We have government recycling programs for materials like plastic, glass, and metal, yet widespread solutions for organic waste materials haven’t really been addressed in the United States. --from TOEFL official exam

Shouldn't it be

yet widespread problems of organic waste materials haven’t really been addressed in the United States.

my reasoning: "address problems" is more common; besides, widespread solutions for organic waste materials do not exist yet, but we usually address things that exist?

Oxford Collocations Dictionary shows that address is used with these nouns as the object: argument, aspect, audience, bias, cause, chair, challenge, class, complaint, complexity, concern, congregation, congress, convention, correspondence, crisis, criticism, crowd, deficit, disagreement, disparity, divide, envelope, failing, gap, gathering, grievance, imbalance, impact, implication, inequality, issue, letter, limitation, matter, meeting, misconception, need, objection, paradox, parliament, point, problem, question, rally, remark, risk, role, session, shortage, shortcoming, situation, subject, task, theme, threat, topic, vulnerability, weakness

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    You can address [the problem of finding] a solution. Collocation dictionaries cannot, and do not, list every possible combination of words. Jul 1, 2022 at 18:25
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    You've changed the meaning. Organic waste hasn't been stated as a problem, and of the various categories of waste is most likely to have local solutions (composting is traditional). IMO it should be "widespread solutions have not been provided." Jul 1, 2022 at 18:34
  • @WeatherVane - "This requires developing an approach to address a solution to the problem of equivalence: the difficulty of comparing instances of IS across different institutional contexts." - "Industrial Symbiosis Dynamics and the Problem of Equivalence: Proposal for a Comparative Framework" Frank Boons & others, Journal of Industrial Ecology Jul 1, 2022 at 18:56
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    From the context it is clear that a lack of "widespread solutions for organic waste material" is a problem - although it isn't said as such, it is still implied, and so "addressed" is OK, IMHO. However, other verbs might be possible here. Perhaps "implemented" would work. I wouldn't say this is an error, though.
    – Billy Kerr
    Jul 2, 2022 at 15:25

1 Answer 1


In your list of words which go with "Address", there are a few which are relevant to this Q :

Issue, Matter, Point, Problem, Theme

Now, you say that Solution is missing, because we can not "Address" a Solution, we can only "Address" a Problem ....

That may or may not be true, but there is some other meaning of "Address" which allows Solution too :

Address : Discuss ; Give attention to something ; Act on.

With this meaning, we can easily use the words listed, including Solution :

Discuss the [ Issue, Matter, Point, Problem, Theme, Solution ]
Give attention to the [ Issue, Matter, Point, Problem, Solution ]
Act on the [ Issue, Point, Problem, Solution ]

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