Getting Rid of Garbage and Hazardous Waste

rubbish collection

DSNY is one of the few large cities that don’t charge residents a fee for waste collection. Instead it subsidizes the service with general city revenues. Private contractors at circulate in neighborhoods, pushing carts with waste containers and sounding a bell to indicate they are ready for collection. They expect tips from residents.

Most modern waste management systems incorporate recycling, or the reclaiming of materials that are no longer in use. Recyclables are used to make new materials or products, or to produce energy. It is the third step of the waste hierarchy, after Reduce and Reuse. Recycling helps save material and energy, prevents pollution from raw material extraction and disposal, and helps to alleviate pressure on landfills.

Some of the most commonly recycled materials are paper, batteries, plastics, and glass. Paper makes up the largest percentage of recyclables, at 26 percent in the United States. It can be repurposed as newspaper, cardboard, and various types of packaging. Other items that are recycled include plastic containers, aluminum cans, and metal beverage and food cans. The majority of recyclables are collected at curbside, where they are picked up by waste collection vehicles and sent to a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) for processing.

The MRF separates the recyclates by material type, and then uses machines to sort them into different grades of reprocessed products. The reprocessed materials are often sold to manufacturers for repurpose as other products. Recycling programs also collect and reuse e-waste, or electronic waste, which includes most consumer electronics, such as laptops, cell phones, and televisions.

Whether an item is recyclable depends largely on its composition and design. Plastics, for instance, are typically made of a single material that can be recycled over and over again. Some of the most common plastics are polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, and polyvinyl chloride, or PVC. Metals, such as aluminum and steel, are also easy to recycle, but some of the more complex metal products require additional processing to extract the usable materials.

When preparing items for recycling, it is important to ensure that they are clean. A dirty product can contaminate the entire batch of recyclates and cause them to be rejected or diverted to the landfill. This can be costly for the manufacturer, as well as the consumers who paid for the products. To help reduce this problem, make sure that all of your recycling is contained in a bin with a lid or a clear plastic bag. If you have broken glass, it is recommended that you place it in a separate container labeled “broken glass.”


Garbage is anything that can’t be recycled and has to go away. It includes everything from gnawed-on chicken wings and used paper towels to old TVs, broken toys and the boxes of stuff that collect dust in your attic. Different organizations like the Waste Control Department and City Sanitation Department work to pick up garbage and take it to waste-to-energy facilities.

The term “garbage” comes from the Middle English word garwijan, meaning offal or kitchen refuse. The word is also related to the Latin garbage, which means waste or litter. Garbage is a synonym for rubbish, but the difference between the two is that garbage is disposed of legally and in a safe manner, while litter is thrown on the ground.

In computer science, garbage is often referred to as garbage in/garbage out (GIGO). This reflects the fact that software bugs can cause faulty output, which could be considered as “garbage.” For example, if a program reads a binary file that it doesn’t understand, it will display unreadable text on screen. This is considered a GIGO error because the input was essentially garbage.

A computer’s garbage collection process is responsible for deleting any data that has expired or no longer serves a purpose. The process is often automated and takes place in a background thread. However, it’s important to have a backup system in case the garbage collector fails or is stopped for any reason.

The garbage collector works on a time-based basis and tries to keep the amount of live data in the Eden space as low as possible. To do this, the garbage collector creates a “from” space for live objects that are in the Eden and “to” space, which it then moves to the tenured space after a specified number of minor garbage collections. The tenured space is a larger space than the Eden space and is checked less frequently.

Most communities have a trash pickup service and recycle all or some of their garbage. For example, the Tajiguas landfill in Santa Barbara, California, turns household trash into energy by burning it and generating methane gas, which is then used to power local homes. In cities across the United States, municipal governments use waste to power garbage trucks and sewage treatment plants. In addition, many communities sell reusable waste to composters, which turn organic material into fertilizer.

Hazardous Waste

The disposal of hazardous waste is a complex process that involves reducing the quantity of chemicals and their byproducts to manageable levels. It also involves safely storing and transporting the waste to facilities where it can be treated or disposed of. These activities are important because improper hazardous-waste management can result in toxic water and soil pollution, which can threaten the health and safety of local communities.

Chemical wastes can take the form of solids, liquids, sludges, or containerized gases, and they are generated by manufacturing, processing, and other industrial operations. They can cause contamination during storage, transportation, and treatment if they are not managed properly.

Household hazardous wastes contain many of the same chemicals found in industrial hazardous wastes, and are therefore regulated as such by state and federal environmental regulations. Household products that are improperly discarded – such as throwing them into the trash or washing them down the drain – endanger the health and well-being of the people using those chemicals, their neighbors, and the environment. The chemicals can poison children and pets, burn their skin, dissolve metal, or contaminate the food chain. Firefighters are often injured when they encounter these chemicals in a fire, and the bacteria needed to break down sewer and septic tanks can be destroyed by untreated household wastes that are poured on the ground or in storm drains.

A material is considered a hazardous waste if it exhibits one of the four characteristics identified in Delaware’s Regulations Governing Hazardous Waste (7 DE Admin. Code 1302). These characteristics are toxicity, ignitability, reactiveness, or corrosivity. A hazardous waste must be a solid to meet these requirements, and it must also exhibit one of the four hazards identified in the regulations.

The toxicity characteristic refers to whether the waste is poisonous if ingested in a large enough quantity, and it includes both acute toxins – such as pesticides that can kill a human if ingested – and chronic toxins that will cause harm over a long period of time. The ignitability characteristic refers to whether the waste is combustible or can explode, and it includes paints and degreasers. The corrosivity characteristic refers to whether the waste will corrode metal or eat away at plastic, and it is measured by a test procedure called the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure.