Industrial waste is any time of waste that is a byproduct of industry or unwanted material used during the manufacturing process. This is not hazardous waste but can still be toxic and harmful to the environment. These wastes come from businesses, manufacturing, farming, and mining. Some types of waste include paper by-products, clay, stone, organic and inorganic matter, plastic, food products, concrete, and glass. It is estimated that 7.6 billion tons of industrial waste is discarded per year. This does not include air pollution added to our atmosphere or the carbon dioxide given off from the burning of fossil fuels.
Due to the nature of the global economy, it is cheaper and easier to have resources shipped from one area to another in bulk. With this comes an unending trail of waste to follow it. The largest concern with industrial waste is clean water. Many pollutants go into the water as some industries use water as a source of energy and as a dump site for their unwanted goods. The important thing to know about all industrial waste is that it can be prevented. It may not seem like as big of an issue as the factor farming or the global plastic use but it is all linked back to this notion that everything is industrialized.
The positives or future outlook on global waste is promising as companies are beginning to see the need for waste water treatment facilities or man-made swamps to filter out contaminants. There have been promotions for on-site recycling facilities, composting, and alternative resources used that are easier to dispose of. Though this does not solve the issue of industrial waste, it certainly decreases the effects it has on the environment. The only way to reduce this waste completely is to not support industrial products, reuse what you have or buy secondhand to decrease demand for goods, and to promote the well being of the planet by advocating for waste management at industrial sites.