Solid Waste

By | April 5, 2021


Before introducing solid wastes management, let’s start with a discussion of the material being managed – solid waste. Solid wastes refers to the range of garbage arising from animal and human activities that are discarded as unwanted and useless. Solid waste is generated from industrial, residential and commercial activities in a given area, and may be handled in a variety of ways.

Sources of Solid Waste:-

Some of the most common sources of wastes are as follows:

Domestic Wastes:

It includes the wastes generated in houses. It includes paper, plastic, glass, ceramics, polythene, textiles, vegetable waste, etc.

Commercial Solid Waste:

It includes the waste generated in commercial establishments like shops, printers, offices, go downs, etc. It includes packing materials, spoiled goods, vegetable and meat remnants, polythene, printer paper, etc.


They come from the burning of solid fossil fuels like coal, wood and coke. Many houses and road side eateries still use these fuels. Open burning of wastes also generates ashes.

Animal Wastes:

It includes the dung of the animals that left to find food for themselves on the streets. For example, cattle. Their reject feed also add to the wastes.

Biomedical Solid Waste:

These wastes generated from the hospitals and include expired drugs, plastic syringes, surgical dressings, etc. They can be very infectious.

Construction Wastes:

With booming population, there is also booming construction activity going on in the urban areas. They also generate garbage like metal rods, bricks, cement, concrete, roofing materials etc. This type of wastes also generated by the digging activates of the various departments like the telephone. electricity, drainage, etc.

Industrial Solid Wastes:

Small-scale industries generate some wastes. For example, garment factory would dump textiles of various kinds.


The sewer removed from the sewerage during cleaning is often left on the roadside. This poses several health hazards to the public. Some of these wastes are also classified as hazardous wastes. Hazardous wastes are those that are potentially dangerous and can cause diseases, fire, etc. The hazardous wastes include toxic wastes. Toxic wastes are those that are poisonous in nature. Hazardous wastes are those that catch fire easily, react explosively with air or water, corrode other materials, are toxic or radioactive. The radioactive wastes are particularly dangerous as they cause lasting damage such as change in the genetic structure of individuals (mutation).

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