Over the last 15 years, concern over improper disposal practices of the past has manifested itself in the passage of a series of federal and state-level hazardous waste cleanup and control statutes of unprecedented scope. The more traditional and lowest-cost methods of direct landfilling, storage in surface impoundments and deep-well injection are being replaced in large measure by waste minimization at the source of generation, waste reuse, physical/chemical/biological treatment, incineration and chemical stabilization/solidification methods. Of all of the 'permanent' treatment technologies, properly designed incineration systems are capable of the highest overall degree of destruction and control for the broadest range of hazardous waste streams. Substantial design and operation experience exists in this area and a wide variety of commercial systems are available. Consequently, significant growth is anticipated in the use of incineration and other thermal destruction methods. The objective of this review is to examine the current state of knowledge regarding hazardous waste incineration in an effort to put these technological and environmental issues into perspective.