A review of municipal solid waste composition in the United Kingdom

Burnley, Stephen J. (2007). A review of municipal solid waste composition in the United Kingdom. Waste Management, 27(10) pp. 1274–1285.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2006.06.018


The move from landfill-based to resource-based waste management systems requires a greater knowledge of the composition of municipal solid waste. This paper draws together the findings of municipal solid waste (MSW) compositional surveys undertaken in the United Kingdom. The results from recent surveys show a good agreement over the composition of household-collected waste, but less agreement over civic amenity site waste composition. There is insufficient data to allow comparisons of the commercial waste element of municipal waste or of the other components, and further work is necessary to produce more reliable estimates of the composition of these streams. The use of questionnaire surveys and analysis of the results suggests that the size and age profile of a household influence the generation of household-collected waste. Some research suggests that the waste container provided by the local authority and the socio-economic classification of a household also influence household-collected waste generation, but other studies failed to find this link. Further research is required to investigate this by surveying all of the waste disposal routes available to specific households.

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