Post-consumer waste


Post-consumer waste

Post-consumer waste is a waste type produced by the end consumer of a material stream; that is, where the waste-producing use did not involve the production of another product.

Quite commonly, it is simply the garbage that individuals routinely discard, either in a waste receptacle or a dump, or by littering, incinerating, pouring down the drain, or washing into the gutter.

Post-consumer waste is distinguished from pre-consumer waste, which is the reintroduction of manufacturing scrap (such as trimmings from paper production, defective aluminum cans, etc.) back into the manufacturing process. Preconsumer waste is commonly used in manufacturing industries, and is often not considered recycling in the traditional sense.

Types of post-consumer waste

It consists of:
*packaging
*parts that are not needed, such as fruit skins, bones in meat, etc.
*undesired things received, e.g.:
**advertising material in the mailbox
**a flyer received in the street without having the opportunity to refuse
**dust, weed, fallen leaves, etc.
*things one no longer needs, e.g. a magazine that has been read, things replaced by new versions, clothes out of fashion, remaining food that one cannot keep or does not want to keep
*broken things, things no longer working, spoilt food, worn-out clothes, clothes which no longer fit
*outgrown items toys, clothing, books, schoolwork
*disposables such as Kleenex and finished batteries
*human waste, waste of pets, waste water from various forms of cleaning
*"post-life waste"
**(not a very respectful term though): one's body or ashes
**things the heirs do not want and cannot sell

Recycling

Unfortunately, more and more garbage is being produced each year. Therefore, in some locales, efforts are often made to separate paper, metals, plastics, and glass into separate waste streams for recycling.

Legal issues

In many countries, such as the United States, there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in post-consumer waste once it leaves the consumer's home. Anyone can search it, including the police, and any incriminating evidence recovered can be used at trial.


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