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Origin, composition and quantity of solid MSW and sludge type waste

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An evil has to be attacked at its roots. For the waste and sludge problem, this means that it is necessary to compile an inventory of the types and the quantities of waste available for treatment. Waste can be categorised as follows:

1. Municipal solid waste (MSW)

– household waste, the content of the residential rubbish bag, meal leftovers, kitchen scraps, paper, packaging, ashes and other heating residues, small items that have become superfluous and textiles

– Bulky refuse or other waste that cannot be placed into a rubbish bag due to its size and unwieldiness. This may be packaging items, that have ceased to be useful or textiles

– Bulky refuse or large redundant items, for instance furniture, mattresses, electrical appliances, refrigerators and dish washing machines

– Garden waste, prunings, lawn clippings, branches and leaves

2. Street sweepings and waste from street markets

– The erosion and deterioration of street surfaces along with vehicular tyre rubber

– leaves and branches falling from trees lining the streets

– refuse from street markets

– grit from the winter service

–  paper and tobacco residue, animal faeces, dust

3. Sludge from municipal wastewater treatment plants

4. Solid and sludge-type industrial and commercial waste

4.1 General industrial and commercial waste, similar to municipal waste, comprising refuse from canteens and offices, packaging containing no, or negligible amounts of toxic chemicals and refuse resulting from heating and cleaning of office spaces.

4.2 Branch-specific industrial and commercial refuse, comprising all:

– solid, sludge type and liquid waste generated by industry and commerce when making final products from raw materials (provided the waste cannot be seweraged and it is of no financial value to the company)

– polluted raw materials

– products that do not meet quality standards

– rejected batches with or without chemical components

– sludge type residue from industrial sewerage (from neutralisation, decontamination and precipitation plants)

– waste from cleaning freight cars, trucks, container ships and manufacturing sites

5. Oil refuse

– discarded oil with negligible water content from garages and manufacturing sites

– oil emulsions from production and commercial sites

– creamed oil from mineral oil separators

– oil slick retrieved when periodically cleaning oil tanks

– earth saturated in oil from accidents involving tanks and oil transporters

6. Animal refuse

– cadavers and perishable meat

– refuse from butchers and abattoirs, for example hair, bristles, claws, bones, meat, intestines, contents of rumen

7. Hospital refuse

– bandages and plasters

– refuse from patients’ homes

– operating and delivery rooms, along with wastes from medical and veterinary practitioners’ surgeries

8. Old tyres

9. Building rubble and materials dug out from building sites

10. Car wrecks

11. Radioactive refuse from industry and medicine

All of the above types of refuse belong to three main categories:

a. Municipal solid waste including residential waste (1), street sweepings and market refuse (2), commercial refuse (4.1) and combustible part from building industry residues (9).

b. Hazardous waste comprising branch specific industrial and commercial waste (4.2), discarded oil (5), animal (6) and hospital (7) refuse, old tyres (8), car wrecks (10) and radioactive waste (11)

c. Sludge from municipal wastewater treatment plants (3)

The origin and composition of refuse largely determines how to treat and dispose of that waste. It is important to define the properties of waste in relation to the environment. Properties should be selected according to those which can be used to assess how much a substance endangers the environment.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • Waste Management
    Ever since abandoning the nomadic lifestyle, mankind has been fighting with the disposal problems caused by everyday life's wastes. This book presents the history of this dilemma and the technical solutions available on the market today. The first part provides an overview of the history of mankind and its waste. The tendencies in Europe and the current legislations for Switzerland and Europe are explained. A look beyond the borders of Europe to other continents shows that there the local residents are presently fighting with the same problems as Europe did at the beginning of the 20th century. The second part deals more closely with waste definition, the technical possibilities to recycle waste and the processes to treat non-recyclable waste so that it can be safely brought back into the environment. The book discusses municipal and industrial wastes, hazardous wastes, sewage sludges, landfill and contaminated site problems or biogenic wastes.
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