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Classification of Manual on Municipal Solid Waste Management

Classification of Manual on Municipal Solid Waste Management

The solid waste can be classified as per the Manual on Municipal Solid Waste Management, Government of India publication as follows:

 (i) Domestic/Residential waste: This type of waste is originated from single or multifamily household units. These wastes are generated from the household activities  such as cooking (ashes)  cleaning  (dust)  repairs  (residues),  hobbies (unuseables), redecoration, empty containers, used packets, old clothes, books,papers, broken glass,  plastic  items,  broken and useless furniture.

(ii) Municipal waste:  Municipal waste includes waste resulting from municipal activities and services such as street sweepings, dead animals, market waste and abandoned vehicles.Generally,  this  term ‘Municipal  Waste’ is used in  a  wider sense to incorporate domestic wastes, institutional wastes and commercial wastes.

(iii) Commercial waste: This category includes solid wastes that originate in offices, wholesale and retail markets, restaurants, hotels, warehouses (godowns) and other commercial establishments.

(iv) Institutional waste: These are those wastes generated from institutions such as schools, colleges, universities,  hospitals and research institutes.  Some of these wastes (like hospitals) may be hazardous  (more bad,  offensive,  strong,disease-producing)  waste.

(v) Garbage:  Garbage is the term applied to  animal and vegetable wastes generated from the handling,  storage,  sale,  preparation, cooking and serving of food.  Such  wastes contain putrescible (easily and quickly biodegraded with bad smell) organic matter. This attracts rats, flies, mosquito and other vermin, that is why  it requires immediate attention.

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(vi) Rubbish: It is a general term applied to solid wastes originating in households, commercial establishments and institutions excluding garbage and ashes.

(vii)Ashes: These are the residues from the burning of wood, coal, charcoal, coke and  other combustible matter for cooking and heating in houses institutions and small industries.  When  produced in large quantities in thermal power plants  (fly  ash)  they are known as industrial wastes.  Ashes consist of  fine powdery residue, cinders and clinkers often mixed with small pieces of metal and glass.

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(viii)Bulky waste: Bulky wastes are large household wastes that cannot be accommodated in the normal storage containers of the household and thus they require special collection. Actually in India there is hardly any waste collected in this category as  it  is  sold to the kabaries.

(ix)Street sweepings:  The waste collected from streets,  walkways, parks etc.  is known as street sweepings. In developing countries like our country manual street sweeping is done and it makes the largest portion of the municipal solid waste  as we are in  a  habit  of throwing everything on the streets.  It includes mainly dust,  dirt, plastic bags (thin), dry leaves, useless papers,  cardboard, rags,  tyres, vegetable matter etc.  In our country, most of the usable portion of thewaste like rags,  paper, thick plastic bags, plastic utensils,  any form of metal is collected by the rag pickers. The organic matter including the paper and even plastic sheets is consumed by cows and other stray animals.  Only in  big cities or the developed countries, they form the part of waste.  That  is why the calorific value of Indian solid waste is far less in comparison to other countries.

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(x) Dead animals: This term includes the dead animals that die naturally or by accidents on roads. It does not include the animal parts from slaughterhouses which are regarded as industrial waste. There are two types of dead animals, large and small.  The smaller ones like dogs cats rabbits, rats etc., are either consumed by the other animals or can be easily lifted and disposed of. The large ones like cows, horses, camels etc. require special and immediate attention as traffic is affected and they emit a foul smell.

(xi)Construction and demolition waste: These are the wastes generated by the residue of the construction,  refurbishment, repair and demolition of houses, commercial buildings and other structures.  Generally, the demolition waste is used by the contractors in filling low-lying areas and the plinth filling of new houses and nothing is left on the sites.  Even then some small quantity of sand,  stone or concrete may be left.

(xii)Industrial wastes: The discarded solid material of manufacturing processes and industrial operations comes in this category.  There is a vast range of substances that are unique for each industry so they are considered separately from municipal wastes.

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(xiii)Hazardous waste:  Hazardous waste is defined as wastes of industrial, institutional or consumer origin that, because of their physical, chemical or biological characteristics are potentially dangerous to human beings and the environment. In some cases the active agents may be liquid or gaseous, they are classified as solidwaste because they are confined in solid containers.

Typical examples are solvents,  paints, and pesticides whose spent (empty) containers are frequently mixed with municipal wastes and become part of the urban waste stream.  Certain hazardous waste can explode in the incinerators (controlled large kilns)  and cause fires at landfill sites.  Others such as pathological (disease-producing)  wastes from hospitals and radioactive waste require special handling at all times.  Proper management practice should ensure that hazardous wastes are collected,  stored, transported and disposed off separately, preferably after treatment to make them harmless.

(xiv)Sewage waste:  The solid by-products of sewage treatment are classified as sewage wastes.  They are mostly organic and produced from the treatment of organic sludge from  both the raw and treated sewage.  The inorganic fraction of raw sewage such as grit is separated at the preliminary stage of treatment, but because it entrains putrescible organic matter that may contain disease-producing bacteria (pathogens), must be buried or disposed off quickly.

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