What is Waste?

Waste is anything we have used that is not being re-used or absorbed back into nature.

Waste comes in different forms:

  • Solid: paper, plastic, cans, building rubble
  • Liquid: water from our bath, shower, washing machine, sink
  • Wet or organic: food scraps, garden clippings
  • Gas: e.g. carbon dioxide produced by our cars or burning fossil fuels


Waste is such a waste

  • Resources are valuable and should not just be thrown away
  • Reusing and recycling items saves space in expensive landfill sites
  • Recycling reduces the need for mining new resources
  • Waste reduction and recycling reduce pollution and litter
  • Incineration is expensive and can release dangerous toxins.


Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

  • Reduce and avoid: Only buy what we need, not what we want
  • Reuse: Think of ways to reuse products and packaging
  • Recycle: Separate waste and recycle rather than send to landfill
  • Dispose of waste responsibly: Do not litter, put waste into the correct bin.


Different kinds of Waste

  • Dry waste/mixed recyclables: things we can recycle (paper, plastic, glass, cans)
  • Hazardous waste: things we should not place in the normal bin (CFLs, batteries, poisons)
  • Organic/wet waste: things that can go to a compost heap or worm farm (fruit, vegetables, garden clippings)
  • E-waste: computers, cell phones


What we can do at home

  • Separate household waste into recyclables, wet/organic waste and general waste for landfill
  • Use kitchen or garden waste to start a compost heap or worm farm
  • Use natural products instead of toxic chemicals for household cleaning and pest control
  • Ensure that CFLs (containing mercury)are safely disposed of and not put with general waste
  • Take electronic waste and batteries to an e-waste facility