Kid's Corner


Q. What is waste management?

Waste management is the collection, transportation and disposal of waste materials.

Q. What are the rules and regulations guiding waste management in India?

Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 2000 regulate the management and handling of the municipal solid wastes and are applicable to every municipal authority responsible for collection, segregation, storage, transportation, processing and disposal of municipal solid wastes

Bio-Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998 regulate the management and handling of bio-medical waste and are applicable to all persons who generate, collect, receive, store, transport, treat, dispose, or handle bio medical waste in any form.

E-Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2010 regulate the management and handling of electrical and electronic waste and is applicable to every producer, consumer involved in manufacture, sale, and purchase and processing of these equipments or its components.

Q.What are the common methods of waste disposal?

The commonly practiced technologies for SWM can be grouped under three major categories, i.e., bio-processing, thermal processing and sanitary landfill. The bio-processing method includes aerobic and anaerobic composting. Thermal methods are incineration and pyrolysis. Sanitary landfill is generally used to dispose off the final rejects coming out of the biological and thermal waste processing units.

Q. What is aerobic composting?

Aerobic composting is the creation of fertilizing compost using bacteria that thrive in an oxygen-rich environment. Aerobic composting is considered the fastest method of composting, but involves more work interms of rotating the organic material periodically.


Q. What is anaerobic composting?

Anaerobic composting is the creation of fertilising compost using bacteria that cannot thrive in the presence of oxygen. Anaerobic composting is known to work slowly, but also requires lesser work.


Q. What is incineration?

Incineration is a waste treatment process that involves the combustion of organic substances contained in waste materials. Incineration of waste materials converts the waste into ash, flue gas, and heat. In some cases, the heat generated by incineration can be used to generate electric power.


Q. What is a sanitary landfill?

A sanitary landfill is a low-lying area that is filled with waste rejects. It has a liner at the bottom to prevent the groundwater from contaminating with the mix of the liquid that oozes from the waste that is buried called the leachate. Waste is buried in-between layers of soil and is compacted nicely to make it a hard surface. When the landfill is completed, it is capped with a layer of clay or a synthetic liner in order to prevent water from entering. A final topsoil cover is placed, compacted and graded, and various forms of vegetation may be planted in order to reclaim the otherwise useless land.


Q. How do I practice waste management at home?

• Keep separate containers for dry and wet waste in the kitchen. • Keep two bags for dry waste collection- paper and plastic, for the rest of the household waste. • Keep plastic from the kitchen clean and dry and drop into the dry waste bin. Keep glass /plastic containers rinsed of food matter. • Keep a paper bag for throwing sanitary waste.


Q. What are the first few steps to initiate a waste management programme in your apartment complex?

• Form a group with like-minded people. • Explain waste segregation to your family / neighbours in your apartment building. • Get the staff in the apartment building to also understand its importance. • Get separate storage drums for storing dry and wet waste. • Have the dry waste picked up by the dry waste collection centre or your local scrap dealer.


Q.What are the different types of waste?

Wet waste

Wet waste consists of kitchen waste - including vegetable and fruit peels and pieces, tea leaves, coffee grounds, eggshells, bones and entrails, fish scales, as well as cooked food (both veg and non-veg).


Dry Waste

Paper, plastics, metal, glass, rubber, thermocol, styrofoam, fabric, leather, rexine, wood – anything that can be kept for an extended period without decomposing is classified as dry waste.


Hazardous waste

Household hazardous waste or HHW include three sub-categories – E-waste; toxic substances such as paints, cleaning agents, solvents, insecticides and their containers, other chemicals; and biomedical waste.



E-waste or electronic waste consists of batteries, computer parts, wires, electrical equipment of any kind, electrical and electronic toys, remotes, watches, cell phones, bulbs, tube lights and CFLs.


Biomedical waste

This includes used menstrual cloth, sanitary napkins, disposable diapers, bandages and any material that is contaminated with blood or other body fluids.


Q.What are ways of storing the waste at homes?

Dry waste

Store it in a bag in the utility area after cleaning and drying till it is picked up. No food residue must be left in the bottles and packets. Clean them as you would to reuse them. If clothes are totally unusable, or very damaged, they are categorized as dry waste. If clothes are soiled with body fluids, they become sanitary waste. If they are soiled with paint, or any chemicals, they are HHW (household hazardous waste).



Store them in separate container which is kept closed, away from moisture and in which nothing else is put.


Q. How do I dispose my waste?

Compost your wet waste at home

Home composting can easily be done in any aerated container. Get more details on composting and begin composting today!


Compost your wet waste at the community level

If you live in a large apartment building, a community composting system like tank composting could be set up for all the wet waste from the residents. If not, the wet waste can be given out every day to your Municipality collection system.

Biomedical waste

Biomedical waste has to be wrapped separately in a newspaper and handed over to the municipality waste collection system. Expired medicines and injections, used syringes also have to be disposed in the same manner.
Paint and other hazardous waste like cosmetics, mosquito repellents, tube lights etc have to be stored separately and handed over to the Municipal collection system.


Q. How do I manage my garden waste?

You can compost your garden waste. There are several decentralized, easy to use methods available for composting garden waste. Here is a step-by-step guide to treat garden waste.

Incineration/Energy Recovery Facilities

What is an incinerator?

An incinerator is facility in which the burning of wastes takes place. Sometimes the heat created from the burning of waste can be used to boil water and create steam to run generators, which in turn generates energy for nearby industries.

What is burned in an incinerator?

All incinerators are required to be permitted by the state of Mississippi. Some facilities are permitted to burn municipal and industrial solid waste which generally includes household garbage, corrugated, and office paper, and plastics. Other incinerators may be permitted to burn medical wastes, hazardous wastes, and/or chipped scrap tires.

Is an incinerator good for the environment?

Incinerators can be good for the environment simply because they greatly reduce the volume of materials that go to the landfills. In some cases, incinerators are permitted to burn hazardous wastes which would otherwise be buried in the ground in a hazardous waste landfill.

How does an incinerator work?

Waste material is brought to the incinerator facility where it is loaded into one of several burn chambers. The waste is burned for several hours until it is reduced to ashes and molten metal. The remaining ash is then transported to a landfill for final disposal.

How can an incinerator help reduce pollution?

Incinerators are permitted to emit certain air pollutants within a range that is not harmful to human health and the environment. The incinerator must be designed with appropriate pollution control equipment that removes small particles from the emissions prior to the discharge into the atmosphere. In burning the waste, an incinerator reduces the volume of waste material going to the landfill by 80 to 90%.

Are incinerators hazardous to plants, animals, and people?

When operated as permitted, incinerators should not be hazardous to plants, animals and people.

Why do we need to burn garbage in incinerators?

Incinerators are one of several options for disposal of solid and hazardous waste. Local planners and government leaders determine which is the most economical measures for disposing of solid and hazardous waste. Depending on the location and amount of waste, an incinerator could be an economical way of disposing of waste.

How many incinerators are there in Mississippi?

There are numerous incinerators across the state that are permitted to burn specific materials. Some of these include incinerators at hospitals which burn medical waste and incinerators at grocery stores which burn corrugated waste.

How do they build an incinerator so it doesn’t harm the environment?

Incinerators are designed by engineers to meet certain air emission standards and to limit pollution that could be harmful to human health and the environment.

Household Hazardous Waste

What are household hazardous wastes?

Household hazardous wastes are wastes that can be found around the home that are 1) flammable – burns easily, 2) toxic – poisonous or capable of causing acute illness, 3) corrosive – eats through other materials, and 4) reactive – capable of exploding if exposed to heat, air, water or shock.

Why do we produce household hazardous waste?

Household hazardous waste is produced from products we use around the house such as oven cleaners, drain openers, yard chemicals, paint/stains, and paint removers/thinners.

Can we use things that are less hazardous around the house?

There are numerous natural and non-toxic products that can be used around the house in place of the usual hazardous cleaning products. These include baking soda, vinegar and numerous other products. Contact MDEQ’s Recycling and Solid Waste Reduction Program at 601/961-5171 for a list of alternative natural household cleaning products. Visit our website at

Can household waste be disposed of safely?

Household cleaners should be completely used if at all possible to reduce the amount for disposal. Take leftover chemicals to a household hazardous waste collection event if one is conducted in your area.

Q. It says I cannot put batteries or electrical waste into the landfill bins – what should I do with them instead?

A. Some academic buildings have a container for storing waste batteries – give your used batteries to porters as they will have access to the containers. Electrical waste is a little different. All of our computer waste is recycled by Second Byte IT. All other electrical waste should be given to porters or Environmental Coordinators who will know where the nearest electrical waste station is.

Q. What happens if the wrong waste gets put into a recycling container?

A. Our contractors can reject bags for recycling if the wrong types of waste are put into them. Rejected bags are sent to landfill. Please help the success of the scheme by recycling into the correct containers.

Q. Will I be able to recycle the same materials as I do in my domestic recycling scheme?

A. Unfortunately this is impossible because all of the local authority areas have slightly different systems for recycling. The University scheme is also slightly different in terms of the types of waste that can be recycled.

Q. Will senior staff be covered by the same recycling system?

A. Senior staff have all committed to segregating their waste in the same way as all other staff and will no longer have personal bins that will be emptied in their offices.

Q. What will I be able to recycle in future phases of recycling?

A. We are planning to phase in recycling of domestic and some lab glass within the next year and are aiming to compost what we can eventually too.

Q. Why are cleaners no longer emptying bins?

A. In a similar scheme at Leeds University, trials found that recycling rates increased when people no longer had their bins emptied by cleaners. The time the cleaners will save on emptying bins will go into more thorough cleaning of buildings.

Q. I’ve seen Shanks truck empty the cardboard and general waste into the same wagon? Why are we separating the waste if it seems it isn’t actually recycled?

A. Cardboard is taken by our waste contractor Shanks and sometimes at the same time as the general waste. When the truck arrives at the municipal waste site the cardboard is then extracted by a grabbing device and will be recycled.