Tuesday, 26 October 2021 13:31

Environment - Grade 5 Science and Technology Revision Notes

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Solid waste management

Identifying solid waste

  • Solid waste is a type of waste that consists of everyday items that are thrown away by people.
  • Solid waste is also known as rubbish, garbage or trash
  • Solid waste comes from our offices, homes, schools, industries and hospitals among other places.
  • Solid waste management is the process of collecting, treating and disposing of solid waste. It's about how solid waste can be changed and used as a valuable resource.

Classifying waste.

  • Wastes are classified as both those that decompose easily and those that do not decompose.
  • For example:
  • Tomato fruit brakes down and starts to rot and eventually becomes part of soil. This is called decomposition.
  • The plastic bottle did not show any change after a week. Therefore, the plastic bottles do not rot. It cannot decompose.

Ways of managing solid waste

  • Different types of waste are managed differently. These ways include the 3Rs - Reusing, Recycling and Reducing.
  1. Reusing
    • Some solid waste can be used again for their original purpose or for different work. For instance, discarded bottles can be cleaned and used for bottling drinks, or used at home for other tasks.
    • Other reusable solid waste include boxes, bags, old clothes, books, old newspapers and wood.
  2. Recycling
    • Recycling solid waste means that the material is reprocessed before being used to make new products. All types of organic waste can be recycled by composting. Other solid wastes that can be recycled include paper, waste metals, glass and plastic bottles, among others.
  3. Reducing
    • Waste reduction is a set of processes and practices intended to reduce the amount of waste produced. It is a way of preventing materials from ending up as waste. This can be done by buying products with less packaging, making use of reusable rather than disposable items, using your own shopping bags, minimizing food waste and repairing and maintaining items such as clothing, so that they last long. Solid waste can be reduced through the following ways
      1. Avoiding using plastic bags to carry items. Instead use baskets.
      2. Using reusable (canvas) bags for buying items
      3. Borrowing, renting or sharing items that are not regularly used.
      4. Using sponges or dish clothes instead of paper towels.
      5. Using plug-in appliances instead of battery 0perated gadgets.
      6. Buying durable and repairable products.


  1. Making dustbins using locally available materials
  2. Make a toy car

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