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Life is often considered to be a journey. The lifecycle of waste can similarly be considered to be a journey from the cradle (when an item becomes valueless and, usually, is placed in the dustbin) to the grave (when value is restored by creating usable material or energy; or the waste is transformed into emissions to water or air, or into inert material placed in a landfill). This preface provides a route map for the journey the reader of this book will undertake. Who? Who are the intended readers of this book? Waste managers (whether in public service or private companies) will find a holistic approach for improving the environmental quality and the economic cost of managing waste. The book contains general principles based on cutting edge experience being developed across Europe. Detailed data and a computer model will enable operations managers to develop data-based improvements to their systems. Producers oj waste will be better able to understand how their actions can influence the operation of environmentally improved waste management systems. Designers oj products and packages will be better able to understand how their design criteria can improve the compatibility of their product or package with developing, environmentally improved waste management systems. Waste data specialists (whether in laboratories, consultancies or environ- mental managers of waste facilities) will see how the scope, quantity and quality of their data can be improved to help their colleagues design more effective waste management systems.