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Detailed compositional assessment for municipal residual waste and recycling streams in England - WR1002

Understanding the composition of municipal waste is of key importance for a wide range of reasons, not least in order to inform the formation and enactment of policies for the more sustainable management of municipal wastes. The recent WR0119 project (Review of Municipal Waste Component Analyses) has produced the most robust national compositional estimates for England to be produced to date, since it has been based on a wider range of waste compositional studies than have been previously available or reviewed. However within the scope of this project it was only possible to produce compositional estimates at the primary category level (food waste, garden waste, paper, cardboard, etc).
This project will analyse the data collated for WR0119 to produce compositional estimates for residual municipal waste streams at a secondary category level. This data is important for various reasons; for example, a secondary level categorisation can help identify quantities of targetable recyclables in residual waste; or quantities or packaging wastes.
Several previous national compositional reviews have been carried out for municipal wastes, which have included estimates using secondary level category lists. This project will produce more current estimates, which will be have larger evidence base than has been available for the previous reviews.
Data from Defra’s WR0119 project will be analysed to produce national compositional estimates for England for the following residual waste streams:
• Kerbside
• Street sweepings, cleansing & litter
• Bulky waste collections
• Municipally collected commercial waste.
Compositional estimates will be produced at a secondary category level, as per the list included in Appendix 1. This category list has been supplied by the Environment Agency during discussions to develop this project.
Unweighted compositional estimates will be produced for each of the waste streams, on the basis that good coverage has been provided for the collated data (as discussed at length in the report produced for the WR0119 project). The collated data will consist of those datasets which meet the selection criteria set out for Defra’s WR0119 study.
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : WR1002 MSW composition secondary analysis   (883k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2010

To: 2011

Cost: £22,535
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Resources Futures
Environmental Protection              
Processing techs for treatment /energy recovery              
Residual Wastes Management              
Understanding waste composition and trends              
Waste collection and handling systems              
Waste Management              
Fields of Study
Waste Management