The optimisation of household waste recycling centres for increased recycling—a case study in Sussex, UK
Woodard, Ryan, Bench, Matthew L., Harder, Marie K. and Stantzos, Nikolaos (2004) The optimisation of household waste recycling centres for increased recycling—a case study in Sussex, UK Resources, conservation and recycling, 43 (1). pp. 75-93. ISSN 0921-3449
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2004.05.002
Sixteen percent of household waste in the UK is handled at household waste recycling centres (HWRC). These facilities will play an important role if the UK is to achieve the national target of recycling 25% of household waste by 2005, as most sites now provide containers for recyclables as well as a mixed waste pile. However, few published studies have been conducted regarding the activities of HWRC site users and the composition of waste that is delivered, especially to the mixed waste pile. This paper presents the results of a site survey in Sussex, UK and discusses the role of HWRC in handling household waste. During the week of sampling 969 site users were monitored. The target group was only those depositing material on the mixed waste pile. Two main categories of waste dominated. The first, identified as garden waste, was deposited by 37% of the target group and represents approximately 20% of arisings by observed volume. The second was miscellaneous bagged waste, present in 34% of loads and equating to approximately 21% of arisings by observed volume. Despite the availability of containers for segregating recyclable and compostable materials, 29% of users deposited these onto the mixed waste pile. The site was clearly not able to operate at its optimum. The reasons for this and potential solutions are presented.
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