Waste in general is not good for the environment. Except for energy from the sun, the earth has evolved as closed loop system, meaning nothing is lost, it is just transformed from one form into another. So the fact that we generate waste to begin with is a problem. So to use what we consider “waste” as best we can is certainly a good approach to take. There are certain household “wastes” such as paper or cardboard that are great to use as fire starters for a wood stove and assuming that the firewood is harvested responsibly wood heat is great alternative to fossil fuels, particularly in many rural areas. However burning plastics can release dioxins, which are quite harmful compounds and are persistent in the environment. So, all things considered, burning plastics is rarely a good thing.
There are a number of materials that contain toxins we may not realize about, so as a general rule of thumb I would caution against burning household materials. Even if it isn’t noticeable to the resident, the likelihood of emitting unwanted substances into the air isn’t worth it.
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