Rubbish is everything that you throw away or no longer have a use for.
Rubbish is anything from an empty crisp packet to a broken toy.
Rubbish can be solid, liquid or gas.
Sometimes people use the word 'waste' when talking about rubbish.
People usually talk about three different sorts of rubbish:
- Domestic - rubbish from households
- Industrial and commercial - rubbish from factories, offices, shops and schools
- Hazardous - rubbish which needs to be disposed of in a careful way to prevent pollution. For example, chemicals used to make paint
Rubbish is made up of different substances and materials:
- Biodegradable rubbish breaks down naturally in the environment and eventually disappears e.g. left-over food and paper
- Non-biodegradable rubbish does not break down naturally in the environment e.g. drinks cans and plastic bottles
The Government has put in place certain laws to make sure that rubbish is disposed of in a responsible way. For example, if chemicals find their way into rivers or streams they can cause harmful pollution, which may kill wildlife. If rubbish from dustbins is allowed to overflow then the streets become filled with litter.