kids encyclopedia robot

Waste facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Waste inside a wheelie bin

Waste is unwanted materials and objects that people have thrown away. It is often also called trash, garbage, rubbish, or junk. It can be solid, liquid, or gas, or it can be waste heat. There are many different kinds of waste. Garbage is the waste we produce daily in our homes, including old or unwanted food, chemical substances, paper, broken furniture, used containers, and other things.

When waste is a liquid or gas, it can be called an emission. This is usually pollution (hurts plants and animals).

Waste can also be something abstract (something that you cannot touch), for example "a waste of time" or "wasted opportunities". When people use the words waste or wasted in this way, they are saying (directly or indirectly) that something has been used badly (using too much of it or using it incorrectly).

Waste management

In modern homes and businesses, garbage is normally placed in waste containers of some sort. It is then moved to the street, where it can be collected and taken to a place designed to hold, destroy or recycle garbage. Some waste materials, such as paper, wood, glass, metals, and plastic containers, can be recycled (reused). Materials that can not be recycled are either burned (incinerated) or heaped into landfills.

Plant matter, such as fruit and vegetable scraps, is biodegradable. It can usually be heaped into a compost, where it will decompose relatively quickly. This kind of waste is often called "wet" or "green" waste.

Very often, waste is not collected in containers. It may instead be thrown onto the ground or dumped somewhere. This is called littering.

Related pages

Images for kids

kids search engine
Waste Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.