What Is Household Waste?

Household waste is made up of everyday items. Some seemingly innocuous items are classified as hazardous. It's important to know how to properly dispose of hazardous items safely.


What Is Household Waste?

There are two types of household waste. Nonhazardous waste is made up of food, packaging, furniture and yard clippings. Hazardous waste includes such things as electronics, compact fluorescent bulbs, paints, batteries, pesticides, oils and some cleaners.


Nonhazardous waste can be disposed of in a variety of ways. Some waste can be recycled. Food and yard waste can be composted. Some waste can be incinerated for energy. Some jurisdictions landfill their waste.


Hazardous waste must be disposed of according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidelines. In most states, you can bring these items to special receiving centers for proper disposal. Check with your jurisdiction's Department of Environment or Natural Resources for details.


Some jurisdictions have moved to or are considering a pay-as-you-throw system for managing their solid waste programs. This system encourages recycling by charging customers for either the weight of the trash bin or the number of bags in the bin.

Fun Fact

Residential or household waste makes up 65 percent of the municipal waste stream according to the EPA.