Table Of Contents

Waste Handling And Disposal

Waste disposal can seem pretty straightforward. However, that is the case until you have to deal with awkward waste, which needs more effort to dispose of. For example, you may have a large mattress that won't quite fit into your skip bin. So, how can you make dealing with awkward waste easy?

You can get the answer to that here. You will also get to know the different waste types and steps to deal with awkward waste. In addition, you can expect to find out more zero waste options, harmful effects of improper waste disposal, and how to choose a good waste management service.

Waste Types

Waste management is complex for many countries. Plastic, commercial and industrial wastes all contribute to a severe environmental waste problem.

The following are some common waste types.

• General waste

• Concrete/brick waste

• Mixed waste

• Soil/dirt waste

• Green waste

• Organic waste like food and garden waste

• Commercial waste

• Industrial waste

• Plastic waste

Household waste including rugs and furniture

• Liquid waste such as sewage

• E-waste like printers, computers and other electronics

Hazardous waste

Steps To Deal With Awkward Waste

Assess your waste

You can better manage what you track and measure. Record the types and quantities of waste materials you generate as a household or business. This will help you identify what waste types can be disposed of safely.

You could make do with a weekly visual assessment and an estimation of the amounts and types of waste. Over time, you can compare the results of your efforts versus the amount of waste that ends up at a landfill.

Reduce waste

This step involves paying attention to waste that can be avoided or reduced. A change in how you operate your business or run your home can reduce the quantity of generated waste. Also, pay better attention to the recycling or reuse of waste materials.

Recycle waste

Recycling reprocesses waste materials into other products. For instance, you can recycle plastic bottles to make buckets. Recycle old glass bottles or aluminium cans. Use your recycling bin for soda cans, metal, and plastic cups.

Make more trips to recycling and transfer stations in your district rather than landfills.

Check your waste collection services

Find out how your waste service provider handles the waste collection and manages levy fees. These can have an impact on your ability to recycle.

Separate your waste properly

A lot of your waste may be unusable as a result of contamination when it goes into the recycling bin. Additionally, some recycling processes have a difficult time handling waste disposal efficiently.

Recyclable wastes need to be separated from non-recyclable wastes. This way, they will not contaminate perfectly recyclable waste. Check what recycling rules exist in your local area. Following such rules will help you avoid contamination of recyclable material.

Recover your waste

You can recover some waste without any pre-processing steps. For example, you can extract energy from waste oil without necessarily pre-processing it. The energy recovered from its combustion can help reduce over-dependence on imported oil and coal.

Ways To Deal With Different Types Of Waste

The following are the various ways to recycle and dispose of waste.

Packaging waste

Recycle used packaging instead of sending it to landfills.

Food waste

Food makes up about 35 per cent of household waste that goes to landfills. As such, everyone needs to do as much as they can to reduce packaging and food waste. For instance, restaurants and cafes can send their wastes and leftovers to a treatment facility. You can process the waste into compost.

Residual liquid waste

You can dispose of liquid waste in a sewer or septic tank.

Hazardous waste

Hazardous wastes come in different categories. Here are some ways to deal with them.

Battery waste

Around 3% of batteries are recycled in Australia. In addition, up to 11,000 tonnes of batteries find their way to landfills each year. Use rechargeable batteries rather than disposable ones. Disposable batteries are harmful to the environment due to the hazardous chemicals they contain.

Toxic chemicals

Most people don't know how to deal with toxic waste like bleach, oven cleaners, and all-purpose cleaners. Rinsing them down your toilet drain, sinks, or dishwashers is not how you deal with them. The water may end up in wastewater treatment facilities, rivers, or lakes.

Avoid using hazardous chemicals whenever possible. Go for environmentally-friendly alternatives.

Industrial waste

There are recycling facilities that can handle industrial wastes. Check online or visit a recycling centre nearby to find out the closest drop zone.

Radioactive waste

Radioactive waste is any material that is intrinsically radioactive in nature or has been exposed to radioactive materials. Such material is considered to have no further use. The categorisation of certain materials like nuclear fuel and plutonium as radioactive waste is done through government policy.

Radioactive materials are usually treated by changing the characteristics of their waste streams. In turn, this improves safety and its impact on the environment. Treatment may involve ion exchange techniques that extract radionuclide content. The waste is conditioned into a form that allows safe handling, transportation, and disposal.

The disposal of radioactive waste occurs when there is no further predictable use. You may send the material to land-based disposal centres. Low-level liquid waste from reprocessing plants may be discharged into the sea.

Dealing With Solid Wastes

Disposal and recycling of solid wastes are critical and requires proper attention. This is because of the Australian Government's ban on the importation of some solid wastes.

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has put in place a lot of measures to deal with waste management. The national waste policy action plan has a near-total ban on the export of recyclables overseas within its targets and timeline.

The "waste to energy" policy

Another option to solve the challenge of recycling is to make better use of food waste. This is precisely what the "waste-to-energy" policy proposes. One way to deal with this kind of waste is to convert it to low-emission electricity.

The report also prescribes other measures that include:

• Using recycled products rather than raw materials

• Reforming the landfill levy

• Putting in place measures against packaging and single-use plastics

National policy and action plan

One of the crucial aims of this action plan is to recover 80% of all waste by 2030. The average resource recovery rate from all waste streams should be at least 80%. Here, the preference is to avoid waste generation altogether before considering disposal mechanisms.

Other Methods Of Waste Management


Landfills are also referred to as garbage dumps or dumping grounds. They are sites for the disposal of waste materials. Usually, the waste materials are buried. This waste disposal method is the oldest form of waste treatment.


Waste incineration is used to deal with certain kinds of waste. For instance, incineration is common to mitigate hazardous wastes like oils, solvents, medical wastes, and chlorinated hydrocarbons.

Biological processing (biodegradation)

Avoid landfill disposal of wastes containing a large percentage of organic fractions. Treat such waste to degrade its organic constituent. The remaining inorganic waste fraction can be disposed of appropriately.

Particular organic wastes can be challenging to handle through biodegradation. An example is organic wastes like food waste, yard waste, and animal manure mixed with wastes that include plastic, metal, and other contaminants.

How To Reduce Landfill Waste

Throwing away old items into the garbage may not be the best way to deal with awkward waste. You can use existing ways of reducing solid waste and thereby reduce the amount of trash in landfills.

Generally, the most common methods to reduce landfill waste include reducing, reusing, and recycling. Use the following methods to reduce landfill waste and deal with awkward waste.

• Donate clothes and uneaten food to reduce food waste

• Reuse old shopping bags and containers or use cloth bags to maximise efficiency

• Use the composting method for remains of plants and kitchen waste to reduce landfill waste

• Visit local farmer's markets or greengrocer markets rather than supermarkets for more zero waste options

Seek reusable and eco-friendly options for single-use plastics. This can include opting for reusable bottles, bags, cutlery sets, coffee cups, and food containers. Others include reusable steel razors, bamboo toothbrushes, plastic-free toothpaste, and menstrual cups.

Replace waste generators such as single-use items with zero waste options and sustainable alternatives.

Harmful Effects Of Improper Waste Disposal

Waste can be a source of various kinds of pollution when it is not disposed of properly. For example, there could be harmful effects if large quantities of hazardous materials do not have safe storage.

There are a couple of harmful effects of poor waste removal on animals, humans, and the environment.

Oil spills and leaching of hazardous chemicals can lead to contaminated soil and water contamination. Burning of paper and plastic at landfills causes landfill gas. In turn, such hazardous chemicals are released into the atmosphere and accumulate in the ozone layer.

Chemicals like dioxin have proved harmful to waste disposal workers, people living nearby, and employees who come in contact with them. Solid wastes from breeding grounds for disease-carrying vectors like flies.

Laws and waste regulations that govern landfill operations need more enforcement. This also applies to large enterprises that manage sewer systems, waste incinerators, and landfills.

Choose A Good Waste Management Service

Waste disposal can simply mean putting your bins out each week. You may even feel more confident about your waste management techniques. This post has discussed the different waste types and steps to deal with awkward waste, including zero waste options.

Furthermore, you may now be more aware of some harmful effects of improper waste disposal and how to choose a good waste management service. However, considering the harmful effects of improper waste disposal discussed, you may want to be more careful when dealing with awkward waste.

For instance, you may need the safe removal of hazardous waste materials. You may even need environmentally-friendly disposal of your chemical waste. In such cases, you may wonder what factors you should check for in your waste removal service company.

You may check for the following:

• Services you or your business need

• Responsible waste solutions they have, such as those for domestic wastes, aqueous wastes, and other special wastes

• Handling and disposal of hazardous materials

• Your budget for the service and the disposal costs of waste management

• The frequency of waste collection

• Business tools or apps they offer

• Booking service

Skip bin hire services

• Specialised cleaning services include liquid waste, drain cleaning, waste solvents, and sewer cleaning

• Right equipment such as compactors to cut down awkward waste and bulky waste items

• Available recycling facilities

• Overall customer satisfaction

• You may also want some diagnosis and analysis of your business waste practices. Check if they align with regulatory guidelines.

This goes beyond checking their listed wastes for handling and disposal. You should be interested in their professionalism. For example, you could check if they wear protective equipment when they dispose of hazardous substances. That being said, it is crucial to employ the services of a qualified and professional waste removal company.