There are societies that manage waste better, that manage waste worse. There are also societies that generate waste less, and those that produce more. I mentioned the two points, and in a way that pretty much covers the entire spectrum for both points, ie in “a some do more and some do less” manner. Like duh right.
If I had a topic statement to write for a dissertation, one direction I might pursue is waste management and its visibility, and how its literal visibility leads to attitudes in society towards garbage generation and management.
An off the cuff question: a city’s central waste management agency might have done so well a job, be it burning thrash or or dumping them in landfills, that the residents do not see the waste piling up. As a result, are they likely continue to produce waste “without consequences”?