The Different Types Of Waste

The Different Types Of Waste

The are different types of waste that we generate as a society.

This guide is a quick overview of those types of waste and what they each include in terms of different materials etc.


Summary – The Different Types Of Waste

There’s really two main waste streams that we have in society – residential/municipal waste, and also commercial/industrial waste. 

There can be different ways of managing these waste streams (which the waste company/s are responsible for) that might include landfill, incineration, recycling, composting, or special hazardous waste treatment/disposal.

Within each of those streams, the different types of waste we might find are:

  • Liquid Waste
  • Solid Waste
  • Organic Waste 
  • Recyclable Waste
  • Hazardous Waste

There’s many other sub-waste categories, but the above captures most types of waste we generate.

For a more extensive list of waste types, check out 


What Are The Different Types Of Waste, & What Do They Include?

  • Liquid Waste

Liquid form waste that mainly includes storm water, waste water/grey water, wash water etc.


  • Solid Waste

Any solid waste that is not organic, recyclable or hazardous.

Can include paper and paperboard, glass, metals, plastics, yard trimmings, food, wood, rubber and leather, textiles, miscellaneous inorganic waste and other types of waste

When talking about commercial and industrial waste, construction and demolition, as well as mining waste might be included in solid waste material


  • Organic Waste 

Comes from mainly plant and animals sources

Comes from food such as vegetables, fruit, meat and so on

Also comes from gardening and out door sources

Can usually be composted as it’s mostly biodegradable


  • Recyclable Waste

Aluminium (soda cans, canned food etc.) and other metals like steel

Some plastics (rigid plastics)

Paper and carboard (white paper, newspaper, brown paper and carboard)

Glass (glass bottles)


  • Hazardous Waste

Generally wastes that are flammable, reactive, corrosive or toxic.

We are talking about (specific examples) water reactives, cyanides, explosives, unstable chemicals, heavy metals, pesticides, fluorescent light bulbs, some specialty batteries (e.g. lithium or lead containing batteries), cathode ray tubes, mercury-containing devices and so on.

Universal hazardous wastes, household hazardous wastes, biomedical and clinical hazardous waste, industrial hazardous waste, as well as special hazardous waste (includes radioactive waste, explosive waste, and electronic waste (e-waste)) – are also categories of different hazardous wastes.













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