OECD definitions for selected categories of waste
Municipal waste is collected and treated by, or for municipalities. It covers waste from households, including bulky waste, similar waste from commerce and trade, office buildings, institutions and small businesses, yard and garden, street sweepings, contents of litter containers, and market cleansing. Waste from municipal sewage networks and treatment, as well as municipal construction and demolition is excluded.
Hazardous waste is mostly generated by industrial activities and driven by specific patterns of production. It represents a major concern as it entails serious environmental risks if poorly managed: the impact on the environment relates mainly to toxic contamination of soil, water and air.
Nuclear (radioactive) waste is generated at various stages of the nuclear fuel cycle (uranium mining and milling, fuel enrichment, reactor operation, spent fuel reprocessing). It also arises from decontamination and decommissioning of nuclear facilities, and from other activities using isotopes, such as scientific research and medical activities.