The sources of solid waste include residential, commercial, institutional, and industrial activities.
Certain types of wastes that cause immediate danger to exposed individuals or environments are classified as hazardous; these are discussed in the article hazardous-waste management.
New refuse incinerators were designed to recover heat energy from the waste and were provided with extensive air pollution control devices to satisfy stringent standards of air quality.
Modern solid-waste management plants in most developed countries now emphasize the practice of recycling and waste reduction at the source rather than incineration and land disposal.
Garbage is highly putrescible or decomposable, whereas rubbish is not.
Trash is rubbish that includes bulky items such as old refrigerators, couches, or large tree stumps. Construction and demolition (C&D) waste (or debris) is a significant component of total solid waste quantities (about 20 percent in the United States), although it is not considered to be part of the MSW stream.
Solid-waste characteristics vary considerably among communities and nations.
American refuse is usually lighter, for example, than European or Japanese refuse.
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