Optimum Sample Size in Refuse Analysis

by Elias Musa, Lect.; Faculty of Sci. and Environmental Studies, Univ. of Agr., Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia,
G. E. Ho, Sr. Lect. in Environmental Engrg.; School of Environmental and Life Sci., Murdock Univ., Murdock, Australia 6150,

Serial Information: Journal of the Environmental Engineering Division, 1981, Vol. 107, Issue 6, Pg. 1247-1260

Document Type: Journal Paper


An optimum number of samples to obtain average weight and composition of collected household refuse is suggested based on surveys in nine municipalities in Melbourne and Perth, Australia. For sample weight and the percentages of paper and food wastes, forty samples are adequate to achieve a standard error of 10% for the averages for a population of between 4,000 and 70,000 surveyed. For metals, glass and plastics a sample size of 200 is required to achieve the same degree of accuracy. It is unrealistic to expect accurate results for the other minor components.

Subject Headings: Geomatic surveys | Local government | Waste management | Metals (chemical) | Glass | Plastics | Professional societies | Australia | Victoria (Australia) | Western Australia

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