We are surrounded by various kinds of waste every day. We produce a lot of it ourselves, but a huge chunk is created in the processes surrounding industrial production. In order to protect our environment, we should process our waste adequately. In order to process our waste, first we should learn more about it. What types of waste are there, and what are the consequences of improper handling for our environment?
What is considered waste?
The term waste covers any material or object that is created through production, service or other activities, items no longer in use and waste matter that comes from consumption of resources which is considered no longer suitable for use by the consumers and producers and must be discarded.
After defining the term ‘waste’, we now should define all the types of waste that exist. Our laws categorize waste into three types. We have communal waste (household waste), commercial waste and industrial waste.
Communal waste includes everything that a household discards, which is why it’s often also called household waste. Communal waste also includes any kind of waste produced by businesses which is in its content and qualities similar to household waste. Most of the communal waste comes from households, which is why its contents are based on the needs and uses of modern households.
Commercial waste comes primarily from businesses, institutions and similar organizations that partially or fully operate in trades, services, office work, sports, recreation or entertainment and excluding household or industrial waste.
Industrial comes from all and any industrial production processes or the locations where an industry is situated, aside from tailings and other mineral raw materials from mines and quarries.
Hazardous and non-hazardous waste
In terms of hazardous properties that may impact human health and the environment, we categorize waste as hazardous or non-hazardous.
Non-hazardous waste is simply all waste that does not contain any hazardous properties.
Hazardous waste is the kind of waste that, due to its origin, composition or concentration of hazardous substances may cause danger to the environment and human health and contains at least one property that makes it hazardous (explosiveness, flammability, tendency to oxidize, being an organic peroxide, acute toxicity, infectivity, tendency to corrode, tendency to release flammable gas in contact with air or water, tendency to release toxic substances in contact with air or water, containing toxic substances with delayed chronic effects and eco-toxic properties), as well as packaging that used to or still contains hazardous waste.