What Is Solid Waste Management And How To Address It?

info-graphic different colors waste hierarchy

Solid waste management is a big term, covers a large area of environmental science, used to refer to the processing and disposal of solid waste. It also offers solutions for the disposal of things that do not belong to refuse or litter. Waste management is all about how solid waste can be modified and used as a valuable resource. There is a number of ways for solid waste management that are discussed below with the principles.

four garbage bins red yellow blue green recycling

What are the Principles of Solid Waste Management?

The population is growing day by day and placing stress on waste management practices. As a result, the need to effectively handle disposal flows has never been more significant.
Solid Waste management practices can be actively addressed through the proper channel of planning by following means:

  • Reduce the number of components needed for the construction.
  • Reduce the quantity of waste produced.
  • Improve waste management at Construction and destruction.
  • Plan the provision of recycled space/facilities.
  • Apply waste hierarchy, which is the approach for achieving reductions in waste arising. It is the main follow up method, described below in detail.

What is the waste hierarchy?


The waste hierarchy sets out a framework in which waste management options are prioritized in order to allow the correct choice to be made when assessing how to deal with waste. In the hierarchy shown, the prevention of waste is the most environmentally friendly and the disposal of waste is the least. The hierarchy applies to all waste streams, not only those directly affected.

1. Waste prevention

By stopping pollution before it happens, the cost of storage, therapy or disposal of garbage can be avoided. It can also decrease the environmental impact and the cost of extracting, producing and using more raw materials. This is more crucial when considering the real expenses of landfills.
The real price of the landfill is not only the price of disposal but also the price of purchase of materials which includes purchasing cost, processing and handling cost, time for management and lost revenue.

Preventing waste has never been more important specially after China Plastic ban.

2. Materials Reuse

The next option is to reuse products and equipment. Before the material can be recycled, it should be evaluated for its value as it may be essential to create minor modifications before the product can meet the required standard. This may include, for instance, the retention of surplus resources for one building task to be used for the next task or project.

The awareness of using re-usable products has increased recently. More people are now using Beeswax Wraps as an alternative to plastic wraps and benefit from re-washing it and keep using it again and again, besides being able to keep the food fresh for longer.

Beeswrap.com claims that it keeps food fresh in the freezer for 2-3 weeks. No doubt that keeping your food fresh for longer also helps the environment and saves it from wasting and leftovers away.

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Read more 13 Reasons Why Plastic is bad & 4 product ideas that can replace plastic.

3. Recycling and Composting

Recycling includes collecting, separating and handling waste and use them for either production of fresh journals or for environmentally friendly house insulation. Composting is the same method but with organic waste, e.g. food waste composted to produce fresh fertilizer products.

Recycling and composting procedures generally involve a certain amount of energy to operate well. However, the energy and price of alternately making fresh products from scratch are generally much higher. The financial viability of recycling / composting relies on variables such as the performance of the waste stream, the travel ranges engaged and the market price of recycled materials, which may fluctuate considerably. The objective should be to recycle construction waste as near to its origin as possible.

3. Energy Recovery

Energy from waste incineration recovers a percentage of energy from landfill streams; however, it is generally much less than recycling/composting, reusing or decreasing landfill produced in the first instance.

4. Landfill Disposal

Disposal is the last choice in the waste hierarchy and therefore the objective is to divert disposal of waste from this end destination. The transport of scrap may have important effects on the environment. Plus the extra costs it causes. The concept of closeness, therefore, promotes the handling, recycling, re-use or storage of materials as close to the stage of manufacturing as possible.

Read more about plastic pollution facts in 2020.


Solid waste management is a safer and more environmentally friendly approach if the number of landfills construction reduced, and their longevity increased so as not to continue using resourceful land for the disposal of waste. It is, therefore, the requirement of time, to divert waste from landfills and focus on waste reuse, recycle and reduction.

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