General waste is any waste that’s free of apparent contamination or hazards. For a waste to be considered “general waste,” it must be free of:
- Infectious/ pathological waste
- Radioactive items
- Hazardous chemicals
In most cases, hazardous wastes become “general waste” after decontamination.
General waste is disposable in regular or general trash bins. They’re things that are non-recyclable and usually end up in landfills. When disposing of your rubbish, it’s essential to separate it to recycle what’s recyclable and properly dispose of non-recyclable items. There are better disposal options for general waste, and sending it to landfill should be the last option to someone who cares about environmental safety.
Types of general waste
The following are the types of general waste:
- Metals: Most metallic items aren’t easily recyclable and are thus classified as general waste. They include pans, pots and hole punches.
- Glass: Glass products such as window panes and glasses can be placed in general waste bins.
- Ceramics: They include mugs, ornaments and crockery.
- Plastics: Some plastic items are non-recyclable; thus, they should be disposed of separately in general waste bins. Check out our guide on how to dispose of recyclable plastics.
- Wallpaper: Wall coverings and wallpaper are typically classified as general waste.
- Cleaning products: All non-hazardous cleaning materials such as wet pipes can be placed in a general waste collection. They also include items like cleaning cloths and paper towels.
- Packaging materials: They include items like padded envelopes, wrapping papers, jiffy bags and bubble wrap.
- Snack wrappers: Chocolate bar wrappers, foils, and sweet packets can be placed in general waste bins.
- Vacuum dust: Bagged vacuum dust is classified under general waste.
General waste disposal guide
Recycling is the best disposal option for general waste. Ensure that most of the general waste generated at your household is recycled, and only a small amount goes to landfill.
Follow the following guidelines to dispose of your general waste safely if you’re removing it from your business premises:
Step1. Segregate your waste into streams. Offensive waste, hazardous clinical waste, recyclables and general wastes should be disposed of separately.
Step2. Ensure you’ve provided the staff that is segregating the waste with safety guidance and PPEs such as disposable aprons and gloves.
Step3. Place each type of waste into the appropriate coloured waste bag.
Step4. Don’t mix hazardous waste from general waste. Put the latter into black bags.
Step5. Keep the bags containing hazardous waste safely free from the public.
Step6. Hand over the general waste to the appropriate garbage collectors.
It’s essential to dispose of general waste correctly despite its harmlessness. Always keep it in black plastic bags and place it in skips or wheeled bins to await collection. Don’t overfill the general waste containers.
Do you have general waste dispose of? The above guidelines will help you get rid of it safely. As you dispose of the waste, kindly note that the law prohibits the disposal of any hazardous waste in general waste bins. Hazardous wastes should be disposed of separately and in the right containers.