A picture of mother and son holding waste

Waste Sorting and Segregation: Everything You Should Know

Waste sorting and segregation are part of the waste management process that not many people know about. These two activities help contribute to environmental sustainability because they allow waste disposal, collection, recycling, and recovery companies to handle waste more efficiently and effectively. Below is an outlook on waste sorting and segregation that can help you appreciate its implementation.


Waste sorting is the separation of different waste materials, such as paper, plastic, metal, organic matter, and other materials, to improve their recyclability or disposal. Waste sorting can take place at the source of dumping or after collection. Most modern homes separate their trash before they dispose of it, which can make it easier to segregate at the waste management site.

Most households and commercial waste bins use different colored bins or disposal papers to identify the type of waste. Institutions that deal with hazardous waste or contaminants must separate their waste. However, households can choose whether they use one bin or implement a simple sorting methodology.

Waste segregation occurs on the waste management site and uses manual or automated methods. Manual separation is the most prevalent method. This method removes bulky trash like wood and sensitive materials like polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic. Manual separation is labor and time intensive but can separate trash more effectively.

Automated methods can use air, magnets, shredders, or threshers to separate or crumble trash based on material, size, or malleability. Automated methods are unreliable if the waste does not pass a manual screening process.

Types of Waste for Sorting and Segregation

The primary waste sorting method uses two criteria to separate trash — dry and wet waste. However, a more intricate method considers other waste that needs special consideration. Below is an overview of these methods:

Dry waste

Dry waste, also known as recyclable waste, includes items such as paper, glass, plastic, aluminum, and cardboard. Waste management sites and companies can recycle or reuse these items.

Wet waste

Wet waste comprises organic materials such as food scraps, vegetable peels, and other kitchen waste. A special waste management firm can compost or treat this waste with a special process to reduce the risk of contamination and pollution.

Sanitary waste

Sanitary waste includes human and animal waste, medical waste, and other items that could potentially be hazardous if mishandled. Health institutions mostly generate such waste, like syringes, used gloves, or bandages.

Hazardous waste

Hazardous waste includes items that are toxic, flammable, corrosive, or otherwise potentially hazardous to humans and the environment.


E-waste refers to any electronic equipment and its components that have become obsolete or are no longer usable.

Benefits of Waste Sorting and Segregation

Waste sorting and segregation can benefit waste management companies, communities, and the environment. Waste sorting can improve recycling rates and reduce pollution and management costs.

Waste management companies can more easily and efficiently recycle waste if we separate them based on the different types. For example, you can recycle paper if food waste or other materials do not contaminate it.

Unseparated waste is more likely to release harmful chemicals and pollutants into the environment. Also, segregated waste can reduce landfill use since companies can recycle more and reuse more trash. The more trash they recycle and reuse, the less waste that ends up in

Waste segregation can also save money from recycling and disposal sites. For example, the waste management company can compost segregated organic waste into fertilizer, which can save money on purchasing commercial fertilizers. Additionally, properly sorted waste is easy to recycle and reuse, which can save money on disposal costs.

Contact us at Tiger Sanitation LLC for waste recycling, disposal, and dumpster rental needs. We can handle dry and wet waste and can accommodate multi-family and commercial waste generation.

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