[GRRN] revise recycling question

From: Brenda Platt (bplatt@ilsr.org)
Date: Wed Aug 23 2000 - 09:04:03 EDT

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    Brian and Terri,

    The U.S. EPA's Characterization of Municipal Solid Waste in the United
    States report may be your best source of data. You can download the PDF
    file at: http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/muncpl/msw99.htm

    Brian, as you probably know, national data don't necessarily apply to
    local situations. If you want to find out how much recyclable material
    is in your waste stream and no local waste generation and composition
    studies have been done, you might see if any state data exists. Or
    perhaps some neighboring counties with similar socio-economics and
    demographics have some data. Often such data don't exist, so national
    data will be your best bet. If so, you could estimate local recyclable
    material in the waste stream two ways: (1) use national percentage
    breakdown by weight data and apply figures to your local tonnage MSW
    data, and/or (2) convert national tonnage data into per capita figures
    by material and then apply these per capita rates to your local
    population base. It would be interesting to see how your results differ
    when using these two methodologies.

    Terri, according to the 1998 Update of the characterization study, in
    1997, the U.S. generated 4.44 pounds per day of municipal solid waste.
    Of this, 1.24 was recycled and composted and 3.2 was landfilled or
    incinerated or otherwise disposed. See Table B-1, page 141.


    Brenda A. Platt
    Institute for Local Self-Reliance
    Web: <http://www.ilsr.org>

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