Technologies for Rural Development/Dealing with waste

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Dealing with Waste

As the population grows in any given location, the strain on resources and the environment increases. This strain is due in part to the way we deal with the waste that our lives create.


Waste can be grouped into three main types, Biodegrable, Inert or Toxic waste.

Biodegradable Waste[edit]

Biodegradable waste normally originates from plant or animal sources, and it may be broken down by other living organisms.

This waste should not be mixed with general waste, because it can be composted and used for agricultural purposes.

Inert Waste[edit]

Inert non-biodegradable waste can be recycled, reused or dumped in a location where the contamination of the area is minimal. The most important point is not to let any liquid components of the waste get into the water ways or the water table.

Toxic Waste[edit]

Toxic waste is any waste that can harm living organisms, this sort of waste either gives of gases or liquids which contaminate the air, water or earth that they come in contact with.

Identifying Waste[edit]

Household waste[edit]

Farm Waste[edit]

Liquid Waste[edit]


The sequence normally followed when approaching waste management is:

  • Reduce - what can be done to reduce the volume of waste
  • Re-use - can packaging or the waste be re-used (returnable bottles returned for cleaning and filling)
  • Re-cycle - this means the waste is re-processed (glass is melted to make more bottles)
  • Discard - the waste is sent to the correct landfill site or incinerator



Returnable beer bottles have a life expectancy of at least 25 trips, and at the end of the lifespan the brewer crushes the glass and recycles it to the glass supplier.


Glass recycling To yield the best value glass waste it is important to keep the different glass colours separate.

Contaminants of recycled glass include high temperature glass such as borosilicate glass and "Pyrex" or porcelain. These should be re-cycled separately.

Correct disposal[edit]