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Waste sorting is the process by which waste is separated into different elements. Waste sorting can occur manually at the household and collected through curbside collection schemes, or automatically separated in materials recovery facilities or mechanical biological treatment systems.
Waste can also be sorted in a civic amenity site.
Waste segregation means dividing waste into dry and wet. Dry waste includes wood and related products, metals and glass. Wet waste, typically refers to organic waste usually generated by eating establishments and are heavy in weight due to dampness. Waste can also be segregated on basis of biodegradable or non-biodegradable waste.
Landfills are an increasingly pressing problem. Less and less land is available to deposit refuse, but the volume of waste is growing all time. As a result, segregating waste is not just of environmental importance, but of economic concern, too.
The most rational way to cope with all this is to collect it at its source in each area and to separate it immediately where possible. The way that waste is sorted must reflect local disposal systems. The following categories are common:
- Cardboard (including packaging for return to suppliers)
- Glass (clear, tinted – no light bulbs or window panes, which belong with residual waste)
- Scrap metal
- Special/hazardous waste
- Residual waste
Many organisations have begun to return packaging to suppliers. If cardboard is always sent back, hostel waste could be reduced by about 20%.
Organic waste should also be segregated for disposal. The following categories are recommended:
- Leftover food which has had any contact with meat should be collected separately to prevent the spread of bacteria.
- Meat and bone should be retrieved by bodies responsible for animal waste
- If other leftovers are sent, for example, to local farmers, they should be sterilised before being fed to the animals
- Peel and scrapings from fruit and vegetables can be composted along with other degradable matter. Other waste can be included for composting, too, such as cut flowers, corks, coffee grindings, rotting fruit, tea bags, egg- and nutshells, paper towels etc.
Chip pan oil, used fat, vegetable oil and the content of fat filters should be collected by companies able to re-use them. Local authority waste departments can provide relevant addresses. This can be achieved by providing bins in communal areas for segregated waste. It is important to involve your guests in your recycling policy. It is important to make sure that recycling information for your customers is prominently displayed or included in a welcome pack, with clear instructions about what you would like them to do.
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- Automated Vacuum Collection
- Curbside collection
- Material recovery facility
- Mechanical biological treatment
- Waste collection
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