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What is solid waste?

• Each household generates garbage or waste day in

and day out. Items that we no longer need or do not
have any further use for fall in the category of
waste, and we tend to throw them away.

• With the progress of civilization, the waste

generated became of a more complex nature.

• The increase in population was also largely

responsible for the increase in solid waste.
Types of solid waste
Solid waste can be classified into different types depending
on their source:
• municipal waste,
• Industrial waste, and
• Biomedical waste or hospital waste.
Municipal solid waste
• Municipal solid waste consists of household waste,
construction and debris, and waste from streets.
• This garbage is generated mainly from residential and
commercial places.
• With the change in lifestyle and food habits, the amount of
municipal solid waste has been increasing rapidly and its
composition changing.
Garbage: the four broad categories
• Organic waste: kitchen waste, vegetables, flowers,
leaves, fruits.
• Toxic waste: old medicines, paints, chemicals, bulbs,
spray cans, fertilizer and pesticide containers, batteries,
shoe polish.
• Recyclable: paper, glass, metals, plastics.
• Soiled: hospital waste such as cloth soiled with blood
and other body fluids.
The type and amount of solid waste with improper disposal methods,
increases the risk of health effects in humans, causes damage to eco-
systems and accelerates the destruction of the environment.
Some of these environmental effects are:
• Pollution of surface and ground water
• Clogging of drains.
• Open decomposition (rotting) that can lead to the development of
unpleasant odor.
• Breeding of vectors e.g. flies and rats.
• Increase risk of diseases such as: Typhoid- Malaria- Yellow fever
• Litters the land and makes it look ugly.
Treatment and disposal of municipal waste
• Open dumps
Open dumps refer to uncovered areas that are used to dump solid
waste of all kinds. The waste is untreated, uncovered, and not
segregated. It is the breeding ground for flies, rats, and other insects
that spread disease. The rainwater run-off from these dumps
contaminates nearby land and water thereby spreading disease. In
some countries, open dumps are being phased out.
• Facility in which solid waste from municipal and/or
industrial sources is disposed; sanitary landfills are those
landfills that are operated in accordance with current
environmental protection standards.
• Incineration plants
This process of burning waste in large furnaces is known as
Both the fly ash and the ash that is left in the furnace after
burning have high concentrations of dangerous toxins such as
dioxins and heavy metals.
Disposing of this ash is a problem. The ash that is buried at the
landfills leaches the area and cause severe contamination.
Burning garbage is not a clean process as it produces tones of
toxic ash and pollutes the air and water.
In fact, at present, incineration is kept as the last resort and is
used mainly for treating the infectious waste.
• Composting
composting is one of the oldest forms of disposal. It is the natural
process of decomposition of organic waste that yields manure or
compost, which is very rich in nutrients.

Composting is a biological process in which micro-organisms, mainly

fungi and bacteria, convert degradable organic waste into humus like

This finished product, which looks like soil, is high in carbon and
nitrogen and is an excellent medium for growing plants.
• It is allowing trimmings, vegetable/fruit peels and
scraps and other organic materials to decompose
naturally under controlled conditions, after which the
product can be used as garden manure.
• Composting also reduces the amount of material
reaching landfills, space is saved and landfills can
last longer.
• Compost your yard trimmings and food scraps.

Design of the Aerated Pile

Composting System
• Continue the same old habit of disposal in new places? Certainly
• We have to recognize the consequences of improper solid waste
disposal on the environment and our health and change our attitudes.
• It is time we start disposing our solid waste in the right places, such
• · landfills
• · incinerators
• · bins
• In addition we can practice The Three R’s!
Understanding the 3R Concept
When we look at the 3R concept within the production cycle, we can see
a number of ways in which 'reduce, reuse, recycle' aspects can be
• The process of decreasing the amount of waste generated
at each step of product development or use.
• The amount of solid waste produced can be reduced by
buying products:
• Without extra packaging e.g. plastic and paper wrapping.
• That can be used more than once.
• That last longer.
• Old newspapers, magazines and bottles can be sold to the man
who buys these items from homes.
• In your own home you can contribute to waste reduction and
the recycling and reuse of certain items.

We can reuse many things before we throw them away.

Therefore we could:

• Reuse bags (paper and plastic), containers, paper and other

• Sell or donate things you no longer use to people who will
use them, e.g. clothing and shoes.
• Repair shoes, boots, handbags and other items before you
consider ‘throwing away’.
• Convert cans and plastic containers into plant pots.
• To separate a given waste material from other wastes
and to process it so that it can be used again in a form
similar to its original use.

• Recycling involves the collection of used and discarded

materials processing these materials and making them
into new products.

• It reduces the amount of waste that is thrown into the

community dust bins thereby making the environment
cleaner and the air more fresh to breathe.
Pollution Prevention Practices can Help
• Improve the quality of your products and services.
• Reduce inventory costs by using fewer raw materials.
• Reduce hazardous and non-hazardous waste disposal and/or
treatment costs.
• Reduce wastewater disposal and/or treatment costs.
Waste Management
What is the solid waste management