(99) A UN classification of waste

I was feeling at a loss for a general definition of waste. (I’ll look for its principles later) I was especially feeling the need to find a categorical defintion for waste which proceeded from an economic foundation.  Voila, there it was (at least in proposal form) from the UN (2007). (Got to love the hetrotopia of google)

Canned and prepared foods, on the other hand, owe much of their value to the food-processing industry and are therefore generally excluded from the primary category in the BEC (Broad Economic Categories) and are consequently classified as processed. Thus, a commodity is classified as primary if it is a product of farm, forest, fishing and hunting, or of an extractive industry, to whose value transformation has made only a minor contribution. Waste  and scrap materials are also classified as primary commodities in the BEC. If a commodity is not defined as primary, it is classified as processed in the BEC.

http://unstats.un.org/unsd/class/intercop/expertgroup/2007/AC124-8.PDF

I presume that as the economy begins to learn what the developing world has known for years, that value can be extracted from plastics, paper, radioactive materials or just trash itself as asomething to be burnt, buried etc that waste may move from being a primary commodity to being a processed one.

 

 

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