Multivariate Study of Refuse Collection Efficiency

by Lawrence J. Partridge, Jr., (A.M.ASCE), Staff Professional; Arthur D. Little, Inc., Cambridge, MA,
Joseph J. Harrington, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof.; Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA,

Serial Information: Journal of the Environmental Engineering Division, 1974, Vol. 100, Issue 4, Pg. 963-978

Document Type: Journal Paper


The principal costs for urban solid waste management are related to refuse collection. Collection efficiency and therefore costs are influenced by the method of solid waste containerization. Multivariate statistical analysis of time and motion collection data quantitatively demonstrates that some classes of refuse container are superior in terms of loading efficiency. Cost coefficients are presented to identify the relative collection efficiency of various methods for solid waste containerization. Additional analyses are performed to evaluate the impact of inclement weather and human fatigue upon collection costs. Results from this analysis demonstrated that both precipitation and fatigue can account for reduced collection efficiency. The use of certain types of refuse containers can increase collection efficiency. However, residents within inner city areas may not be willing to accept the increased costs associated with the use of such containers.

Subject Headings: Solid wastes | Fatigue (material) | Municipal wastes | Waste management | Statistics | Quantitative analysis | Motion (dynamics) | Data collection

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