Keeping our environment clean is essential to living healthy and comfortable lives. People, factories, processes and animals produce waste every day, so it is an inevitable part of the society.
Did you know that there are five types of waste? We hardly give what we throw away a second thought, so this article will explain all their types to you.
1. Liquid waste
Liquid waste refers to all grease, oil, sludges, wash water, waste detergents and dirty water that have been thrown away. They are hazardous and poisonous to our environment and are found in industries as well as households. Wastewater, as it is often called, is any waste that exists in liquid form.
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There are two categories of liquid waste: non-point and point source waste. Manufactured liquid wastes are called point source, and non-point source wastes occur naturally in our environment.
How is liquid waste removed?
The three methods we can remove liquid wastes from wherever they’re located include;
- Containment: This involves storing liquid waste in barrels or tanks so that they can be removed from our surroundings. Containing liquid waste prevents it from being dumped in our environment.
- Treatment: All liquid wastes do not need to be thrown away. You can treat and reuse them. For example, organic waste is composted and used to produce fertilizers in various stations in the UK.
- Disposal: If no treatment can be done on liquid waste, then it should be disposed of.
2. Solid Waste
Solid waste is any garbage, sludge, and refuse found in industrial and commercial locations. The five major types of solid rubbish are;
- Glass and Ceramics: Numerous companies readily recycle ceramics and glass. The catch here is that you have to dispose of them correctly.
- Plastic waste: Plastic waste is any container, jar, bottle, and bag that is found in companies and houses. Plastics are non-biodegradable, and most of them cannot be recycled. Do not mix plastic rubbish with regular waste. Instead, sort them out before throwing them away.
- Paper rubbish: This refers to all newspapers, packaging materials, cardboards, and other paper products. Paper is recyclable.
- Metals and Tins: You can easily find tins and metals in homes because food containers and household materials are made from them. Most metals are recyclable, so take them to a scrap yard or recycling depot after use. You should get a skip hire and use it to transport your solid waste.
3. Organic Waste
Organic waste refers to rotten meat, garden and food waste. This type of rubbish is commonly found in homes. With time, they decompose and turn into manure by the action of microorganisms on them. But be careful; you should not dispose of them anywhere you like.
When decomposing, organic waste produces methane, so, it must not be thrown away with regular waste. Instead, get a green bin and dispose of this type of waste properly.
4. Recyclable Waste
All discarded items like metals, furniture, organic waste that can be recycled fall under this category. Not all items are recyclable, so you have to be careful when putting things into the recycle bin. If you are not sure whether an item is recyclable or not, then check the item’s packaging.
5. Hazardous Waste
Hazardous waste includes flammable, corrosive, toxic and reactive materials. In a nutshell, they are wastes that pose a significant or potential threat to our environment.
Ways of Disposing Hazardous Waste
The four ways of disposing of hazardous waste are;
- Recycling: A few hazardous wastes can be recycled to form other products. For example, circuit boards and lead-acid batteries can bind to other pollutants and later used as pavement fillings. Chemical levels are reduced when hazardous wastes are converted to new products.
- Incineration and Destruction: Another way of disposing of hazardous waste is to destroy or incinerate them. Incineration reduces the amount of hazardous waste and can also generate energy for use in the process.
- Pyrolysis: Pyrolysis, in a very high-temperature arc under inert conditions, is an excellent way to dispose of hazardous waste. This process is used to avoid the dangers of combustion and is preferable when dealing with PCBs, organic waste and pesticides.
- Disposing in a landfill: A landfill is a disposal facility where rubbish is placed in. Land treatment facilities are not landfills.
Understanding the types of waste around you is critical to know how to deal with them. To reduce environmental pollution, you should take the right steps to dispose of the types of waste we have discussed in this article properly.