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Example of Biodegradable Waste

The problem associated with solid waste began when the civilisation had just begun and it took a definite shape when man started living in groups or societies in settled communities.
The waste of primitive societies were not a huge problem before as it could be absorbed and dissipated by natural small process because the population densities were small and the available land was much bigger in comparison. 
Beside this the nomadic habit of man made him move away from the waste he generated earlier.
With the development of mankind, the villages grew into towns and the cities became major townships and the common practice was to throw wastes into access ways, waterways and anywhere vacant.
All levels of development saw the production of domestic wastes, agriculture wastes, industrial wastes, medicinal wastes, and other miscellaneous wastes. 
Its only the humans who typically discard waste that cannot be readily recycled and re-used by other parts of the biosphere.
The waste could be segregated into two major categories depending on the time it requires to completely re-cycle it. 
It could be either bio-degradable or non-biodegradable wastes. 
The bio-degradable waste included paper waste which might include all paper and paper made covering items and cartons, paper napkins, hardboard, cardboard, various wrappers and disposable paper plates.
Let us get into the details of Biodegradable Wastes. 

1.    Biodegradable wastes could be anything which decays or decomposes in which the ingredients break down into simpler substances by micro-organisms.
A bio-degradable waste changes like the following 
(a) change in color and appearance and become liquidy or gaseous.
(b) Reduction in size or volume of the waste. As in case we have huge amount of leaves becoming a small heap.

2.    Biodegradable wastes could be put to very good usage and it can be turned into compost which is basically a nutrient rich material used better by farmers in lieu of fertilizers.
(a)    Compost could be prepared by allowing any bio-degradable waste to decay.
(b)    These wastes are allowed to be broken down into simpler substances with the help of micro-organisms and turned into nutrients for crop fields.

3.    Biodegradable wastes are also used for landfill purpose where it reduces to a nominal volume after sometime and so the same procedure could be repeated for years as the bio-compost is sold to the farmers for a small price and has better yield than chemical fertilizers.

Advantages of Bio-degradable Wastes

The following are the advantages of bio-degradable waste decaying.

1.    The nutrients that are still left in the wastes are not left as such but are used in crop fields as manure and basically re-cycled back into the ecosystem.
2.    The volume of waste also becomes less and could be disposed off easily either in form of crop field manure or in landfills.
3.    The usage of chemical fertilizers is also brought down with the advent of bio-compost and is safer on human health as well.
4.    Varieties of bio-degradable wastes helps in reducing the dependency on artificial materials which are either difficult to bio-degrade or convert it to manure.

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From Wikipedia

Municipal solid waste

Municipal solid waste (MSW), commonly known as trash or garbage, is a waste type consisting of everyday items we consume and discard. It predominantly includes food wastes, yard wastes, containers and product packaging, and other miscellaneous inorganic wastes from residential, commercial, institutional, and industrial sources. Examples of inorganic wastes are appliances, newspapers, clothing, food scrapes, boxes, disposable tableware, office and classroom paper, furniture, wood pallets, rubber tires, and cafeteria wastes. Municipal solid waste does not include industrial wastes, agricultural wastes, and sewage sludge. The collection is performed by the municipality within a given area. They are in either solid or semisolid form. The term residual waste relates to waste left from household sources containing materials that have not been separated out or sent for reprocessing. Following are the different types of wastes.

The functional elements of solid waste

The municipal solid waste industry has four components: recycling, composting, landfilling, and waste-to-energy via incineration. The primary steps are generation, collection, sorting and separation, transfer, and disposal.

Waste generation

Waste generation encompasses activities in which materials are identified as no longer being of value and are either thrown out or gathered together for disposal.


The functional element of collection includes not only the gathering of solid waste and recyclable materials, but also the transport of these materials, after collection, to the location where the collection vehicle is emptied. This location may be a materials processing facility, a transfer station or a landfill disposal site.

Waste handling and separation, storage and processing at the source

Waste handling and separation involves activities associated with waste management until the waste is placed in storage containers for collection. Handling also encompasses the movement of loaded containers to the point of collection. Separating different types of waste components is an important step in the handling and storage of solid waste at the source.

Separation and processing and transformation of solid wastes

The types of means and facilities that are now used for the recovery of waste materials that have been separated at the source include curbside collection, drop off and buy back centers. The separation and processing of wastes that have been separated at the source and the separation of commingled wastes usually occur at a materials recovery facility, transfer stations, combustion facilities and disposal sites.

Transfer and transport

This element involves two main steps. First, the waste is transferred from a smaller collection vehicle to larger transport equipment. The waste is then transported, usually over long distances, to a processing or disposal site.


Today the disposal of wastes by land filling or land spreading is the ultimate fate of all solid wastes, whether they are residential wastes collected and transported directly to a landfill site, residual materials from materials recovery facilities (MRFs), residue from the combustion of solid waste, compost or other substances from various solid waste processing facilities. A modern sanitary landfill is not a dump; it is an engineered facility used for disposing of solid wastes on land without creating nuisances or hazards to public health or safety, such as the breeding of insects and the contamination of ground water.

Energy Generation

Municipal solid waste can be used to generate energy. Several technologies have been developed that make the processing of MSW for energy generation cleaner and more economical than ever before, including landfill gas capture, combustion, pyrolysis, gasification, and plasma arc gasification. While older waste incineration plants emitted high levels of pollutants, recent regulatory changes and new technologies have significantly reduced this concern. EPA regulations in 1995 and 2000 under the Clean Air Act have succeeded in reducing emissions of dioxins from waste-to-energy facilities by more than 99 percent below 1990 levels, while mercury emissions have been by over 90 percent. The EPA noted these improvements in 2003, citing waste-to-energy as a power source “with less environmental impact than almost any other source of electricity.�

Mixed waste

Mixed waste can refer to any combination of waste types with different properties.

Typically commercial and municipal wastes are mixtures of plastics, metals, glass, biodegradable waste including paper and textiles along with other nondescript junk.

Waste that is biodegradable.

As defined by The United States Environmental Protection Agency, Mixed Waste contains both hazardous waste (as defined by RCRA and its amendments) and radioactive waste (as defined by AEA and its amendments). It is jointly regulated by NRC or NRC's Agreement States and EPA or EPA's RCRA Authorized States. The fundamental and most comprehensive statutory definition is found in the Federal Facilities Compliance Act (FFCA) where Section 1004(41) was added to RCRA: "The term 'mixed waste' means waste that contains both hazardous waste and source, special nuclear, or byproduct material subject to the Atomic Energy Act of 1954."

Green waste

Green waste is biodegradable waste that can be composed of garden or park waste, such as grass or flower cuttings and hedge trimmings, as well as domestic and commercial food waste. The differentiation green identifies it as high in nitrogen, as opposed to brown waste, which is primarily carbonaceous.

Green waste is often collected in municipalcurbside collection schemes or through private waste management contractor businesses and subject to independent audit.


The word "compost" it simply means the decomposition of biodegradable materials. In agriculture,particularly organic farming, farmers utilize their green waste for composting whereby they use as manure for their crop.There are different types of composting, which includes aerobic composting, vermi-cpmpost and heap compost.In Bhutan most of the farmers prefer heap compost which doesn't cost much for the preparation as it can be easily made with locally available material.However with the increase of the population, the generation of waste had been very high and there is high risk of pollution and harmful effect to human being and environment.Therefore in order to utilize the agriculture waste, National Organic program had started a project with collaboration with Thimphu city corporation to utilize the green waste generated from centenary farmer's market.The management of the waste from the new Centennial Farmers’ Market has been an essential component of the Market facilities utilization for the MOA and Thimphu City Corporation. It is clear that the management of waste from the city is a problem that all should be concerned about and TCC alone cannot solve the problem. All citizens could help by being a little more caring and responsible in their disposal of wastes. However, the limitation of the TCC facilities in collection of wastes from various locations and appropriate management of the collected waste is a constraint in efficient collection and proper disposal. Due to these difficulties coupled with poor awareness and civic sense of the citizens, TCC’s service although far reaching needs assistance from other fronts.A huge composting facility was constructed with DANIDA funds and completed in 2004, The facilities include a shed for sorting of wastes which is connected to a chute to pass the waste to the composting structure where a shredder is located at the entrance which leads to composting cubicles which are equipped with aeration facilities with blowers. A control room has the engines that control the operations such as sensing temperatures.The National Organic Programme of DOA, MOA and Thimphu City Corporation made the first heap of compost from the fruit and vegetable wastes collected from the Centennial Farmers’ Market in an effort to take responsibility of the waste generated from agriculture.

On the 25th May, 09 a awareness programme was conducted by the NOP for over 150 vendors and retailers at the CFM while awareness infomercial was aired on BBS and banners hung around the market to remind buyers and sellers alike to share in the waste segregation by sorting at source. Separate stickers for fruit and vegetable wastes, and for plastics and others were provided to be stuck on each bin all provided by MOA through DNRM project.

With the TCC’s help in collection and transport of the biodegradable wastes to the composting site at Serbithang, National Organic Programme started making compost heaps which will be now carried out continuously to manage all the fruit and vegetable wastes generated from the CFM. The techniques used here is the low tech aerobic composting that seals in the heat and moisture and prevents foul odour around the heap. The compost is ready to be sold in the market and it is looked after by the TCC.


Biogas captured from biodegrable green waste can be use as biofuel.

Also green waste can be used as non food crop to produce cellulosic ethanol.

Toxic waste

thumb|right|300px|[[Valley of the Drums]], a toxic waste site in Kentucky, United States, 1980.

Toxic waste is waste material that can cause death or injury to living creatures. It spreads quite easily and can contaminate lakes and rivers. The term is often used interchangeably with “hazardous waste�, or discarded material that can pose a long-term risk to health or environment.

As with most pollution problems, toxic waste began to be a significant issue during the industrial revolution. It usually is the product of industry or commerce, but also comes from residential use (e.g. cleaning products, cosmetics, lawn care products), agriculture (e.g. chemical fertilizers, pesticides), the military (nuclear weapons testing, chemical warfare), medical facilities (e.g. pharmaceuticals), radioactive sources, and light industry, such as dry cleaning establishments. Toxic waste comes in many forms, such as liquid, solid, or sludge, and it contains chemicals, heavy metals, radioisotopes, dangerous pathogens, or other toxins .

In the United States, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the state departments oversee the rules that regulate hazardous waste. The EPA requires that toxic waste be handled with special precautions and be disposed of in designated facilities around the country. Also, many cities in the United States have collection days where household toxic waste is gathered. Some materials that are unaccepted at regular landfills are ammunition, commercially generated waste, explosives/shock sensitive items, hypodermic needles/syringes, medical waste, radioactive materials, smoke detectors, trash/recyclables, and unknown materials..

Toxic waste facilities store waste underground in sealed containers. If toxic waste is unlikely to migrate and it is not that dangerous (for example, lead in soil) it is placed under the ground and then hard clay is placed on top of it. These sites eventually become golf courses or parks, or they are used for commercial or industrial sites (called “brownfields�). Waste transporters and waste facilities charge fees and many people dump toxic waste in town dumps to avoid paying these fees. A violation of this sort results in expensive fines in most cases.

Health effects

Toxic waste

Toxic wastes often contain carcinogens, and exposure to these by some route, such as leakage or evaporation from the storage, causes cancer to appear at increased frequency in exposed individuals. For example, a cluster of the rare blood cancer polycythemia vera was found around a toxic waste dump site in northeast Pennsylvania in 2008.

People encounter these toxins buried in the ground, in stream runoff, in groundwater that supplies drinking water, or in floodwaters, as happened after Hurricane Katrina. Some toxins, such as mercury, persist in the environment and accumulate. Humans or animals often absorb them when they eat fish.

Toxic wastes containing organic carcinogens can be destroyed by incineration at high temperatures, which is expensive. However, if the waste contains heavy metals or radioactive isotopes, these must be separated and stored, as they cannot be destroyed.

Toxic waste regulations

The U.S. EPA first regulated toxic waste in August, 1978, when the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) became effective. Many people believe that TSCA regulates the safe production, use, and disposal of toxic and hazardous waste and that these regulations are strictly enforced. Much of the public also believes that most of the toxic substances and waste that endanger communities today come from leftover chemicals and waste produced before TSCA was enacted. But this assumption is wrong. Take PCBs, for example, which are specifically addressed in EPA TSCA regulations. In 1978, the production of PCBs was banned in the USA, but the use and disposal of them was not. So, companies cannot create new PCBs here in America, but they can purchase PCBs from companies in other countries where the production is legal. American companies can also purchase recycled PCBs,and they can dump their PCB waste in EPA-approved,toxic waste landfills. They can use PCBs in products that Americans consume and dispose of in solid waste landfills. Reference, Ferruccio, Deborah, ncpcbarchives.com, 2011

Some waste sites are the result of old and recent legal and illegal dumping. The EPA has put into effect many laws and acts to regulate illegal toxic waste dumping. One of these acts is the Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which regulates how hazardous waste must be handled and stored. It lists some of the wastes that the EPA considers toxic, and substances that are not on this list are still hazardous and are not allowed to be dumped. Another act put in effect by the EPA is the Superfund Act. It contains rules about cleaning up toxic waste that was dumped illegally.

There has been a long ongoing battle between communities and environmentalists versus governments and corporations about how strict and how fairly the regulations and laws are written and enforced. That battle began in North Carolina in the late summer of 1978, as EPA's TSCA regulations were literally being implemented. In North Carolina, 31,000 gallons of PCB-contaminated oil were deliberately dripped in a 3-foot swath along some 240 miles of rural Piedmont highways, creating the largest PCB spills in American history and a public health crisis that would have repercussions for generations to come. The PCBs were eventually picked up and forcibly buried in a landfill in Warren County, but citizens' opposition, which culminated in the largest civil rights demonstrations since King marched through Alabama, exposed the dangers of toxic waste, the fallibility of landfills, and the fact that EPA regulations are written with built-in waivers allowing landfills to be built on marginal sites that are politically possible to get.

Warren County citizens argued that the fundamental assumption upon which toxic waste landfill regulations were being predicated was that the conceptual engineering design of EPA's dry-tomb landfill would contain the toxic waste. This assumption was purely hypothetical but became the rationale for EPA's regulations informing the siting of toxic waste landfills and for waiving them. On the basis of a purely theoretical concept, wai

From Yahoo Answers

Question:I'm asking this question because my teacher asked us in class to find them out

Answers:3-medical wastes 4-municipal wastes 5-toxic wastes 6-non toxic waste 7-nuclear wastes 8-farm wastes 9-domestic waste 10-chemical wastes 11-mining wastes and many more.....

Question:I have a question about your biodegradable plastics. I've heard that they need to be sent to special composting sites, because in the landfill otherwise they will not decompost. If this is true - how do these composting sites operate in terms of picking up the used plastic, and where do they collect it from? - I have never seen special bins for biodegradable plastics at the recycling sites! And what are the advantages in this case because if the biodegradable plastic would not decompost in the landfill - it is not much different from any other recyclable types of plastic - they all need to be cleaned, sorted, picked up and sent to recycling site (or composting site). And what is the cost difference between the two, if you know? If using for a small take-away and juice bar - what are advantages ans disadvantages?

Answers:(Disclaimer and Truth in Advertising: I have worked in the plastic packaging industry, so I'm biased, but I feel I have a pretty good grip on the subject. I don't like filling landfills any more than the next person) Biodegradable plastics are largely a misnomer in most consumer applications for many of the reasons you have listed. Landfills are purposefully constructed to prevent decomposition and leaching of breakdown products. There is the old story of the research by William Rathje, who runs the Garbage Project, who did excavations in landfills and found perfectly readable newspapers that were 40 years old. Also, to "Benp's" assertion that most material in landfills is plastic- BUNK! PAPER accounts for 40% of landfill use (18% newspaper alone). In general, containers and packaging is 31%, but this includes metal, glass, plastic, paper, paperboard, etc). Check out the EPA report -it breaks things down pretty well. The BEST things do do are to REDUCE- if you have a choice, buy the most product with the least packaging; REUSE-use things like sandwich bags or plastic tubs over or in a new role like storing leftovers (This sounds kind of lame, but in industrial settings this can be a major savings in material usage); RECYCLE-everything you can (steel, aluminum, PET, PAPER, WOOD, lawn waste). Recycling of food containers often gets a bad rap because it is rarely recycled into new food containers, with the exception of PET bottles. This is due to the chemical properties of plastics that they tend to break down with each cycle through the system, and recycled materials are invariably inferior to new, or are patently unsafe for food use. A growing amount of the plastic recycling stream is being sent into making durable products like picnic benches, trash cans, decking material, seat cushion stuffing. As more and more of these products become commercially viable, this business will continue to grow. Ecological fanatics will typically decry the marketplace/economic approach, but it is the ONE PROVEN system that will truely deliver results. Prudent legislation that helps boost the nascent recyling industry might help, but in the end it has to be the marketplace- and that means YOU.

Question:How are agricultural wastes disposed of?? and Are they biodegradable( capable of being broken down by bacteria and other natural decomposers )???? thanks!! i was absent for two days in school and have no clue what we are learning....... and i cant find it in my book. :]

Answers:Well certainly what people would normally call agricultural wastes are biodegradable. It all depends on how broadly they are using the term. The major one that comes to mind is waste from animals, manure, urine and any bedding often in combination with water. Depending on the waste, it either is fairly dry and it is spread on fields as a semisolid or solid. Sometimes after composting. Or it is handled like a slurry like from hog operations where the pit or lagoon is stirred to suspend solids and it's pumped into honey wagons and then spread on field. There can also be agricultural waste from processing. That's pretty variable how that's handled but again a lot of time it's eventually spread on fields. And then there is dead animals. Used to be most were rendered but that's getting less common, it's becoming fairly common to compost them. Small animals are often incinerated. Those things not biodegradable, like an old truck, are not usually classified as agricultural waste even if they were used in agriculture. Marv

Question:I have a presentation about examples of water waste, mostly in agricultural fields, golf courses and lawns. Right now, I have enough examples of Sprinkler Irrigation malfunctioning, but I need more in other fields such as in agriculture or golf courses.

Answers:Agriculture - planting crops that require a large amount of water in areas where water is scarse is a waste of water Golf Course - even one drop of water on a Golf Course is a waste in my opinion. The World can do without golf courses; if can't do without agricultural land and water.

From Youtube

Packaging : Bio-degradable shrink film :BOLLORE has developed a new oxo-biodegradable shrink film and is now in a position to realistically face the challenge of domestic packaging waste management. The BOLPHANE BYO is formulated to be totally degradable. At the end of its life, through oxidation, the film disintegrates itself and ends up into components which are bio-assimilated by soil micro-organisms. Moreover, the technical properties of the BOLPHANE BYO demonstrate an excellent machinability and offer identical performances compared to conventional films. With the launch of this new packaging shrink film, BOLLORE confirms its environmental awareness and its strong commitment to improve the nature-friendly character of the entire BOLPHANE range, through constant downgauging and lower energy consumption. PLEASE LEAVE A STAR RATING! My channel on you tube : www.youtube.com is one of the most prolific from Poland, although unfortunately not the most visited. With almost one film per day, one may be forgiven for thinking I do nothing else but I do have a day job as well. I have produced almost 600 original films, most in English but also in Polish, French, Italian, Spanish and the occassional hint of German and Hebrew. My big interest in life is travel and history but I have also placed films on other subjects Please feel free to ask questions in the public area or to comment on things you disagree with. Sometimes there are mistakes because I speak without preparation. If I see the mistakes myself, I make ...

The seven types of waste - Explained on the movie examples P :Waste in production? Using the example of a father who prepares waffles for his children arriving from school, the seven types of waste are presented in a practical, everyday example. This video is a part of a comprehensive series that explaines the seven types of waste. It starts with the common indroduction of waste in production The complete production is in five languages for free available on DVD at: www.boschrexroth.com