Waste Disposal and Recycling

Date: 21.06.22

Examine the contents of your trash can. How much trash does your family produce each day? each week? once a month? Where does all of this trash go?

Although it is alluring to believe that the trash we throw away genuinely disappears, we all know otherwise. See what truly happens to all that waste once it exits your trash can in the following image.

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Solid Waste Facts and Definitions

Did you know that Americans throw about 2.5 million plastic bottles? Every day, each person living in the U.S. generates an average of 2 kilograms (about 4.4 pounds) of trash.

What is Municipal Solid Waste 

Waste that is collected and handled by or for municipalities is referred to as municipal waste. It includes garbage from houses, including bulky waste, equivalent rubbish from business and industry, office buildings, institutions, and small businesses, as well as yard and garden waste, street sweepings, the contents of litter containers, and market cleaning waste if managed as household waste. Waste from municipal sewage networks and treatment, as well as waste from construction and demolition activities, are not included in the definition. This indicator is expressed as kilogrammes per person and thousands of tonnes.

We use landfills, recycling, and incineration as our three main waste management strategies. 

Incineration: Burning solid trash is a step in the waste treatment process known as incineration. Incinerators specifically burn the organic waste that is present in the waste stream.

Landfills:Designed to bury solid waste, a landfill is a pit in the ground. The oldest and most popular form of garbage treatment is landfilling.

Recycling:Reclaiming raw materials and using them to make new products is the process of recycling.

Waste Incineration

There are some environmental benefits to incineration. Incinerators don't take up much space. They do not contaminate groundwater. Some facilities use the heat generated by burning waste to produce electricity. Incineration also has a number of disadvantages. They release a range of pollutants into the air, and about 10 percent of the combustion is left behind and needs to be treated in some way.Incinerators can also be expensive to build and operate.

Sanitary LandfillsSolid Waste Incineration

Prior to the invention of landfills, most people living in European communities simply threw their trash out onto the streets or outside of the city walls. Throughout the 1800s, people began to realize that the vermin that were attracted to all of the trash were spreading diseases.Local communities began to build landfills that were simply open holes in the ground where residents could discard their garbage. While it was good to get rid of the waste on the streets, it was soon realized that these unsightly dumps still attracted pests.

In 1976, the United States banned the use of open dumps and established guidelines for the creation and use of sanitary landfills. These landfills are designed to hold municipal solid waste (MSW), construction debris and agricultural waste while preventing it from polluting nearby land and water.

The key feature of a sanitary landfill include:

Lining: layers of clay and plastic at the bottom and sides of the landfill that prevent leachate from entering the ground.

Leachate Treatment: A storage tank where the leachate is collected and treated with chemicals so that it does not contaminate the water supply.

Monitoring wells: Wells near the landfills are tested regularly to prevent the contaminants from entering the water

Compacted layers: The waste is compacted in layers to avoid uneven settlement. The diapers are covered with plastic or clean soil.

Vent pipes: These pipes allow the gases produced by the decomposition of the waste – namely methane and carbon dioxide – to vent into the atmosphere and prevent fires and explosions.

sanitary landfill sites – geosrilanka

 When a landfill is full, it is covered with a clay plug to prevent rainwater from entering. Some are reused as parks or recreation areas, but government regulations prohibit the reuse of this land for housing or agricultural purposes.


Another way to deal with solid waste is to recover raw materials from the waste stream and reuse them to make new products. Recycling reduces the amount of waste that needs to be incinerated or landfilled. It also reduces the load on the environment by reducing the need for new resources such as paper and metals. The overall process of creating a new process from reclaimed and recycled material also uses less energy than making a product from new materials.

                          Recycling EcoEnclose Products | Sustainable Packaging


                Recycling - Econlib

Fortunately, there are many materials in the waste stream, such as oil, tires, plastics, paper, glass, batteries and electronics, which can be recycled. Most recycled products fall into four main groups: metal, plastic, paper and glass.

Metal: Most aluminum and steel cans of metal are 100% recyclable. In other words, it can be completely reused to make new cans over and over again. Still, Americans throw away over $ 1 billion in aluminum cans each year.

Plastic: Plastics are made from solids and resins that remain after refining petroleum (fossil fuel) into gasoline. Next, these resins are heated, stretched and  molded to make everything from bags to bottles to jugs. These plastics are easily collected from the waste stream and become new products.

Paper: Recycled paper is not as strong or durable as virgin paper, so most paper products can only be recycled a few times. But for every  ton of recycled paper, 17 trees are saved from deforestation.

Glass: Glass is one of the easiest materials to recycle and reuse, as it can melt many times. Also, because recycled glass can be melted at low temperatures, it is cheaper to make glass from recycled glass than  to make it from unused materials.

If you haven't recycled the material before it's dumped in the trash, now is a good time to get started. A picture containing wall, person, indoor, posing

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Krit Shahdeo

       CDP Volunteer, Vairamani


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