How do you identify wastes?

Classification of organic and inorganic waste

Therefore, in order to establish the criteria for classifying Special Management Waste and determine which wastes are subject to the Management Plan, SEMARNAT published NOM-161-SEMARNAT-2011.

This standard includes a list of such wastes, the procedure for inclusion or exclusion of a new waste to such list. It also includes procedures for the formulation of management plans.

Clogged drains represent an imminent risk of flooding during the rainy season; the accumulation of waste dragged by the water causes the obstruction of the drains, which is one of the main reasons for flooding every time there is a rainfall. In addition to remembering not to throw garbage in the streets.

Before the rainy season in Mexico, it is important to prevent flooding. Therefore, cleaning of drainage networks and clearing of sewers and canals in the city so that they are free of garbage, dirt and debris must be carried out so that rainwater can flow properly.

How solid waste is classified

Knowing more about the waste we throw away every day can help us to better understand the subsequent treatment it undergoes at recycling plants. A way to see what is behind what we consider “garbage” and to make us aware of how important it is to recycle for the environment.

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But this concept, with the passage of time and the awareness of preserving our planet, has expanded to include other purposes. All due to the scarcity and depletion of raw materials, has generated the need to reuse these wastes, making the most of their properties.

We will now focus on the different types of waste and their characteristics, always defining them from the point of view of sustainability. The following are the types of waste in terms of their hazardousness, origin and composition:

As you have been able to see, this classification is far from simple. It has required a long time of study and research to be able to determine the characteristics that place them in one group or another.

Example wastes and residues

Hazardous waste is also considered to be waste included in the European Waste List (EWL). This list groups wastes according to the productive activities that may generate them. For this purpose, a six-digit code is assigned and those marked with an asterisk next to the code will be considered hazardous waste.

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In addition to in the above cases, a waste will be considered hazardous when, although it does not appear in the LER list, it presents one or more characteristics indicated in the Annex of Regulation (EU) No. 1357/2014.

The main problem encountered by waste generators in an industrial activity is to classify waste by determining whether it is hazardous or not. This classification of waste is very important for subsequent treatment, as well as to determine the safety measures that managers must take.

Since 2015, it has been mandatory to label hazardous waste in accordance with the CLP Regulation. Any container with hazardous waste inside must be correctly labeled (indicating its content) and identifying the producer. This allows both the operator and the waste manager to be informed of the risk. Labeling is regulated in Article 14 of Royal Decree 833/1988 on Hazardous Waste.

How gas emissions are related to solid wastes

Hazardous waste in Mexico is generated from a wide range of industrial, agricultural and domestic activities. Industrial processes generate a variety of solid, pasty, liquid or gaseous wastes, which may have some of the following characteristics: corrosive, reactive, explosive, toxic, and may present risks to human health and the environment; there are also other sources that generate hazardous wastes, such as hospitals, commerce and mining.

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The risks to the environment and health caused by hazardous waste are a focus of attention, not only in Mexico, but also worldwide, which has led to the creation of regulatory provisions (laws, regulations and standards) that establish guidelines to be avoided and measures to be followed to achieve safe management in order to prevent risks, while setting exposure limits or alternatives for treatment and final disposal to reduce their volume and hazardousness.