Solid Waste Disposal Act

In the early 1960s, cities and towns across the country practiced open air burning of trash. In response, Congress passed the Solid Waste Disposal Act in 1965 as part of the amendments to the Clean Air Act. This was the first federal law that required environmentally sound methods for disposal of household, municipal, commercial, and industrial waste.

Solid Waste Disposal Act:

Promote better management of solid wastes

Support resource recovery

Directed that the US Public Health Service (PHS) promulgate and enforce regulations for solid waste collection, transportation, recycling, and disposal. (The US EPA was not formed until 1970.)

Provided financial assistance for states to study and develop solid waste management plans

Provided support for research and development of improved methods of solid waste management