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What is solid waste?

Solid waste is a collective term used to distinguish non-biodegradable materials and discards that come
from sources like:
Businesses and Commercial establishments
Manufacturers or Industrial sites
Biomedical sources like hospital and clinics.
They are the trash collected by the municipal waste management units for segregation according to the process
of disposal.

Solid wastes are generally composed of nonbiodegradable and non-compostable biodegradable materials. The
latter refer to solid wastes whose biodeterioration is not complete; in the sense that the enzymes of microbial
communities that feed on its residues cannot cause its disappearance or conversion into another compound.

Parts of liquid waste materials are also considered as solid wastes, where the dredging of liquid wastes will
leave solid sedimentation, to which proper waste management techniques should also be applied.

In Simple Words - Solid wastes are any discarded or abandoned materials. Solid wastes can be
solid, liquid, semi-solid or containerized gaseous material.

Example of solid waste

waste tires
scrap metal
latex paints
furniture and toys
appliances and vehicles
oil and anti-freeze
empty aerosol cans, paint cans and compressed gas cylinders
construction and demolition debris, asbestos

Causes of Water Pollution

Sewage from domestic households, factories and commercial buildings Sewage that is
treated in water treatment plants is often disposed into the sea. Sewage can be more
problematic when people flush chemicals and pharmaceutical substances down the toilet.
Dumping solid wastes and littering by humans in rivers, lakes and oceans. Littering
items include cardboard, Styrofoam, aluminum, plastic and glass.
Industrial waste from factories, which use freshwater to carry waste from the plant
into rivers, contaminates waters with pollutants such as asbestos, lead, mercury and
Burning fossil fuels into the air causes the formation of acidic particles in the
atmosphere. When these particles mix with water vapor, the result is acid rain.

Effects of solid waste in Water

Groundwater contamination from pesticides causes reproductive damage within
wildlife in ecosystems.
Sewage, fertilizer, and agricultural run-off contain organic materials that when
discharged into waters, increase the growth of algae, which causes the depletion of
oxygen. The low oxygen levels are not able to support most indigenous organisms in
the area and therefore upset the natural ecological balance in rivers and lakes.
Human-produced litter of items such as plastic bags and 6-pack rings can get aquatic animals
caught and killed from suffocation

Impacts of solid waste on health

The group at risk from the unscientific disposal of solid waste include the population in areas where
there is no proper waste disposal method, especially the pre-school children; waste workers; and
workers in facilities producing toxic and infectious material. Other high-risk group include population
living close to a waste dump and those, whose water supply has become contaminated either due to
waste dumping or leakage from landfill sites. Uncollected solid waste also increases risk of injury, and

Ecosystem and food chain is upset ,Caused by water pollution ,Mercury accumulates in the tissues of
animals up the food chain until it reaches toxic levels in large fish such as tuna and swordfish Roots of
vegetation is poisoned and plants are killed by methane production

The impacts of waste dumping on aquatic life are as

1. The toxic wastes reaching the water bodies badly disturb the aquatic life.

2. The sewage of cities is often drained into the rivers, which is dangerous to
flora, fauna and human life.
3. Due to heavy accumulation of wastes into the canals, lakes and rivers, oxygen
concentration is reduced considerably thus affecting the life of fishes and other
aquatic populations. In extreme deficiency of oxygen most of the fishes die.

4. Sewage from municipalities, sanatoria and tanneries discharged into the

rivers, canals and lakes etc. carry many species of bacteria and other microbes
which cause diseases in human and animals.

5. Some pollutants for example heavy metals, cyanides and several other
organic and inorganic compounds are harmful to aquatic organisms. Many of
them especially non-biodegradable ones accumulate in the body of organisms
and cause long-term effects.

6. Biodiversity decreases in highly polluted aquatic habitats.

7. The DDT and other pesticides present in very low concentrations in water
may accumulate to higher concentration within algae, insects and fishes. The
birds or people that feed on these fishes are then exposed to very high levels of
hazardous substances. In birds, these substances can affect the egg production
and bone formation.

Current technology
Solid Waste Management - Overview of Singapore's Waste Management System, Supply chain
for effective Waste Management, Challenges & issues in India, Waste Collection, transfer and
transport, Waste Minimisation & (3Rs) reduce, recycling & reuse, Waste-to-Energy
(Incineration), Waste Disposal (various options) and Project Delivery options.


Colloidal suspensions of fine solids may be removed by filtration through fine physical barriers
distinguished from coarser screens or sieves by the ability to remove particles smaller than the
openings through which the water passes.


Solids and non-polar liquids may be removed from wastewater

by gravity when density differences are sufficient to overcome dispersion by turbulence. Gravity
separation of solids is the primary treatment of sewage, where the unit process is called "primary
settling tanks" or "primary sedimentation tanks". It is also widely used for the treatment of other
wastewaters. Solids that are heavier than water will accumulate at the bottom of
quiescent settling basins. More complex clarifiers also have skimmers to simultaneously remove
floating grease like soap scum and solids like feathers or wood chips. Containers like the API oil-
water separator are specifically designed to separate non-polar liquids.