Segregation at source refers to separating solid waste into separate and distinct bins so that certain waste can be processed into different recycled products. Both households and businesses are encouraged, or in some cases required, to practice segregation at source as many household items or items used within a business can be recycled. This is both good for the environment and good for reducing waste costs for businesses, and all it takes is a little extra effort.
As well as the many needs for recycling (which will be elaborated on later) there are specific, fundamental reasons for encouragement of segregation at source. Incinerators are used to dispose of most waste, and so using these for the likes of household cleaners and batteries can result in an increase of toxicity from the ash and air emissions produced; the same is true if any of these materials enter a landfill.
Another essential element to segregation at source to remember is that certain materials, such as glass, is virtually 100% recyclable, which means that the loss of any glass is 100% a waste. It also causes similar problems to incinerators, as the residual ash from any glass can reduce the inefficiency of these machines; causing two major problems from just one material.
Solid waste generally refers to household or business waste that falls into the category of plastic, paper, glass, metal and organic waste. This doesn’t exclude larger items, such as furniture, yet larger items like these are required to be disposed of at special sites; such as tipping yards.
There are also hazardous categories that solid waste can be defined by, such as flammable or toxic & non-toxic, yet the more severe & dangerously hazardous materials, such as infectious and radioactive, should really only be produced by the likes of hospitals and so should not be a major concern for household solid waste.
The differences for waste goes beyond mere semantics, as each term specifically refers to different types of waste. ‘Garbage’ principally refers to food waste and can also include degradable organic waste, ‘rubbish’ primarily refers to all combustible and non-combustible waste that excludes food waste, and ‘refuse’ is essentially the collective term for both rubbish and garbage.
Solid waste is handled in many different ways; where applicable this segregated waste will be processed into recyclable products. Organic waste, for example, can be processed into fertiliser or mulch, while metals, paper, glass and some plastics can be recycled. The solid waste that can’t be processed in such a way is disposed of in landfills or incinerators.
For years it’s become increasingly more apparent that we all need to recycle more.
There are many, many reasons why homes, businesses and society as a whole should embrace recycling, with major aspects such as reducing the amount of paper needing to be produced (which, unless utilising recycled paper, inevitably leads to more and more trees being felled) and the need to reduce the amount of single-use plastics being produced (which will subsequently dumped in either landfills or the ocean).
The responsibility to encourage & practice recycling comes down to everyone, starting in our own homes. If we don’t segregate waste then all garbage thrown away will be considered unsalvageable and unable to be recycled; adding to the amount of trash being disposed.
The current waste management solutions being practiced by countries across the world create their own individual problems, with the likes of landfills becoming so full of hazardous waste that it makes the surrounding soil toxic.
It should go without saying that this is a terrible consequence, as alongside items that aren’t biodegradable (such as plastics, which will take centuries to break down in contrast to paper that can take mere weeks) this amalgamation of toxic materials will essentially ruin the land itself forever.
This is simply keeping to the method of landfills; the likes of dumping in the ocean is arguably much worse. Not only does this kind of pollution soil the natural beauty of the ocean, it also heavily impacts wildlife. Hopefully most of us will understand and empathize with the fact that an influx of hazardous materials is a terrible fate for an ocean filled with innocent creatures, but this issue impacts even those who don’t concern themselves with animal welfare. As more and more plastic fills the oceans, so too will more plastic be consumed by the creatures living there; and these are caught by fishermen, sold by stores and land on our plates.
Materials vary in how long they take to decompose, and while some will disappear much sooner than others, it’s important to keep in mind just how long this process can take. To stress how vital segregation at source and recycling is, here are some comparisons to how long waste takes to decompose.
Segregating waste at home is simple, even if it does take a minor amount of effort to do so. Thoroughly rinsing & cleaning the likes of bottles & plastics and ensuring that each type of waste goes to the right bin is all that you really need to do when it comes to waste management in the home.
By keeping the likes of separate boxes for separate waste materials (a standard bin for waste, a box for glass and plastics, etc) you can make waste management all the easier. Transferring your waste from these containers to your appointed bins can help to take some of the stress out of bin day and help you do your bit for the planet.
Explaining the benefits of responsible waste removal & management to family members, those you’re living with and even neighbours can help to take a lot of the hassle & taxing processes out of your local processing plant, and for those living in apartment buildings you can even discuss how to segregate waste and which processes help to aid responsible waste removal with any members of staff to ensure that the best practices are being adhered to.
If you’re looking for ways to effectively & efficiently segregate your waste, why not consider the expert waste management services of No 1 Junk Street? Take a look at our waste transfer & tipping yard services to see how you can make life easier with waste segregation.