1.2.2  Types of solid waste

There are different ways of classifying solid wastes according to the source of generation or the nature of the waste. Solid waste can be categorised as follows:

  • Residential waste: from households and residential areas. This is sometimes called household waste. Garbage, rubbish, trash and refuse are other terms for residential waste.
  • Commercial waste: from businesses such as food and drink establishments, shops, etc.
  • Industrial waste: from various types of industrial processes, e.g. food processing, paper manufacture, manufacture of chemicals and metal processing.
  • Institutional waste: from public and government institutions, e.g. offices, religious institutions, schools, universities, etc. This is similar to residential and commercial waste in composition.
  • Municipal waste (or municipal solid waste) covers all the above wastes produced in an urban area. It is similar in composition to residential waste but excludes some industrial wastes.
  • Healthcare waste: any solid waste produced in hospitals, clinics, health posts and other health facilities.
  • Agricultural waste: waste that comes from farming.
  • Waste from open areas: street sweepings, contents of roadside dustbins, ditches and other public places.
  • Construction and demolitionwaste: from various types of building and demolition activities in urban areas.
  • Electronic and electrical waste (e-waste): wastes generated from used electronic devices and household appliances.

There are other ways of classifying wastes and we will look at these in Study Session 7.

1.2.1  Types of liquid waste

1.3  The sanitation ladder and waste hierarchy