There are many different types of Waste

  • Solid Waste
  • Liquid Waste
  • Gaseous Waste
  • Animal by-products
  • Biodegradable waste
  • Biomedical waste
  • Chemical waste
  • Commercial waste
  • Construction and demolition waste (C&D waste)
  • Electronic waste (E-waste)
  • Green waste
  • Grey water
  • Hazardous waste or Toxic Waste
  • Human waste
  • Industrial waste
  • Radioactive waste
  • Recyclable waste
  • Sewage
  • Slaughterhouse waste
  • Wastewater

Industrial Waste

  • Industrial waste is a type of waste produced by industrial activity, such as that of factories, mills and mines.  There are 3 main types: Slag,Fly Ash and Sludge
  • Slag is a by-product of smelting ore to separating the metal fraction from the worthless fraction.
  • It can be considered to be a mixture of metal oxides, sulfides and metal atoms in the elemental form.
  • Fly ash is generated in the combustion of coal.
    • Depending upon the source and makeup of the coal being burned, the components of fly ash vary considerably, but all fly ash includes substantial amounts of silicon dioxide and calcium oxide
    • Toxic component of fly ash may include one or more of the following elements or substances in quantities from trace amounts to several percent: arsenic, beryllium, boron, cadmium, chromium, chromium VI, cobalt, lead, manganese, mercury, molybdenum, selenium, strontium, thallium, and vanadium, along with dioxins

Biodegradable Waste

  • Biodegradable waste is a type of waste, typically originating from plant or animal sources, which may be broken down by other living organisms.
  • Waste that cannot be broken down by other living organisms may be called non-biodegradable.
  • Biodegradable waste can be commonly found in municipal solid waste as green waste, food waste, paper waste, and biodegradable plastics.
  • Other biodegradable wastes include human waste, manure, sewage, slaughterhouse waste.

Chemical Waste

  • Chemical waste is a waste that is made from harmful chemicals (mostly produced by large factories).
  • Waste organic solvents are separated into chlorinated and non-chlorinated solvent waste.
  • Chlorinated solvent waste is usually incinerated at high temperature to minimize the formation of dioxins.]
  • Non-chlorinated solvent waste can be burned for energy recovery.
  • Aqueous waste (chemical solutions made using water) may be poured down the sink; aqueous waste containing toxic compounds are collected separately.
  • Waste mercury, acids and bases may be collected separately for recycling.

Construction Waste

  • Construction waste consists of unwanted material produced directly or incidentally by the construction or industries.  This includes building materials such as insulation, nails, electrical wiring, and rebar, as well as waste originating from site preparation such as dredging materials, tree stumps, and rubble.
  • Construction waste may contain lead, asbestos, or other hazardous substances.
  • Certain components of construction waste such as plasterboard are hazardous once landfilled. Plasterboard is broken down in landfill conditions releasing hydrogen sulfide, a toxic gas.
  • There is the potential to recycle many elements of construction waste.

Commercial Waste

  • Commercial waste consists of waste from premises used wholly or mainly for the purposes of a trade or business or for the purpose of sport, recreation, education or entertainment
  • E-Waste
  • Electronic waste, e-waste, e-scrap, or Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment describes loosely discarded, surplus, obsolete, broken, electrical or electronic devices.
  • The processing of electronic waste in developing countries causes serious health and pollution problems because electronic equipment contains some very serious contaminants such as lead, cadmium, beryllium and brominated flame retardants.
  • Even in developed countries recycling and disposal of e-waste involves significant risk to workers and communities and great care must be taken to avoid unsafe exposure in recycling operations and leaching of material such as heavy metals from landfills and incinerator ashes.

Green Waste and Greywater

  • Green waste is 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 carbon containing.
  • Greywater is wastewater generated from domestic activities such as dish washing, laundry and bathing.
  • Water from the toilets is designated sewage or blackwater to indicate it contains fecal matter and urine

Hazardous or Toxic Waste

  • A hazardous waste is waste that poses substantial or potential threats to public health or the environment and generally exhibits one or more of these characteristics: ignitable (i.e., flammable) reactive corrosive toxic
  • Hazardous waste is usually a solid waste that has the potential to: increase the likely hood of/or cause mortality (death) or an increase in serious irreversible, or incapacitating reversible illness.
  • It may also pose a substantial hazard to human health or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, or disposed of.
  • A hazardous waste is a special type of waste because it cannot be disposed of by common means. In many cases, there is not much that can be done to prevent harm.

Radioactive and Recyclable Waste

  • Radioactive waste is a waste product containing radioactive material.
  • It is usually the product of a nuclear process such as nuclear fission.
  • It can be classified as low level, high level, spent nuclear fuel or mixed
  • Recyclable wastes include many kinds of glass, paper, metal, plastic, textiles, and electronics


  • Sewage is water-carried wastes, in either solution or suspension that flow away from a community.
  • It is also known as wastewater flows
  • Wastewater may carry pathogenic organisms that can transmit disease to humans and other animals; contain organic matter that can cause odor and nuisance problems; hold nutrients that may cause eutrophication of receiving water bodies; and can lead to ecotoxicology.
author avatar
William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)
William completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in 2013. He current serves as a lecturer, tutor and freelance writer. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking his dog and parasailing. Article last reviewed: 2022 | St. Rosemary Institution © 2010-2024 | Creative Commons 4.0

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