Waste Analysis for the Recycling of Municipal Solid Waste

Waste analysis and composition explained for Recycling

Residual waste is waste that is left over at the end of any process this can be from households containing material that has not yet been separated out at source and sent for recycling processing. This waste mainly falls into the following categories which are biodegradable - kitchen and garden, recyclable waste that should have been removed or cannot be recycled, inert, small waste electrical, fabrics, wood etc.

Hand sorting through domestic or commercial wastes of any kind is not for the faint hearted as you can imagine you come across all kinds of everything.

The elements of municipal solid waste which is waste prior to any treatment generally consist of recycling, composting, landfilling and waste to energy, the unsorted elements are commonly known as rubbish in the United Kingdom. This waste consists of everyday items that are discarded by the general public which has not been sorted at all and can also refer to food waste, which in some parts of the country is collected separately.

Whilst this is a dirty and smelly job it is at the same time rewarding and equates to more than just putting waste into different categories there is good logical reason for this type of research.

Tests can be done on domestic kerbside wastes where wheelie bins are collected individually from a number of different streets / houses with the consent of the householders and then taken to location where the waste is weighed and all mixed together a true representative sample is used in the analysis, this is done over a period of time as certain contributing factors also have an influence on waste such as festive season, climate and wealth of neighbourhood etc.

These tests provide valuable information about recycling and indicate if more can be done to reduce residual also with the increase in Anaerobic Digestion the amount of organic waste content is important, tests can also be carried out at the treatment facility direct from the refuge collection vehicle as it tips into the waste reception hall, this is called waste input that is going to be put into the treatment facility again knowing the characterisation of this material is important to the operators, performance testing can also be carried out on treatment facility to measure the efficiency of the operation.

This is not big brother trying to spy on your garbage habits as people might think and there would be no given reference to a particular house number or address.

You can also determine the size of a particular fraction using a detachable screen depending on the required test.

The process also identifies where improvements / changes could be made to improve overall efficiency.

I would like to see all local authorities adopt the same recycling and waste collection methods throughout the United Kingdom in relation to types of waste collected.

Waste analysis

As landfill and raw materials are running out it is vital that new techniques and methods are developed especially in packaging reduction and better waste reuse.

The best methods are initially prevention, followed by minimization and then reuse, better recycling efforts and processing, energy recovery and ultimately disposal.

Composition of municipal solid waste varies greatly depending on how the waste culture has developed. The waste stream largely consists of un-recyclable packaging materials such as plastics and other miscellaneous solid wastes from residential, commercial, institutional and industrial sectors. Municipal solid waste does not include agricultural, medical, radioactive and sewerage sludge.

In my opinion it is going to take a massive change from initial raw material to better product design with end the use in mind and a change of attitude to the disposable society of which we live.

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