Waste Segregation: All you need to Know

Waste segregation at source can reduce up to 250 tonnes of dump from entering into landfills.

Waste segregation can be defined as the process of identifying, classifying,dividing and sorting of garbage and waste products in an effort to reduce, reuse and recycle materials.

In order to segregate waste appropriately, it is important to correctly identify the type waste that is generated. For the purposes of waste segregation at source, waste is identified and classified into the following categories depending on their biological, physical and chemical properties:

  • Dry Waste – Refers to all items that are not considered wet/soiled items. This includes both recyclable and non-recyclable materials. Dry waste includes items such as bottles, cans, clothing, plastic, wood, glass, metals and paper.
  • Wet Waste – Refers to all items that are organic like food items, soiled food wrappers, hygiene products, yard waste, tissues and paper towels, as well as any other soiled item that would contaminate the recyclables.
  • Sanitary Waste – Refers to all liquid or solid waste originating solely from humans and human activities. (Can also include items from medical waste)
  • Hazardous Household Waste – Refers to all household products that contain corrosive, toxic, ignitable, or reactive ingredients, other than used oil.
  • E-Waste – Refers to all kinds of electronic waste.
  • Hazardous Waste – Refers to all items, products and by-products that contain corrosive, toxic, ignitable or reactive ingredients.
  • Inert Waste – Refers to waste items that are neither chemically or biologically reactive nor decompose easily.

Significance of Waste Segregation

Waste segregation is critical because of the fact that certain types of wastes can be hazardous and can contaminate the environment if not managed correctly. (Some of these types of waste may also have the potential to cause disease or get into water supplies or contaminate the land with different types of leachates.)

When waste is unsegregated, it may get contaminated with different types of waste being stored together. Such waste cannot be treated or managed and most of the time end up being dumped into local dump yards or landfills. With waste segregation, management of different types of wastes becomes possible. This directly results in reduced amounts of waste being dumped at dump yards or landfills.

Waste Segregation is always step one for all types of waste management solutions that may be implemented either on individual level or community level.

Color Codes for Bins

For ease of waste segregation, the disposal bins are color coded.

Type of WasteColor of Bin
Wet WasteGreen
Dry WasteBlue
Sanitary WasteRed
E-WasteBlack or Grey
Hazardous WasteBlack

Placement of Bins for Waste Segregation at Source

The best way to segregate waste is to segregate it at source. To enable this, it is always recommended to place the right type of bin in the respective area.

AreasWet WasteDry WasteSanitary WasteE-WasteHazardous Waste
Living Room
Dinning Room
Common Areas
Collection Area

List of items and the category to segregate them by

Here is a list of waste items that have been generated by almost everyone at one point or the other.

Waste ItemWaste Category
Vegetable PeelsWet Waste
Fruit PeelsWet Waste
Rotten VegetablesWet Waste
Rotten FruitsWet Waste
Left over foodWet Waste
Mango SeedsWet Waste
Used Tea BagsWet Waste
Used Coffee Powder from FilterWet Waste
Egg ShellsWet Waste
Rotten EggsWet Waste
Coconut ShellsWet Waste
Tender Coconut ShellsWet Waste
Used Leaves & Flowers
from Puja
Wet Waste
Spoiled SpicesWet Waste
Floor Sweeping DustWet Waste
Meat & Non-Veg Food RemainsWet Waste
BonesWet Waste
Mop StickDry Waste
Used Mop ClothDry Waste
Toilet Cleaning BrushDry Waste
Brush & Scrubs used for CleaningDry Waste
Used & Dirty Floor MatsDry Waste
Bottles & Container of PesticidesDry Waste
Mosquito Repellent Refill BottlesHazardous Household Waste
Mosquito Repellent MatsHazardous Household Waste
Used OdonilHazardous Household Waste
Used Sanitary PadsSanitary Waste
Used Sanitary ClothsSanitary Waste
Used CondomsSanitary Waste
Used Syringes'Sanitary Waste
Used Cotton & BandageSanitary Waste
Used Tooth BrushDry Waste
Soap CoversDry Waste
Chocolate WrappersDry Waste
Butter Paper (Wrapping for Butter)Dry Waste
Milk CoversDry Waste
Ghee/Oil PacketsDry Waste
Batter PacketsDry Waste
Oil CansDry Waste
Food PackagingsWet Waste
Expired Food PackagesDry Waste
Expired MedicinesHazardous Household Waste
Tablets CoversHazardous Household Waste
Medicine Syrup BottleHazardous Household Waste
Injection BottlesHazardous Household Waste
Other Medicinal DiscardsHazardous Household Waste
Finger or Toe NailsWet Waste
Any piece of cloth, paper
stained with blood or
any other medical or
sanitary waste
Sanitary Waste
NewspaperDry Waste
Used Paper PiecesDry Waste
Old PostsDry Waste
Broken Stationary
(Pen, Pencil,Eraser)
Dry Waste
Used RazorDry Waste
Used Razor BladesDry Waste
Empty Shampoo
Dry Waste
Empty Perfume
Dry Waste
HairWet Waste
Left Over Pet
Wet Waste
ThermocolDry Waste
CFL, Tube LightHazardous Household Waste
Printer CartridgesE-Waste
Broken Watch ElectronicsE-Waste
Hazardous Household Waste
DiapersSanitary Waste
Empty Bottles of
Floor & Toilet
Hazardous Household Waste
Button CellsE-Waste
Broken GlassDry Waste
Broken Household
Plastic Items
Dry Waste
Aluminium CansDry Waste
Used Pieces of
Aluminium Foils
Dry Waste
Old BroomsDry Waste
Garden LeavesWet Waste
WeedsWet Waste
Dried FlowersWet Waste
Tissue PaperDry Waste
Tissue Paper
(used for Medical or Sanitary Purposes)
Sanitary Waste
Used Cooking OilHazardous Household Waste
Thermocol Balls
from Bean Bags
Dry Waste
Small Broken ToysDry Waste
Bottles or Cans of Mosquito SpraysHazardous Household Waste
Used bottles, tubes, cans of shaving creamDry Waste
FlouroscentsHazardous Household Waste
Button CellsHazardous Household Waste
Old PaintsHazardous Household Waste
Used OilsWet Waste
LeatherDry Waste
RexineDry Waste
FurnitureDry Waste
Bottles or Cans of Insecticide SpraysHazardous Household Waste
Bottles or Cans of Room FreshnersHazardous Household Waste
Used bottles, tubes, cans of DeodrantDry Waste
Used bottles, tubes, cans of Creams, etcDry Waste
Broken/Damaged Computer PeripheralsE-Waste
Broken/Damaged RadiosE-Waste

Government Directives on Waste Segregation

Several government departments, pollution control boards and the National Green Tribunal have made Waste Segregation at Source Mandatory across the country in efforts to promote decentralized waste management.

Waste Segregation: All you need to Know
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Waste Segregation: All you need to Know
Waste segregation at source is mandatory as it can reduce up to 250 metric tonnes of dump from entering into dumpyards or landfills.
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Team GreenSutra®
Team GreenSutra®

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