FIELD WASTE DISPOSAL
Section I. INTRODUCTION TO WASTE DISPOSAL
"Waste" is a general term covering all types of refuse resulting from the living
activities of humans or animals.
a. Human Waste. Human waste refers to feces and urine.
b. Liquid Waste. Liquid waste includes bathing water, wash water, and liquid
kitchen wastes such as grease.
c. Garbage. Garbage includes solid food wastes.
d. Infectious Waste. Infectious waste is refuse containing communicable
disease organisms and/or offensive materials such as soiled dressings.
e. Rubbish. Rubbish includes combustible and noncombustible solid wastes
not included in one of the above.
MEDICAL IMPORTANCE OF WASTE DISPOSAL
a. Large amounts of wastes of all kinds are produced under field conditions. If
these wastes are not removed, a camp or bivouac will soon become a smelly, filthy
dump. Filth-borne diseases such as dysentery, typhoid, cholera, and plague might
become prevalent. Flies, rats, and other vermin would increase and add to the
individual's discomfort as well as endanger his health. Even with the relatively good
sanitation maintained in the American Army camps of World War II, records show a total
of nearly one million hospital admissions for filth-borne diseases.
b. Whenever possible, units in the field should use portable toilets and other
temporary waste collection containers which can be emptied into approved disposal
facilities upon the unit's return to garrison. However, this is not always possible--
particularly in overseas areas. The disposal methods discussed in this lesson should
be considered emergency methods to be used only when it is not possible to use
approved waste disposal facilities. Since the method used depends on the military
situation and unit location, several means of disposal are discussed in this lesson.
Under field conditions, burial is the most commonly used means of waste disposal.