At the turn of the new century, the United States has completed two decades of managing wastes under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). In these past 20 years, waste management practices have improved tremendously. Despite these impressive achievements, the RCRA program also receives its share of criticism. Critics point to the way the RCRA program identifies materials, particularly byproducts of manufacturing, as waste, which they argue has a chilling effect on recycling, reuse, reclamation, and energy recovery. Others state that the program continues to focus too much on ' end of the pipe' controls, and not enough on earlier interventions targeted at upstream pollution prevention measures. In contrast, some believe that the program has not done enough to require safe management of industrial, municipal, and hazardous wastes. This paper is an attempt to look forward to the next 20 years, to begin to examine how the program could and should evolve to meet the challenges and opportunities of the new century.