Industrial and Hazardous Waste: A Classification Overview

Believing in the fact that it is possible to reprocess, recycle or dispose properly all types of wastes, governments and different environmental groups have tried their best to analyze and classify the waste generated. However, it becomes an issue when proper classifications are not followed. This leaves different types of wastes unregulated, making it unrecyclable. Eventually, these fill the landfills, resulting in different types of ecological and health problems.

Some of the most unregulated and uncategorized wastes are industrial and hazardous waste. Even though a proper classification has already been done, different industrial groups and homeowners still fail to ensure proper segregation of these waste types.

Labels, Placards and Marking for Industrial and Hazardous Waste by LabelMaster for better understanding of types of waste and its class.

To ensure that you have complete knowledge about where to put what, it is better to check the various classifications of these two waste types.

Classification of Industrial Waste

This category of waste denotes anything that is produced by different types of industrial activity. Including different types of materials that are discarded during the manufacturing and production process, this type of waste is generated in mines, factories, plants, and mills.

Broadly, industrial waste can be classified into the following heads:

Chemical waste: This type of industrial waste is generated from different factories, plants, and processing centers. Comprising of different chemicals and their residues, these need to be disposed off in a careful manner. Generally, this type of waste is governed by different environmental organizations and government groups. This helps in the proper regulation of this waste type.

Industrial solid waste: This waste type constitutes various types of packaging material, discarded cardboard boxes and other related things. Ideally, these materials should be going to a recycling center as these can be recycled to make various alternate things. However, these generally reach the landfill as they get mixed with other types of industrial waste. Therefore, when the recycling center gets the entire lot, it just rejects the items that are not recycled at their end.

Toxic waste: This waste type basically comprises of different types of materials that can cause death or birth defects in living beings. Apart from this, it can also contaminate the rivers, lakes, and other water bodies. Not being very different from various types of hazardous waste, these wastes should be handled with care. These waste materials are generally byproducts of various types of materials generated at factories, automotive garages, and hospitals. Special care should be taken for their disposal.

Classification of Hazardous Waste

Being a material that can harm human health as well as the environment, hazardous waste needs to be handled with care. However, more than 50% of the countries in the world do not follow the basic norms of handling hazardous waste as they do not know the proper classification of it.

Listed hazardous wastes: This type of waste has been specifically classified by different government organizations as hazardous. Materials are added into this classification every year after collating data from non-specific and specific sources. Strictly governed by different regulations and legislations, this waste type needs to be handled properly.

Characteristic hazardous wastes: Waste materials that exhibit characteristics like corrosiveness, ignitability, toxicity, and reactivity are generally classified under this waste type. Usually, materials are tested completely before being added to this category.

There are many businesses, which generate hazardous waste. Hospitals, automobile repair shops, garages, photo processing units and many similar places are the biggest generators of hazardous waste.

Both industrial and hazardous waste can be in any form. Due to their different types of emissions, their treatment and disposal procedure also needs to be different. However, a common mistake committed by several companies and industries is mixing all kinds of waste materials. When these materials reach a recycling center, it becomes impossible for them to process each and every waste product in them; and they usually discard the material that cannot be recycled at their end. Almost all the times, these discarded materials reach the landfills, which creates a huge problem for the surrounding area.

Proper segregation is required to ensure a better and efficient waste management program. Guidelines should be followed to ensure right classification of these waste types.