What is waste – A Philosophical Perspective
Pollution refers to an unwanted change in the environment caused by the introduction of harmful materials or the production of harmful conditions (heat, cold, sound). Contamination has a meaning similar to that of pollution and implies making something unfit for a particular use through the introduction of undesirable materials—for example, the contamination of water by hazardous waste. Toxin refers to substances (pollutants) that are poisonous to living things. Toxicology is the science that studies toxins or suspected toxins, and toxicologists are scientists in this field. A carcinogen is a toxin that increases the risk of cancer. Carcinogens are among the most feared and regulated toxins in our society.
Botkin 2011, Environmental Science Earth as Living Planet
Waste refers to material such as garbage, trash, construction debris: materials that have reached the end of their useful life. Pollutant can be defined as any substance introduced into the environment that adversely affects the usefulness of a resource. The word waste differs from pollutant, although a waste can be a pollutant too.
Hill 2010, Understanding Environmental Pollution
Waste can defined by waste to produce energy or energy from waste and energy that can be used but wasted instead.
Bing Kong et al 2014, Waste Energy Harvesting
- Waste, unwanted material (This glass is dirty of tea waste)
- Contamination, the presence of unwanted (My tea, contaminated by sugar)
- Pollution, the introduction of contaminants (This room is polluted by cold air)
When someone want to study about environment, he might see it from several philosophical perspective
- Waste energy perspective: biogas, pyrolysis, piezoelectric (mechanical energy)
- Waste management perspective: source reduction, waste minimization, landfill operation, volume reduction
So what does it mean?
Its mean that philosophical perspective, should not be used as debate activity, or especially on policy debate. It is useless, for example in a case where the pro biogas waste using waste energy perspective having a debate with the contra biogas that using waste management perspective. They will never met the conclusion.