In some areas, residential waste is taken from a collection point to the disposal site by the local authority or by a contractor employed by the authority. In other places the householder either takes their waste to a communal disposal point or disposes of it in a pit in their yard. This is also true for commercial and industrial organisations.
Unless the waste is placed in a pit as soon as it is produced, there will be a need for some kind of storage. Storage is the first stage of the waste management process. It is important because poorly handled and stored waste can be sources of nuisance, flies, smells and other hazards. The other stages of the waste management process are covered in Study Sessions 8 to 11.
Types of storage containers
Solid wastes should be ideally stored indoors in a closed container that is animal-proof and insect-proof. The containers should also be washable and strong enough to withstand normal day-to-day treatment. The container should be emptied every day into an outdoor storage container or directly into a disposal pit. However, most of the households still use sacks (Figure 7.4) to collect solid waste in their household.
Where waste is collected for disposal, householders have to empty their waste containers into larger communal containers. These containers should also be fitted with lids to keep insects, other animals and rainfall out. An ideal container is shown in Figure 7.5, but open containers known as skips are often used (Figure 7.6).