If you are confused as to what is considered to be general waste, you have come to the right place. This article aims to answer the question, what is general waste?
However, before going into the details regarding what general waste is, we will take you through the interesting history of what humans have done with their waste.
History of Waste Management
The history of waste management is quite a long one and involves tales of disease and decay. It all began, though, with wastewater in Syria, as far as we know.
The Syrians would redirect the wastewater into ditches along the streets using gutter-like systems. Similar systems were also present in Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome, and other sophisticated societies of the past.
It was not until the 18th century, when the population started to increase dramatically due to industrialisation, that a more serious waste management system was starting to become necessary in England.
Waste was starting to build up pretty badly around this time, and an individual named Corbyn Morris proposed that all of that waste should be relocated to an area that was far away from the city.
However, little was done about this matter until the 19th century, when the disease known as cholera started wreaking havoc in the UK. At this point, there was legislation introduced that called for disposing of the public’s waste.
Eventually, the Public Health Act of 1875 was introduced, which was responsible for the distribution of waste bins to the public that would be emptied by the collection service each week. A year prior to this, in 1874, the first incinerator was opened for burning up waste, since there was now quite a lot to deal with.
Before there were motorised vehicles, waste was hauled away via a cart and horses. In the 1920s, closed trucks began to be utilised for relocating the growing amounts of waste from major cities. This was the start of general waste collection as we know it today.
What Is General Waste?
So, what is general waste, exactly? Well, general waste can be defined as all of the rubbish that you cannot recycle or put into your regular waste bin for pickup, such as electronic devices you are tossing out, any hazardous materials such as batteries or paint, and garden waste.
One of the most commonly seen general waste items is thin plastics that are not able to be recycled, such as sealable plastic bags, carrier bags, and plastic wrap. Along with this, typical general waste items include wrappers, various metal items such as non-stick metal pans, and food.
Reducing General Waste
General waste is the stuff that goes into the already-heaping landfills. Thus, it is a smart idea for you to avoid putting any materials that can be recycled, composted, or reused by you into your general waste bin.
For example, if you use carrier bags when you go grocery shopping, you should make a point to reuse them as much as possible for various things prior to tossing them out. However, it is a smart move to simply purchase a reusable cloth bag and use it for grocery shopping instead of carrier bags, which are very wasteful.
Also, by making sure that you recycle all that is possible, including your electronics and appliances, you can help do your part in reducing the waste that ends up in the landfills. The same goes for properly disposing of organic materials.
Compost Your Organic Waste
There are various locations where compostable waste can be dropped off, so you should do a search for your specific area to see where this can be done.
There is also a very helpful site that you can use that will help you connect with other residents in your area who are searching for compost for use in their gardens. Thus, you can easily find a home for your compostable materials.
You can also use the materials yourself to make a fertile compost to improve the health of your garden, if you have one at your residence. Even if you do not have your own garden, you can easily spread any compostable materials you have on your grassy lawn or around trees and other plants.
So, set aside all of those organic materials such as coffee grounds, egg shells, and pieces of vegetables and fruits, and make them into a helpful compost. Not only will this reduce landfill waste, but it will benefit some plants as well.
Recycle Appliances and Electronics
One way you can greatly reduce the space taken up by waste in landfills is by properly disposing of appliances and electronics, particularly larger ones such as huge wide-screen televisions and refrigerators, washing machines, and ovens.
If you find that you are consistently tossing out electronics, you can consider obtaining a WEEE bin for your residence for a small fee. It will be emptied monthly by the waste collection service you hire.
Electronics and appliances should be disposed of properly due to environmental concerns that they pose, but they should also be recycled because they are filled with a lot of recyclable materials. Thus, it would be quite wasteful to simply throw these items into a landfill.
There are various private waste collection companies that can take care of properly disposing of items such as these, and you can hire them for an affordable price.
For example, even to dispose of a large appliance such as a refrigerator will only run you around £20, and it is much easier to hire a company to take care of getting rid of a heavy appliance than it is to relocate it yourself.
No matter how you decide to dispose of your old electronics and appliances, it will help keep landfills less encumbered if you recycle them.
As the human population increases exponentially, so will the waste we produce. This is precisely why knowing what is and is not general waste is so important.
If everybody does their part to reduce the general waste they produce, then we can greatly reduce the amount of material that ends up in our landfills.