Waste requires specialised treatments before it is disposed of, depending on the nature of the waste. Waste treatment includes the necessary processes to ensure that the waste has a practicable environmental impact. Countries around the globe have various laws governing waste treatment.
Solid waste treatment is the main factor of waste management. Solid waste usually is composed of cans, metals, paper, food waste, plastics, chemicals, and toxic waste. Solid waste treatment is done through composting, incineration, landfills, and recycling.
Waste water treatment is classified into three major treatment areas, which include agricultural, industrial and sewage treatment. Agricultural wastewater treatment deals with treatment of wastewater from agricultural activities. This include animal waste (both liquid and solid), pesticide run off and surpluses, silage liquor, slaughtering waste, milking parlour wastes, vegetable washing water and fire water.
Industrial wastewater treatment relates to the process and mechanism used to treat water contamination caused by commercial activities. Common industrial wastewater includes biological processes, chemical oxidation, nitrification and denitrification, steam stripping and aerobic biological treatment.
Sewage treatment is the process of purifying human and domestic wastes. Its objective is to convert contaminated wastewater into safe drinking water suitable for residential consumption. Sewage treatment has three stages: primary treatment, which utilises biological treatment, secondary treatment, which employs aerobic microorganisms, and tertiary treatment, which includes distillation, ultrafiltration and chlorification.
Radioactive waste treatment is the treatment for radioactive waste involved in the nuclear process. However, the majority of these wastes contain low levels of radioactivity but are still hazardous to the human body.