanup of most contaminated sites has been largely completed, and thousands of areas once known as brownfields have been put back into productive use.