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  • Writer's pictureJsl Editorial Team

Types of Wastes

Wastes are our unwanted or unusable materials More often than not, we just discard our wastes without contemplating what type it is. We shall be exploring the types of wastes with a view to identifying the waste source and employing the correct disposal method.

There are different names that can be given as types of waste (with some of them having overlapping examples) but, we shall classify wastes into five broad groups:

1. Liquid wastes: this includes sewage, sludge, waste water, organic liquids and rain water. They can be generated by both industries (point source) and households (non-point source). Liquid waste can be disposed by contacting professional liquid waste removal companies who will treat and dispose of the liquid wastes appropriately.

2. Solid wastes: this includes items plastics, metals, paper, glass, fabrics and ceramics found in households, commercial and industrial buildings. They can be disposed through recycling as most of them are non-biodegradable. Organic waste: this includes food wastes, garden wastes and manure. They are biodegradable and so, they should be composted.

3. Recyclable rubbish: this includes items that can be changed into products or raw materials that can be used again such as metals, furniture and glass. They can all be reused or recycled.

4. Hazardous wastes: they are items that are flammable, toxic, ignitable or corrosive including biomedical wastes, paints, motor oil, pesticides, mercury-containing wastes (like thermometers and fluorescent bulbs), aerosols, cleaning agents, batteries, asbestos, ammunition, radioactive wastes and electronic wastes (computers and computer accessories, televisions, cell phones etc.). Hazardous wastes must be properly handled and must undergo treatment by experts in order to stabilize them before disposal. Some hazardous wastes such as lead acid batteries can be recycled.

Identifying the types of wastes aids proper handling of the wastes and reduces the environmental burden of such waste. Improper handling of waste can result into such waste entering the food chain or groundwater with myriads of health related problems.

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