Ecology

What is industrial waste

In recent years there has been a significant increase in waste, due to anthropic activities, that is, the activities that people do in our day to day. The management of these wastes must be done properly, since an error in their management could cause serious problems in the environment and the functioning of ecosystems, since some of them are very dangerous. Furthermore, the increase in waste indirectly echoes the depletion of natural resources. In addition, there are different wastes depending on the industrial activity that produces them and they must be treated differently depending on their composition and danger.

What is industrial waste

The industrial waste , as the name suggests, are those from the processes of manufacturing , processing, use, cleaning, maintenance or consumption which are generated by industries.

These industrial wastes have no value , since in general their use is not possible, as a consequence of the high cost of the technologies or simply because there are no well-developed technologies to take advantage of them.

Examples of industrial waste

Now that you know what they are, here you can see a list of examples of industrial waste :

  • Used industrial oils
  • Contaminated rags
  • Solvents
  • Paints
  • Batteries
  • Contaminated plastics
  • Containers that have contained dangerous substances
  • Batteries
  • paints
  • Strippers
  • Arena
  • Glasses
  • Paper
  • Debris
  • Chemical materials
  • Corrosive products

Types of industrial waste

Waste can be classified according to its origin . In this article we are going to talk in detail about industrial waste, that is, those generated in the industrial sector, however, it is important to mention that there are more types of waste :

  • Urban or municipal
  • Agricultural and livestock
  • Forestry
  • Sanitary ware
  • Miners
  • Radioactive
  • Construction and demolition
  • Electrical and electronic

Classification of industrial waste

Within the group of industrial waste, these can be classified into three large blocks. This is the classification of industrial waste :

Inert waste

These are non-hazardous industrial wastes that do not need to be treated before final disposal and are generally not a threat to the environment or human health. When collected, they can sometimes be harnessed and used to fill in land. These would be rubble, concrete debris, tiles, bricks, or excavation products.

Urban waste or similar to urban

Among these are those generated by the different activities that populations have, in their office areas, industrial sectors and services. Among them are degradable organic matter and others such as cardboard, plastics, paper, among others.

Special or hazardous waste

They are those that pose a threat to human health and the environment, that is why they need a more specific treatment, although sometimes the technology to treat them is not available and they must be stored in well-closed containers.

As we have been saying throughout the article, industrial waste must be treated correctly, since many of it are highly dangerous. Therefore, several stages must be followed for proper management. However, we want to emphasize that before having to treat this waste, the most important thing to take care of our environment and the health of people, is that the number of waste must be reduced and that is possible thanks to a model of sustainable living. The stages of industrial waste management are as follows:

Generation of industrial waste

This stage is very important since it is when the waste is being generated, these must be classified and separated depending on their danger and physical-chemical characteristics. The aim is to avoid mixtures, so that later the treatment of the waste is easier.

Accumulation and storage of industrial waste

Waste is collected and stored separately, at the place of generation where leaks and spills are controlled, thus avoiding mixtures. For this stage, packaging forms that are compatible and resistant to residues must be used, in addition to being labeled with the date, the type of waste and a code for its monitoring. Very important is that once the containers are full, they are hermetically closed to avoid spillage, and transported to the storage place. Waste must meet various storage standards, since it cannot be stored for more than a certain time (it depends on the type of waste). The problem is that this is sometimes not fulfilled, as a consequence of the lack of infrastructure to treat them.

Transport of industrial waste

The transport of industrial waste must comply with the laws in force in each country and the vehicle must carry a technical data sheet of the waste, as well as the driver to have a license that allows him to transport them.

Treatment and final disposal

Treatment is carried out so that industrial waste harms the environment and human health as little as possible. For this, its physical, chemical and biological characteristics are changed. The treatments will depend on the type of industrial waste we have, hazardous industrial waste is not treated in the same way as non-hazardous industrial waste. Some examples of treatments are:

  • Physical-chemical
  • Biological
  • Thermal
  • Landfills
  • Recycling
  • Encapsulation

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