Waste management refers to a group of activities that includes collection of waste generated as a result of various human activities, transportation of the collected wastes to dumps, and disposal or reprocessing of this waste in the appropriate manner. Waste management is resorted to undermine its effects on the health of the general public as well for the purpose of aesthetics. The waste may be solid, liquid, gaseous or radioactive and may be hazardous or non-hazardous.
There are different Waste Management Group practices in different parts of the world. Whereas most of the waste management activities are the responsibility of the local government body, in view of the excessive commercial wastes that are being generated in the world today, handling management of large amounts of industrial and commercial wastes is the responsibility of the entity generating the waste.
Domestic waste collection is usually handled by the civic authorities and in some cases there is participation by private companies or voluntary agencies. The actual methods of rubbish removal vary from place to place. Many places in Europe use underground vacuum suction systems in which wastes are removed through conduits. Many countries have resorted to curb side collection of wastes. The wastes are deposited into bins or skip bin hire on curb sides and organized appropriately as recyclable, organic, hazardous, etc. These are collected with the help of garbage collection trucks according to pre-specified schedules on a regular basis. Thereafter, the bins are transported to landfills for the purpose of disposal.
Alternately waste can be dumped in specified civic amenity sites by the residents themselves free of charge. However, proof that they are residing in the area may need to be provided. Some countries/cities even charge residents/organizations/other entities according to the amount of waste that they generate individually.
Private entrepreneurs and companies also offer junk removal services for homes and offices. Appliances such as used refrigerators, mixers, television sets, etc., bulky items, and office equipment including non-functional computers, copiers, furniture, printers, etc., are removed by junk hauling services. Some of these companies also offer garbage/ leaf removal facilities from areas in the cities/villages.
The garbage skips/bins can be hired or purchased. Some city councils provide households with bins for the purpose of collecting waste. The skips/bins are sometimes fitted with wheels to make them easier to handle. They come in different capacities. Some bins/skips can be secured with chains or bars to prevent theft. Walk-in bins are used when large amounts of waste need to be held.
Different types of bins are used for different wastes such as construction wastes, hazardous wastes, electrical items, electronic wastes and clinical and other wastes that need to be quarantined. These skips/bins are made of fibre reinforced plastics or other environmentally friendly materials.
Trash trucks, dustbin lorries, etc., are used in most urban areas for the purpose of collection of wastes. The trucks can be loaded from the front, rear or sides. Some trucks are equipped with forks operated through levers and help to load the wastes. Grapple trucks are used for the collection of bulky waste items. The bins are loaded on to the forks which are then tipped to empty them into the lorry container. Three-wheeled wagons and dustcarts are used when the amount of rubbish to be removed is less. Underground wastes are sucked into trucks that are fitted with pneumatic systems.
Most of the waste management within a country is nationally regulated. However, movement of wastes across boundaries is a complex affair and has to satisfy several conditions and treaties.