• Our Locations
  • working hours
  • 24X7

Classification of Waste

Classification of Waste

Classification of Waste

There may be different types of waste such as Domestic waste, Factory waste, Waste from oil factory, E-waste, Construction waste, Agricultural waste, Food processing waste, Bio-medical waste, Nuclear waste, Slaughter house waste etc. We can classify waste as follows:


  • Types of Waste

    • Solid waste - vegetable waste, kitchen waste, household waste etc.
    • E-waste - discarded electronic devices such as computer, TV, music systems etc.
    • Liquid waste - water used for different industries, tanneries, distilleries, thermal power plants.
    • Plastic waste - plastic bags, bottles, bucket, etc.
    • Metal waste - unused metal sheet, metal scraps etc.
    • Nuclear waste - unused materials from nuclear power plants Further we can group all these types of waste into wet waste (Biodegradable) and dry waste (Non Biodegradable).
  • Wet waste (Biodegradable) includes the following:

    • Kitchen waste including food waste of all kinds, cooked and uncooked, including eggshells and bones.
    • Flower and fruit waste including juice peels and house-plant waste.
    • Garden sweeping or yard waste consisting of green/dry leaves.
    • Sanitary wastes.
    • Green waste from vegetable & fruit vendors/shops.
    • Waste from food & tea stalls/shops etc.
  • Dry waste (Non-biodegradable) includes the following:

    • Paper and plastic, all kinds.
    • Cardboard and cartons.
    • Containers of all kinds excluding those containing hazardous material.
    • Packaging of all kinds.
    • Glass of all kinds.
    • Metals of all kinds.
    • Rags, rubber.
    • House sweeping (dust etc.)
    • Ashes
    • Foils, wrappings, pouches, sachets and tetra packs (rinsed).
    • Discarded electronic items from offices, colonies viz. cassettes, computer diskettes, printer cartridges and electronic parts.
    • Discarded clothing, furniture and equipment.
  • In addition to the above wastes


    another type of waste called “Domestic Hazardous Waste” may also be generated at the household level. These include used aerosol cans, batteries, and household kitchen and drain cleaning agents, car batteries and car care products, cosmetic items, chemical-based insecticides/pesticides, light bulbs, tube-lights and compact fluorescent lamps (CFL), paint, oil, lubricant and their empty containers. Waste that is considered hazardous is first required by the EPA to meet the legal definition of solid waste. The EPA incorporates hazardous waste into three categories. The first category are source-specific wastes, the second category is nonspecific wastes, and third, commercial chemical products. Generally, hazardous waste “is waste that is dangerous or potentially harmful to our health or the environment. Hazardous wastes can be liquids, solids, gases, or sludge. They can be discarded commercial products, like cleaning fluids or pesticides, or the by-products of manufacturing processes (EPA Wastes Website, 2010).

    Similarly there is “Non Hazardous waste”. There are many definitions of hazardous and non-hazardous waste within the US federal government, states and industry groups. The Department of Defense (DOD) and The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) define waste as “the extravagant, careless, or needless expenditure of DOD funds or the consumption of DOD property that results from deficient practices, systems, controls, or decisions. In addition, “abuse is the manner in which resources or programs are managed that creates or perpetuates waste and it includes improper practices not involving prosecutable fraud” (EPA Wastes Website, 2010). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines solid non-hazardous waste as “any garbage or refuse, sludge from a wastewater treatment plant, water supply treatment plant, or air pollution control facility European Scientific Journal June 2015 /SPECIAL/ edition ISSN: 1857 – 7881 (Print) e - ISSN 1857- 7431109 and other discarded material, including solid, liquid, semi-solid, or contained gaseous material resulting from industrial, commercial, mining, and agricultural operations, and from community activities” (EPA Wastes Website, 2010). The definition of non-hazardous waste can also include financial waste. In 2009 the US Presidential Executive Order, Reducing Improper Payments and Eliminating Waste in Federal Programs was initiated to eliminate payment error, waste, fraud and abuse in major Federal government programs due to public zero tolerance of fraud, waste and abuse. This Executive Order is based upon a transparent, participatory and collaborative comprehensive framework between the government and public.

    Basic principles of Solid Waste Management:


    • Refuse: Do not buy anything which we do not really need.

    • Reduce - Reduce the amount of garbage generated. Alter our lifestyle so that minimum garbage is generated.

    • Reuse - Reuse everything to its maximum after properly cleaning it. Make secondary use of different articles.

    • Recycle – Keep things which can be recycled to be given to rag pickers or waste pickers (Kabadiwallahs).Convert the recyclable garbage into manures or other useful products. Based on the above principles, an ideal Solid Waste Management could be as under.