Americans produce 220 million tons of garbage per year, which is more than any other nation in the world. Due to this, the government has come up with many ways of dealing with waste. Waste management refers to the collection, transportation, and disposal of waste such as garbage and sewage. So, how do we as individuals add environmental consciousness to our everyday life? How do we apply good practices at home?

Although you can dispose of your waste in several different ways, here are the most common methods.

Methods of Waste Disposal

Environmental consciousness


Throwing garbage in landfills is one of the most common waste disposal methods today. This waste management technique focuses on burying waste in the ground and is mostly practiced in developing countries. The waste undergoes a certain process to remove the smell and toxins before it goes into the ground.

This method is becoming less popular because it requires too much space. Moreover, landfills contribute to many contamination problems such as water and air pollution. Many countries are reconsidering the use of landfills as a means of waste management and helping with environmental consciousness.

Combustion or Incineration

Incineration or combustion is a type of waste disposal technique whereby the waste material is burned at a high temperature to convert it into gaseous products and residue. The best thing about incineration is that it reduces the volume of solid waste by about 70 percent, making it take up less space. Incineration is used in countries without space for landfills such as Japan.

Waste to Energy

This process involves the conversion of non-recyclable things into electricity, heat, or fuel through a number of processes. This kind of energy is renewable, which means that it can be used repeatedly. It also helps lower the carbon footprint by reducing the use of energy from fossil sources. 

Some types of waste are dangerous and can thus not be discarded without special handling that is supposed to prevent contamination from happening. Biomedical waste, found in healthcare institutions such as pharmacies and hospitals, is an example of hazardous waste. There is a waste disposal process in place for such waste.

Environmental Consciousness Applied at Home


Recycling and Recovery

This involves the reuse of waste material instead of throwing it away. Discarded materials are usually processed to remove useful materials or converting them into energy. Recycling refers to the conversion of waste materials into new products to prevent the consumption of fresh materials and energy usage. The idea behind recycling is the reduction of energy usage, reduction of landfills, and reduction of air/water pollution.

This is a good way of applying environmental consciousness to our home and workplace. Adding accessories to our kitchen like a pullout double recycle trash invites this practice. As a designer, who runs construction remodeling projects, I always contact a professional dumpster rental company who will be able to dispose of all trash properly. I take full responsibility for all of my actions at home or on the job.


This is the natural and easy bio-degradation of organic waste into nutrient-rich food for the plants. Normally used in organic farming, composting occurs when you allow organic materials to stay in one location for months awaiting microbes to decompose it. This is one of the best ways to discard waste because it can turn unsafe materials into safe compost. This is becoming more and more popular with individuals that apply environmental Consciousness behavior in their home lifestyle. BLANCO, a company known for kitchen sink innovation has brought to market a compost system for people looking for an eco-friendly lifestyle.

Avoidance or Waste Minimization

The best way to manage the waste that comes out of your home is by reducing it. You can try to recycle old materials such as bags, jars, plastics and avoid using plastic bags. Composting and recycling are the best forms of waste management.

As you see, the methods of waste disposal are numerous. You need to choose the best one to ensure that you dispose of waste safely and efficiently. Before making your choice, you need to look at the available options and assess them for your best fit.

Images Courtesy of Canva.

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About the Author: Patricia Davis Brown

Patricia, like her blog, is not a one-dimensional designer, which is evident in her accolades of 17 national design awards. Over a 38-year career in the industry, she has carved a niche in several areas of design. Licensed in interior design and certified in kitchen and bath design, she offers a full menu of design services ranging from whole house interior design, kitchen and bath design, lighting design, full remodels, commercial design and universal (ADA) design. Patricia is a sought-after speaker in the industry and has been published in many publications as seen on her interior design firm’s website, She writes for such publications as QuinStreetinc, Relaxed Remodeler, and talent offering design tips.