Garbage has two types of components:
- Useful components
- Useless components
Things present in garbage that can be converted to useful products or that can be recycled, or reused are called useful components.
The useful components of the garbage can be:
- Vegetable waste, fallen leaves, leftover food, etc. These can be converted into compost.
- Paper, glass, metal, some plastics, etc. that can be recycled or reused.
Garbage that can decay or decompose when buried in soil are called biodegradable wastes.
- Garbage like vegetable and fruit peels, leaves that have fallen out, a leftover cooked food, etc., can rot or decay when buried in the soil.
- It can be degraded naturally without causing any harm.
- They are decomposed into simpler and harmless substances by the microorganisms.
- Materials produced from plants (fruits, vegetable, leftover food, paper, cotton) and animals (wool, leather, cow dung, silk) can be biodegradable.
- They are also called as an organic wastes.
A type of garbage that cannot decay or decompose when buried in soil are called non-biodegradable.
- The microorganisms cannot decompose items such as plastic bags, glass, metals, etc.
- Garbage that is not derived from plants and animal sources are non-biodegradable.
The removal of the non-biodegradable materials is a problem as it does not decay, and produces poisonous gases when burnt.
In some cities and town, the Municipality provides separate dustbin for the collection of the two types of garbage.
- Green dustbin to collect a biodegradable wastes that can be degraded into compost.
- Blue dustbin to collect garbage like plastics, paper, glass, metal that can be recycled and used again.
Components which can be neither recycled nor reused, and does not decay are called the useless components of the garbage.