Waste sorting is the process by which waste is separated into different elements. Waste sorting can occur manually at the household and collected through curbside collection schemes, or automatically separated in materials recovery facilities or mechanical biological treatment systems. Hand sorting was the first method used in the history of waste sorting.
Waste can also be sorted in a civic amenity site.
"Waste segregation" means dividing waste into dry and wet. Dry waste includes wood and related products, metals and glass. Wet waste typically refers to organic waste usually generated by eating establishments and are heavy in weight due to dampness. Waste segregation is different from waste sorting. Waste segregation is the grouping of waste into different categories. Each waste goes into its category at the point of dumping or collection, but sorting happens after dumping or collection. Segregation of waste ensures pure, quality material. Sorting on the other hand will end up producing impure materials with less quality.
Waste is collected at its source in each area and separated. The way that waste is sorted must reflect local disposal systems. The following categories are common:
Organic waste can also be segregated for disposal:
Chip pan oil, used fats, vegetable oil and the content of fat filters can be collected by companies able to re-use them. Local authority waste departments can provide relevant addresses. This can be achieved by providing recycling bins.
In India, waste segregation is said to be a mess due to its over population and accumulation of waste. But now India is in a developing state where government has launched its initiatives for the project of "Swachh Bharat Abhiyan". The effectiveness of this scheme is unclear.
In Ukraine, people are learning to sort garbage. Garbage is sorted in schools and kindergartens in Khmelnytsky.