Simply defined, domestic waste refers to disposable materials generated from day-to-day household use. Despite landfills having a finite volume of waste to absorb, many people still fail to understand the importance of reducing their domestic waste, and this a major reason why pollution is becoming more and more severe.
Domestic waste is one of the biggest contributors of waste in landfills. Aside from a foul odor, it produces a by-product when thrown in landfill called landfill gas—due to the breakdown of organic materials, producing methane and carbon dioxide. The United States Environmental Protection Agency found that landfills containing household waste are among the largest sources of methane emissions in the US. Thus, people must take responsibility for the amount of rubbish they produce and segregate their waste properly, so that goods can be repurposed from that.
Here’s how to properly segregate domestic waste:
Start By Categorising Your Waste
Domestic waste encompasses all sorts of household rubbish. So it’s essential for you to understand the different waste categories if you want to properly separate it. You could also work with bin hire services to dispose of waste effectively. Generally, domestic waste can be sorted into the following main groups:
- Recyclable waste: This refers to waste that can still be harvested from regular garbage, collected, and then reused by recycling collection facilities. Some companies purchase recyclable waste and use it to manufacture new things, like furniture and bags. Examples of recyclable waste are discarded paper, cardboard boxes, and water bottles.
- Non-recyclable waste: This applies to waste that has no other use and will be relegated to landfill. This kind of waste cannot be recycled and is a big problem. Examples of non-recyclable waste are single-use plastics such as bags and packaging used for takeaway food.
- Compostable waste: This kind of waste is typically biodegradable such as discarded food or used paper, which breaks down easily and decays naturally. If you know someone near your home who operates a farm, you can donate food scraps to them to compost. Or, perhaps you may wish to set up a compost pit and worm farm in your own backyard. Your community may even have a common composting space, where anyone who lives in the area can dump their compostable waste.
Hazardous waste classification and disposal
Apart from the common household waste, it’s important to know about hazardous waste as well, which will help you stay safe and protect the environment. Hazardous materials are those that pose potential threats to the environment and public health due to their reactivity, toxicity, corrosivity, and ignitability. Some examples include batteries, pesticides and garden chemicals, petrol, and some paints.
Properly disposing of hazardous waste requires more time and effort than common domestic rubbish. Mishandling any of these hazardous wastes can be deadly, as they can cause fires in structures and chronic toxicity in humans. They can’t simply be thrown in with your household food scraps.
Here’s how you can properly dispose of hazardous wastes on your own:
- Research the waste laws in your country: Since hazardous waste can be dangerous, there are regulations on how you should properly dispose of it. Research about it before you do anything with your hazardous waste.
- Schedule a home pickup: Some local waste management companies offer pickup services for hazardous waste, so find out if this service is available in your area and if so, schedule a home pickup.
- Never mix products: Regardless of how harmless you think these products may be, never attempt to mix them at home. For example, disposing of chemicals in the same bin along with aerosols can be a fire risk and may have adverse effects on your health.
Segregate E-waste and other kinds of waste
While learning to segregate the most common types of trash is important, there are other kinds of rubbish you may need to dispose of. Electronic waste, or e-waste, is the fastest growing waste materials due to the new technology gadgets developed every year. Not only does e-waste contain potentially hazardous materials, but it often includes parts that could be re-used, rather than added to landfill.
To repurpose your electronic waste, search online to find out where your nearest drop-off points are located. Some electronics retailers even have e-waste boxes in which customers can leave their old gadgets, while some specialist companies like iPad Recycle offer you cash in exchange for your old iPad and other gadgets. However, make sure to clear your personal information off the old device before disposing them of. Other waste categories include metal, glass, and medical supplies. If you have large quantities of waste from these groups, consider contacting your local council and obtaining a specific bin to dispose of it or you can check for bin hire services.