H. L. Hickman, Jr.
For submission to the Economic Commission for Europe
        1971  Prague Environmental  Conference
            Solid Waste Management Office


Introduction   	   1

Action at the State Level  	   5

Current Status of Solid Waste Management  	  10

Management of the Planning Program  	  12

Results of Program	  ]k

Conclusions	  19

References	'  .  20

Appendix.  Typical 3~Year Planning Program Work Schedule  ....  21

Figure and Tables

     Figure 1.  Map of United States	   2

     Table 1.   Initial State Solid Waste Planning Grants
                  (May 1966)	   6

     Table 2.   Funding of Solid Waste Planning Grants
                  (1966-1970)   	   9

     Table 3-   Awarding of State Solid Waste Planning Grants
                  (1966-1970)   	  15

     Table **.   Current Achievement by Agency (January 1, 1970-  .  16



                         H. Lanier Hickman, Jr.*

     The United States of America is a federated republic composed of

individual States and territories.  Each level of government has certain

responsibilities and authorities to provide services to the people with-

in its territorial jurisdiction (Figure 1).

     Based upon the Constitution and the traditions and history of the

United States of America, the States determine the direction and char-

acter of activities within their geographical boundaries.  This role

permits the States to decide which of those State-created activities

and services will be carried out by levels of government below that

of the State.  In most instances,  local governments derive their own

authority from permissive legislation enacted by the State legislative

body, and they provide such services as primary and secondary education,

health services and health care, police and fire protection, and waste


     Where activities extend beyond local  jurisdictions, the State

government must provide means and institutions for transacting State

     "Director, Division of Technical  Operations, Solid Waste Manage-
ment Office, Environmental Protection Agency, Rockville, Maryland  20852,

Figure 1.   Map of United  States.

business.  Examples of State responsibility would be developing State

highway systems, providing for flood control, and establishing standards

of design and operation for environmental protection facilities.

     Primarily, the Federal government's responsibilities relate to broad

national functions such as the traditional roles of defense and foreign

policy and, more specifically, to interstate functions of State and

local governments that transcend single State boundaries.  Some examples

of these activities are the interstate highway system of the United

States, interstate and transcontinental air transport, and pollution

problems with interstate significance.

     These same divisions of responsibility are applicable to solid waste

management in the United States of America.  Unlike their concern with

some other governmental functions, however, the various levels of gov-

ernment in the United States have not responded to their responsibilities

for solid waste management.  Only recently has solid waste management

been recognized as a national  problem in our Country.  In the past,

local (municipal and county) government has been mainly responsible

for solid waste management.  Frequently, State governments have exercised

some responsibility, but this  has been primarily related to the nuisance

and health aspects that result from poor solid waste management practices.

However, because the population in the United States is larger, more

urban, and increasingly prosperous and affluent, and because both industry

and the consumer use more convenience packaging and disposable items,

severe stresses have been placed on the already overloaded local and

private solid waste management systems within the Nation.1'2  The reason

that these existing and frequently unsatisfactory systems are failing

to meet these increasing stresses can be attributed to many factors,

all of which interact upon each other.  Across the Nation, the public

and government are apathetic about solid waste management; social and

political self-interest at each level of government has led to inaction

at all  levels.  As a result of this apathy, sufficient funds are not

provided to allow existing systems to function satisfactorily.  Who

wants to spend money on something that must be thrown away?  The extent

to which poor solid waste management practices degrade the environment

is unappreciated.  Additionally, the technology that is available and

acceptable to do many jobs of solid waste management is not understood

nor applied by those who plan, conduct, and operate solid waste management

systems.  All of these reasons are merely symptomatic of the primary

reason for the deficiency of solid waste management in the United States:

at every level of government, problems are not assessed and purposeful

planning is not provided.

     In 1965 the Congress of the United States passed and the President

signed the Solid Waste Disposal Act (PL 89-272).3  For the first time,

the role of the Federal government in solid waste management was estab-

lished and defined.  It directed the Federal government to develop new

and improved methods for solid waste disposal that State and local agencies

could use. It also established the role of the Federal government to

assist and guide local and State governments in planning, developing, and

conducting solid waste management systems.  The Act did not, however,

usurp the basic rights and responsibilities of State and local government

in solid waste management.  The Solid Waste Disposal Act  recognized

that although the collection and disposal of solid waste  was primarily

the function of State,  regional, and local government, solid waste

management prob.lems were of such national scope and concern that certain

Federal action was necessary.  The Solid Waste Management Office is the

principal organization  that provides this Federal action.  Principally,

the law directs the Solid Waste Management Office to provide the assist-

ance, both financial and technical, and the leadership needed to develop,

demonstrate, and apply  new methods and processes for reducing the amount

of waste and unsalvageable materials and for sound solid  waste management


     A special significance of the Act is that State and  interstate agen-

cies can be given assistance to help them and local governments solve

their present waste problems and attack new ones.  Through the planning

grant program of the Solid Waste Management Office, the costs of de-

veloping comprehensive  State solid waste management plans are shared with

the States.  This program, therefore, is truly a Federal-State partnership.

                        ACTION AT THE STATE LEVEL

     The Governor of each State was requested to designate the agency in

his State that would be responsible for the development of comprehensive

solid waste management  plans.  (I  might mention that for  the rest of my

discussion the term "State" will also apply to "interstate" planning

activities.  Where interstate plans are being developed,  a planning agency,

mutually agreed upon by the cooperating States, shares responsibilities

for that interstate region with the appropriate State planning agencies.)

In most instances, the State health department or the public health

department was the agency the Governors designated responsible for

solid waste planning.

     The State planning assistance program was initiated in May 1966

with the awarding of 14 grants (Table l).  At this time, the $500,000

the Federal government provided for planning was matched by an equal

or greater share from the recipient States.  This new program required

a great deal of discussion to decide:  what was planning?  what was it

to achieve?  The first programs were necessarily naive because both the

Federal and State governments lacked understanding and experience.

However, the basic genesis of these programs did, indeed, fit the accepted

concept of planning and have withstood the ravages of time and criticism.

                                 TABLE 1

Cal i fornia
Hawa i i
New Jersey
New York
Rhode Island
South Carol ina
West Virginia
State funds
Federal funds
   Total                             $513,300            $399,200

     The fundamental principles of planning  include  the following


     1.  establishing broad basic goals,

     2.  collecting sufficient and adequate  data to  describe the

         current practices and problems,

     3.  analyzing and  interpreting the collected data,

     k.  establishing objectives that, when  accomplished, will

         change or correct the problems defined,

     5.  determining the methods, timing, and priorities to

         achieve the objectives,

     6.  implementing these methods, evaluating the  success or

         failure to achieve the objectives during the course of the

         work, and modifying the plan to meet changing conditions.

     The first few planning grants were based on these fundamental

principles of planning.

     When the States collected sufficient data to describe current

practices and problems, there was, for the first time in the history

of the Nation, data related to solid waste management practices that

could be nationally compared.  In cooperation with the States, the

Solid Waste Management Office developed data collection forms and in-

structions for collecting and analyzing the  data to  be used by all

planning grantees.5*6  The States recorded information on three basic

data gathering forms:  Community Description Form of Solid Waste Man-

agement Practices,  Land Disposal Form, and Facility  Form.7  All land

disposal and all  solid waste facilities, such as incinerators, transfer

stations, hog-feeding operations, were surveyed in every State that re-

ceived grant support.  All communities with more than 5,000 people were

surveyed, and the data were entered on the Community Description Form.

After the State governments and the regional offices of the program re-

viewed the data, the forms were returned to the program for data analysis

and handling.  Magnetic tapes plus computer print-outs of these data

were returned to each participating State government for use in their

own planning activities.  To determine the practices and problems on

a national scale and to plan long-term programs for solid waste manage-

ment on a national basis, the Solid Waste Management Office also analyzed

the data.  An interim report of this analysis was released in October

1968,8 and a final report will  be released sometime during 1971-  In

addition, the Bureau is using these data as a baseline for a national

solid waste data network, which is now in the pilot testing stage in

our Country.

     In the first k years of the program, which began in 1966, 50

State and interstate agencies received planning-grant aid from the

Federal government:  Federal funds totaled a modest $6,200,000, and

State funds, $7,600,000 (Table 2).  Many of the States that first

received planning grants have developed their basic plans and are now

in a Phase II planning effort to develop plans for the management of

industrial, agricultural, auto hulks, pesticides, and other special

solid waste problems.

                                 TABLE 2

Fiscal year
Federal funds
State funds
1 ,900,000
     To provide a certain degree of guidance to the State and interstate

agencies and to provide for compatible plans between the States, the

Solid Waste Management Office provided guidelines for developing State

solid waste management plans.4  These jointly developed guidelines de-

scribe the planning process and its application to national, State, and

local problems.  The guidelines include the outline of a suggested plan

report, which establishes the natural planning sequence.  How to prepare

the plan report, how to analyze and interpret data, how to evaluate these

data to establish priorities, how to establish the planning organization,

how to use input from interested citizens and special interest groups:

all these are discussed in the guidelines.  Implementing the plan report

completes the planning steps; the guidelines describe the elements needed

in an operating agency for implementation.  The critical activities of

an operating agency would include such areas as State legislation;

technical assistance; a public  information program to describe the

State's problems, sell the plan, and generate needed public support;

training activities to develop operating and management personnel; co-

ordinated action with agencies that have overlapping interests; personnel

selection and use.  Remember, continuous planning is needed to reflect

changing trends and conditions within the State.


     The interim report on the data collected by the States in their

planning, mentioned earlier, indicated that the average amount of solid

waste actually collected in the United States was 5-3 pounds per person

per day.  The survey results also indicated tKat individuals collected

and transported 10 to 15 percent of residential and commercial solid

waste to the disposal site; that industry collected and transported 30

to kO percent of industrial solid waste; that local regulations or the

lack of them permitted over 50 percent of the population to burn some

types of solid wastes in their backyards; and further that A5 percent

of commercial and other industrial  establishments also  practice open

burning of some type.  From these data, we were able to estimate that

7 pounds per person per day of solid wastes are being generated from

residential, commercial, and municipal sources.  We  have estimated that

an additional 3 pounds per person per day of industrial solid waste are

being generated.  Thus, estimates of the 1967 survey data indicate that

a total of over 10 pounds of residential, commercial, and industrial

waste are being generated daily for each person in the United States--

 360 million  tons  per year.  These  figures, of course, do not  reflect

 those solid  wastes  resulting from  agricultural and mining operations--

 another 3.1  billions tons per year.  From  the survey data, we, there-

 fore, estimate  that the United States generates at least 3-5  billion

 tons of solid waste per year or approximately 100 pounds per  person per


     From the survey data, we also estimated the cost for solid waste

 management in our Country.  Approximately  $1.7 billion per year is being

 spent by municipal governments on  solid waste management.  An additional

 $1.8 billion is being spent by the private solid waste management  industry

 to provide collection and disposal services to municipalities and  industry,

 and another  $1.1 billion  is being  spent by industry and individuals.

We estimate  that the United States spends over $4.5 billion per year

 for solid waste management.  Even  though this is an impressive total

expenditure,  these monies do not provide for adequate solid waste man-

agement in the  United States.  The survey  indicated that Sk percent of

existing land disposal operations  and 75 percent of incinerator facilities

were inadequate; they did not provide for the effective disposal of solid

waste and at the same time protect the environment.  It further indicated

 that approximately 12 percent of the residential population in the country

 received no  formalized collection  service and an additional 11 percent

 received only partial services.  These facts are provided only to support

my original  statements that the various levels of government have failed

to provide proper solid waste management at a reasonable cost and, at

the same time,   protect the environment.


     To provide the Solid Waste Management Office with optimum manage-

ment of the planning grant program, a project control procedure was

established:   (l) to help the States understand important aspects of

the planning process so they could judge their own progress and (2) to

help the Federal program quantitatively judge the various programs in

action.  Six key events that could be used to measure the achievement

of a satisfactory solid waste plan were established:  staffing the

agency, instituting public relations and information efforts, surveying

the State, developing a written plan, establishing and implementing

legislation, and upgrading and improving the stature of the solid waste

agency in the State governmental structure.9

     Any organization, to do its job, must be properly staffed.  The

Solid Waste Management Office contends that the basic staffing of the

State agency must include at least a full-time project director and the

necessary support personnel.  Further, these personnel should receive

the available training courses that provide them with updated solid

waste management technology.  A measurement of the program's success

is in its retention of the qualified personnel.

     Any new agency that is to have a dominant role in future governmental

actions must prepare itself for public acceptance through a proper public

relations and information program.  Such a program begins with newsletters

and other written material  to describe its job.  The communications media

must receive appropriate material  for public assimilation.  Speakers

must be made available to describe the problems of solid waste and the

role of the new agency.

     Gathering data and preparing reports that describe the analysis

of that data are essential.  This need was discussed earlier.

     Writing a State plan, from  its beginning to its completion, pulls

together all those things learned by the planning agency.  We have es-

tablished six sub events to achieve a written State plan:  a topical

outline, analysis of background data on the physical and social char-

acteristics of the State, analysis of statistical data to define prob-

lems, development of the draft of the plan, preliminary formulation of

the plan, and then the final plan, which is ready to be published and

released to concerned parties.9

     The preparing of legislation is not a responsibility of a State

solid waste planning agency.  However, if the planning agency has accom-

plished its mission through staffing, public relations, data analysis

to describe the problems, and preparation of a satisfactory written plan

that includes a description of the needed legislation, then a responsible

and concerned State legislative body should develop adequate legislation

designed to properly manage solid waste within the State.

     When our program began and the States began planning, the staff

and funds of many State solid waste planning agencies were limited and

unidentifiable.  We believe that establishing these State solid waste

agencies at higher levels in the State's governmental structure is a

measure of achievement.   The increasing awareness of solid waste man-

agement problems in the United States should be reflected at the State

level, and elevating and improving the status of these State solid

waste agencies will gauge the agency's success in planning and selling

its plan.  We contend that within the State government and within the

framework of its environmental and health programs, there must be a

State solid waste agency identifiably responsible for solid waste man-

agement  in that State.

     Finally, each grant program provides a schedule of key events

and sub events that can be used to measure the progress throughout

the life of the planning grant program.  These PERT network charts

or Gantt planning charts are used by the program to measure and report

progress of each planning grant.  A typical work schedule for a 3~

year planning program initiates an activity and develops and enlarges

it during the period (Appendix).

                           RESULTS OF PROGRAM

     From 1966 through 1968, 43 planning grants were awarded; from 1969

to 1970, seven were awarded (Table 3)-  Because of the number of State

and interstate agencies available, there can only be so many State and

interstate planning grants.  By the end of 1970, 10 of these plans had

been completed.  An additional 18 are now in the final review process

waiting approval by the State and Federal agencies before acceptance

and implementation.  By the end of 1972, we estimate that 80 percent

of the population in the United States will live in areas with accept-

able comprehensive State and interstate solid waste management plans

(Table k).

                                       TABLE 3

Cal ifornia
Hawai i
Mai ne
New Jersey
New York
Rhode Island
South Carol ina
West Virginia

Flor i da
Loui s iana
North Carol ina
North Dakota
Vi rg inia
Wash ington
1968 1969 1970
Arkansas Guam Indiana
District of Columbia Maryland-District of New Hampshire
., ... .+ Columbia-Virginia7
Kansas-Missouri7 3
... . . ... Mississippi
Mississippi-Arkansas- rr
Tennessee''" OKI^t
Nebraska- Iowa''' Vermont
New Mexico
Puerto Rico
South Dakota

^Fiscal  year.
'''Interstate grant.
     -Kentucky-Indi ana.

                  CURRENT ACHIEVEMENT BY AGENCY  (January  1,  1971)
Arkansas                   90
California                100
Colorado                  100
Connecticut                90
Delaware                   85
District of Columbia      100
Florida                    90
Georgia                    80
Guam                       95
Hawaii                     90
Idaho                     100
Indiana                     5
Kansas                     60
Kansas-Missouri"           95
Kentucky                  100
Louisiana                  80
Maine                      90
Maryland                   80
Maryland-District of
  Columbia-Virginia-        0
Massachusetts               0
Michigan        .           25
Minnesota                  95
Mississippi                 0
  Tennessee*               95
Missouri                   20
               New Hampshi re1"
               New Jersey
               New Mexico
               New York
               North Carolina
               North Dakota
               Puerto Rico
               Rhode Island
               South Carolina
               South Dakota
               Vi rginia
               West Virginia
     *lnterstate grant.
     '''New program.
     fOh i o-Kentucky-Ind i ana.

     Perhaps an even more important measure of the success of this plan-

ning grant program is reflected in the increases in staff, budget, pro-

gramming, upgrading, legislative results, and efforts to develop plans

and new programs at local and regional levels.

     Before the Solid Waste Management Office awarded the first State

and interstate planning grants, between 10 and 15 people in the entire

United States were involved in the process of planning for solid waste

management at the State level.  We estimate that in 1970 over 200 people,

professional and support staff, were  involved in planning at the State

and interstate level.

     Many States are now establishing local and regional planning needs.

Apparently, the trend is towards regional systems that will transcend

the small, local parochial views of small communities.  Through such

regional  approaches, economies of scale can be realized to help support

the more complex solid waste management systems that will be necessary.

Thus,  the maximum amount of environmental protection will be achieved

at the least cost to the public.  Some States now provide grant support

for comprehensive solid waste management planning at local and regional

levels.  The plans being developed are in accord with the State plans

to achieve acceptable solid waste management practices on a statewide

bas is .

     State planning budgets for 1966, the first year of Federal support,

approximated $500,000.  In fiscal  year 1970, budgets for solid waste

planning at the State and interstate  level exceeded $2 million.  In addi-

tion,  we estimate that in fiscal year 1970 program activities other than

planning functions exceeded $3 million.  These budget increases, which

are always reflective of governmental growth and awareness, indicate

that at the State and interstate level of governmental services solid

waste management is assuming a more and more important role.

     Since the beginning of the planning grant program in 1966, signifi-

cant solid waste legislation has been passed in 20 States. At least 10

new laws use the term "solid waste" in their title.  Many States have

also developed and prepared standards for acceptable design and operation

of solid waste management systems at the local  and regional levels,

thereby ensuring uniformity on a statewide basis.

     We are also extremely gratified by the recognition of solid waste

management programs within the State governmental structure.  Before

1965, I  believe there were only two State solid waste programs identifi-

able by the terms,  "solid waste" or "refuse" at the State level.  At

the present time, we know of at least 10 that are now identified by the

term "solid waste" and that are line agencies within the State governmental

organization.  In some States, the legislature has created new cabinet-

level environmental departments concerned with the major problems of

the environment, i.e., air pollution, water pollution, and solid waste.

In many instances where such new departments have been established, the

solid waste program shares equal status with air and water pollution.

To us, this clearly indicates the growing recognition that the problems

of solid waste management are as important as the other, more traditional,

areas of environmental protection.


     We believe the achievements resulting from this cooperative State

and Federal program are accomplishing the purposes of the Solid Waste

Disposal Act, as amended by the Resource Recovery Act.  We also believe

there is a need for planning for solid waste management at all levels

to assess the problem, to determine goals, to set objectives to achieve

these goals, and to implement a plan by which these goals and objectives

can be met.  Through the present program, a rational, logical sequence

of events is being prepared by which the Nation can move ahead toward

providing the kind of solid waste management systems that will (1) pro-

tect the environment from dangers inherent in pollution and annoyance,

(2) provide for efficient and more economic management of solid waste,

(3) build into a flexible system to allow for future growth and develop-

ment, and (A) provide a guarantee of total service from storage to

ultimate disposal for all peoples within the areas of concern.10  A

successful planning process followed by an action program that ensures

implementing the necessary parts of the plan are needed to reach the

goal of adequate solid waste management.  The efforts of the States in

our Country and of the overall Federal program are providing the sort

of mechanism that will achieve those things necessary to bring our Country

into the 21st Century of solid waste management.


 1.   Darnay,  A.,  and W.  E.  Franklin.   The  role  of  packaging  in  solid
       waste  management,  1966  to 1976.   Public  Health  Service  Publica-
       tion No.  1855.  Washington,  U.S.  Government Printing  Office,
       1969.   205 p.

 2.   Hickman, H.  L., Jr.   Disposables.   [Cincinnati],  U.S.  Department
       of Health, Education, and Welfare,  [1969].   6 p.   [Restricted

 3.   The Solid Waste Disposal  Act;  Title II  of  Public  Law 89-272,  89th
       Cong.   S.306, October 20, 1965.   Washington, U.S.  Government
       Printing  Office,  1966.   5 p.

 4.   Toftner, R.  0.   Developing a state  solid waste management  plan.
       Public Health Service Publication No. 2031.  Washington,  U.S.
       Government Printing  Office,  1970.  50 p.

 5.   Manual of instructions and sample problem  for use in conducting  the
       national  survey of community solid  waste practices.   [Cincinnati],
       Solid  Waste[s]  Program,  July 1967.   65 p.

 6.   Coding manual;  the  national survey  of community solid waste practices.
       [Cincinnati], Solid  Wastefs]  Program, Sept. 1967.   63 p.

 7.   Muhich,  A.  J.,  A. J. Klee, and P. W.  Britton.  Preliminary  data
       analysis;  1968 national  survey of community solid  waste  practices.
       Public Health Service Publication No.  1867-  Washington,  U.S.
       Government Printing  Office,  1968.  p. xiii-xxii.

 8.   Black, R. J., A.  J.  Muhich, A.  J. Klee, H.  L. Hickman,  Jr., and
       R. D.  Vaughan.  The  national  solid  wastes  survey;  an  interim
       report.  [Cincinnati],  U.S.  Department of  Health,  Education, and
       Welfare,  [1968] .   53 p.

 9.   Administrative memorandum.  Bureau  of Solid  Waste Management, Planning
       Section,  July 16,  1970.

10.   Hickman, H.  L., Jr.   Planning  comprehensive  solid wastes  management
       systems.   Journal  of the Sanitary Engineering Division,  Proc.  ASCE,
       9MSA6) : 1 H7-1152, Dec.  1968.



     1.  In addition to the project director, one or two professional
     staff members and one stenographer are hired.  Usually, 100 percent
     of the project director's time is devoted to the project;  about
     50 percent of the staff member's time is assigned to the project.

     2.  One of the first public relation activities is to publicize
     the upcoming statewide survey.

     3.  The statewide survey is undertaken.   Conducting or supervising
     the survey demands most of the staff's time.


     1.  The statewide survey is continued.  Many States finish the
     survey during the second year and begin  analyzing the collected

     2.  Public relations activities become more sophisticated:  news
     releases are issued, newsletters are published, staff members
     make speeches,  and brochures are distributed.

     3.  A first attempt is made to draft solid waste legislation
     and have it introduced in the legislature.

     A.  The States  begin considering elements of their statewide
     solid waste plans.  About one-half of the States draft plan
     outli nes.


     1.  Survey data are further analyzed to  identify the solid waste
     problems.   Pertinent data are arrayed to be included in the
     State plan appendix or in a separate plan volume for data

     2.  Public relations activities continue; some States develop
     slide shows, newspaper publicity is more frequent and favorable,
     many project directors and staff appear  on radio, television,
     and statewide panels.

     3.  Legislative activities become more active.  States that
     have succeeded  in passing enabling legislation begin writing
     rules and  regulations.

k.  Development of the State plan now begins in earnest.  Most
States, however, only succeed in completing 25 to 50 percent
of their plans during the third year.  Plan completion usually
occurs during a 3~ to 6-month extension of the third year.