Examples of Inorganic Waste Around Us and How to Process It

Examples of inorganic waste – There are lots of human activities that produce waste in the form of residual materials that are not useful and are discarded by humans. This material will continue to grow every day as long as humans are still carrying out their activities.

If this condition is allowed to continue, the remaining material will accumulate and cause serious problems for the earth. The remaining material is then referred to as waste.

Garbage accumulation in nature must be handled properly, because if not it will have a bad impact on all aspects of life such as animals and plants, including humans. Not to mention that waste that cannot be decomposed will exacerbate pollution.

Garbage is the result of disposal of living things that are no longer wanted or needed. Garbage is always present in the midst of human life, both as inorganic and organic waste.

Based on the material, waste is divided into two types, namely organic waste and inorganic waste. Organic waste is waste that comes from natural materials while inorganic waste is waste that comes from unnatural or non-natural materials. Sinaumed’s, this article will discuss the meaning of inorganic waste along with examples and types. Come on Sinaumed’s friends , see the explanation!

Definition of Inorganic Waste

Inorganic waste has characteristics that are opposite to organic waste. This type of waste is waste generated from materials that do not originate from nature (biological materials) but from man-made materials or synthetic materials (unnatural waste) .

Most of this synthetic waste comes from certain manufacturing facilities or product processing techniques.

Quoted from the Journal of Service Dynamics 1, inorganic waste is waste from natural resources and industrial processes that cannot be renewed. Examples of non-renewable natural resources are oil and minerals. Industrial processes that are a source of inorganic waste include plastic and aluminum.

Another definition of this type of waste is also written in Formative Journal 4. Inorganic waste in this article is defined as waste produced by non-biological materials in the form of synthetic products or the results of processing of mining materials technology.

The problem of inorganic waste has not yet found a bright spot. Although various efforts have been made, the amount of waste in Indonesia is still very high. According to data from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) in 2019, the amount of waste reached 67.8 million tonnes, consisting of 57% organic waste, 15% plastic waste, 11% paper waste and 17% other waste.

Based on data reported by the Minderoo Foundation, every Indonesian citizen produces inorganic waste or the equivalent of around 9 kg of disposable plastic waste. Indonesia is even the country that disposes of the most disposable plastic waste per capita in Southeast Asia, Indonesia is ranked sixth.

Examples of Inorganic Waste

Examples of inorganic waste we can easily find in everyday life and in the surrounding environment. For example, covering the household environment in the form of plastic bags, styrofoam , cans, plastic bottles, broken pots and pans, etc. Meanwhile, non-organic office waste includes unused stationery, plastic book covers, leftover plastic folders and others.

In contrast to soft waste, inorganic hard waste has characteristics that are not easily destroyed because it contains strong material. This waste can only be disposed of by certain disposal methods such as incineration or heating. In particular, the categories of non-organic waste are as follows, namely:

1. Plastic Waste

Plastic is generally used to pack goods. Plastic is also used as a raw material for home furniture or household appliances. Plastic products have several advantages, such as not rusting and being durable.

However, if the item is made of plastic, if it no longer functions it will become plastic waste. This type of inorganic waste is difficult to decompose naturally or takes a long time.

2. Metal Trash

This waste is waste that comes from metal materials. Examples of inorganic metal waste are iron, cans, aluminum, tin and other types of metals. Cans are the most commonly found and recycled metal with good economic value.

3. Garbage Glass or Glass

This non-organic waste is made of glass. An example is a glass or plate that has been broken and can no longer be used.

4. Paper waste

Paper waste is a type of inorganic waste. Even though paper is made from natural materials, because this waste can be recycled like other non-organic waste such as (glass, cans and plastic), paper is classified as non-organic waste.

5. Battery Junk

Batteries and lamps are electronic waste containing hazardous substances. If the battery is dead or has been used up, it is disposed of in a landfill or landfill. Then the battery will rot and leak. When batteries corrode, the chemicals seep into the ground and contaminate the soil and surface water.

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Citing the Technical Aspects of Waste Recycling, the many variations and sizes of batteries make recycling relatively difficult. Battery waste should be chosen because it has something in common, because each type of battery has a different recycling technique. Car lead-acid batteries are often recycled for the recovery of a metal.

Apart from the five examples of inorganic waste mentioned in the previous point, there is also inorganic waste in the form of gas or wind that cannot be touched by humans. Examples of this waste usually come from the chimneys of production factories which are very dangerous for health and can cause the earth to get warmer.

Types of Inorganic Waste

Non-natural waste consists of various shapes and types. The following are explanations and examples of common inorganic types that are often found in society, namely:

1. Soft Inorganic Waste

Soft inorganic waste is a type of unnatural waste that can be easily generated or processed. The waste material consists of a flexible material. Various soft inorganic waste, including plastic waste, packaging, textile waste (eg patchwork).

2. Hard Inorganic Waste

Hard inorganic waste contains materials that are difficult to decompose and are stronger than soft waste. Most of this waste is difficult to recycle. Recycling this waste requires more sophisticated technology and tools. Various hard inorganic waste, including cans, glass or glassware, and scrap metal.

Characteristics of Inorganic Waste

The characteristics of inorganic waste, among others:

1. Hard to Unravel

The main characteristic of unnatural waste is that it is difficult to decompose. Inorganic waste is not fully biodegradable at all, but it takes a very long time to decompose and decompose naturally. Some types of inorganic waste take up to ten years to decompose into smaller components, for example plastic waste in the sea.

2. Made of factory materials

The next feature is that it is made of manufactured or synthetic materials. An example is styrofoam which is classified as unnatural waste. Styrofoam is made from a mixture of synthetic materials such as polystyrene and CFC gas (Freon) which can damage the ozone layer.

3. Can be recycled

Even though it is difficult to decompose, the advantages of inorganic waste can be processed again. Either processed for other needs, or reprocessed into new items that are more useful. For example, plastic bottles that can be used for crafts, potted plants, and more. In addition, the collected plastic bottles can also be processed into new plastic bottles with new shapes and packaging.

Principles of Inorganic Waste Processing Method

Inorganic waste often causes various problems because it is difficult to decompose. Therefore, waste management is needed to reduce the problem. Below are the principles of non-natural waste treatment that can be applied, namely:

1. Reduce

Reduce or reduce, is the simplest waste management principle. This method is easy to apply, but public awareness is the obstacle. The more people who are environmentally aware, the more reliable this reduce principle is. Some examples of how to reduce inorganic waste in daily activities are:

  • Don’t use a straw to drink from. Even though it looks small, straw waste is waste made of plastic and is waste that is difficult to decompose.
  • If you buy food, it’s a good idea to bring your own lunch box to reduce the use of food packaging.
  • Bring your own shopping bag to reduce plastic waste in the form of shopping bags.
  • Bring your own water bottle and don’t buy bottled drinks.

2. Reuse

Another principle is reuse or called reuse . We sort inorganic waste that can still be used for other purposes. Reuse items that are still fit for use can be reused.

  • Refill pen ink that has run out so that it can be reused and does not become inorganic waste.
  • Use cans for plant pots.
  • Use a large paint can for the bathroom water tank.
  • Use an old plastic bottle to fill in dishwashing liquid or liquid detergent.
  • Use food containers to store small items or children’s toys

3. Recycle

Recycle or recycling is one of the principles of inorganic waste management that has been widely discussed lately. The mechanism is to recycle leftovers that can still be used into new goods with a higher selling value and use.

Here are some examples of applying the principle of recycle or recycling, namely:

  • Make patchwork crafts.
  • Beautiful lantern made of plastic bottles.
  • A trash can that can be converted into a cafe chair.
  • Unique and creative pots or tables can be made from used car tires.
  • Packaged food packaging that can be used as a material for making bags, brooches and other fashion items.

4. Replace

The principle of replace or replace, is a principle that can be used to process inorganic waste. Synthetic waste is sent back to the factory to be processed into new products. For example plastic bottle waste that can be recycled back into new plastic bottles.

Negative Impact of Inorganic Waste

All types of waste have a negative impact on the environment and people’s lives. However, large amounts of inorganic waste are certainly more dangerous than organic waste. Then why? Because this type of waste is not easy to decompose or takes years to decompose. Of course, this can have long-term effects. Not to mention the amount of waste that continues to grow from year to year.

1. Causes Health Problems

Who says inorganic waste only pollutes the environment? It also turns out that its presence can increase the risk of health problems both from physical waste and from the production process itself.

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For example, inorganic waste such as cans and plastic bottles can be filled with rainwater and become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. It is no exception that mosquitoes that breed in the area are dangerous mosquito species such as dengue fever mosquitoes.

Another example is the material and manufacture of cans and the plastic itself, plastic contains synthetic materials that are unsafe for humans. One of them is dioxin which can cause various health problems, ranging from nervous disorders to cancer.

Odors from the disposal area can also impede a person’s breathing. Especially those who live near landfills.

2. Causing Environmental Problems

Environmental issues are very important. In addition to global warming, the waste problem is a topic that is often discussed.

The first example is the increase in natural disasters caused by the accumulation of inorganic waste. Call it the flood that occurs almost every year. The reason is none other than the accumulation of rocks that block the flow of river water. As a result, the increasing stream of water overflows because there is no other way to flow.

Another example is that it can cause water pollution. Like it or not, every waste that enters the water pollutes the water. When water is polluted, the purity and health of the water is no longer maintained.

Not to mention the trash that spoils the aesthetic appearance. Starting from dirty and dirty city spaces to slum areas due to piles of garbage.

3. Causes Problems for Other Living Beings

Inorganic waste not only disturbs the environment and humans, but also disrupts the survival of other living things such as animals and plants. There are many cases of water pollution that enters the oceans from inorganic waste.

Worse, this sea water pollution causes many fish and other marine biota to die from poisoning. There have been other cases occurring on other continents. Garbage on the ground can become a trap for animals in the area. So many of them died because they were trapped in the ruins.

Benefits of Inorganic Waste

Even though inorganic waste has many negative impacts, this waste also has many benefits. Here are some of the benefits of inorganic waste, namely:

1. Craft Materials

In accordance with the principles of waste management, inorganic waste is widely used as handicraft materials. In fact, many schools also provide training or education to their students in making handicrafts from waste materials. This is certainly a new breakthrough in the world of creative industries in developing new innovations to reduce the negative impact of inorganic waste

2. Recycled Materials

As explained above, one of the principles of waste management is recycling . Waste can be processed into goods with a higher use value.

Inorganic waste can be used as recycled material which will certainly be beneficial for people’s lives.

3. Reusable

Inorganic waste is waste that takes a long time to decompose, and of course it is very possible to reuse this waste. Other simple items can be made from household scraps. Such as paint tank to water tank and so on.

4. Children’s Toys

Another advantage of inorganic waste is that it can be used as a material for children’s toys. If we want to train children’s creativity, invite them to make their own toys at home from inorganic waste.

No need to use complicated tools, just use the devices that are at home. Besides being able to produce something, this method is also beneficial for the growth and development of children. We hope that children will be more creative and care more about the environment.

5. Increasing Economic Income

Make money from trash, why not? This is one of the benefits of garbage that many people forget. Even though inorganic waste that is processed properly can help increase economic income.

Especially when someone succeeds in running a special business in the waste recycling sector, job opportunities are increasing.

A small waste collection business is a simple form of business that generates additional income. The collected inorganic waste is then sold to be reprocessed into new goods that are more marketable.

In addition, waste can be used as a steady source of income for creative industry players. For example recycling used tires into unique cafe chairs. In addition, this business requires experts in making chairs, in order to create jobs and opportunities to increase personal income.


Well, Sinaumed’s is a review of examples of inorganic waste and how to process it so it doesn’t pollute the environment too much. We must be diligent in selecting waste so that it can be processed properly. That way, our environment will be cleaner and healthier and avoid several kinds of diseases.

Hopefully all the reviews above are useful as well as add insight to Sinaumed’s . So, do you know what are the examples of inorganic waste and how to process them?

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Author: Ziaggi Fadhil Zahran

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Definition & Examples of Inorganic Waste