What is Solid Waste?

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When you read news articles or hear people talk about solid waste, you might hear terms such as “garbage”, “refuse”, “waste material”, or “trash” to describe what we throw away. An important term to understand when learning or discussing solid waste is municipal solid waste.

Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) is the garbage that Americans produce in their homes and where they work. Usually MSW refers to what we throw away each day in our cities and towns. MSW contains all kinds of garbage including newspapers, yard waste, old appliances, household garbage, used furniture and just about anything you can think of that people throw away at home, schools, and businesses. St. Lucie County generates more than 349,000 tons of MSW each year. This is about 4.5 pounds for each person each day.

What makes up the Nation’ MSW?

 What is Solid Waste Pie Chart

Together, these components create a lot of garbage that must be disposed of at the Baling and Recycling facility. Once the garbage arrives at our facility it’s separated and disposed of by the following categories:

  • Garbage (Class 1) - This is described as solid waste that is generated from households or commercial properties. It can include food waste, paper products and furniture (sofas, chairs, tables, etc).
  • Construction & Demolition Debris (Class 3) - This includes material(s) that are a result of remodeling or construction or demolition of a structure and land clearing debris.
  • Scrap Metal/Appliances - This is anything that is metal. This can include old appliances, metal stove hoods, metal sheeting, etc.
  • Tires - Tires are classed by size. Car tires 20" or less and truck tires over 20". Tires may be brought in with rims on.
  • Yard Waste - This is waste made up of yard materials such as tree trimming, leaves, grass, etc.