Improving Manual Solid Waste Separation Studies

by Paul W. Britton, Statistician; Systems Mgmt. Div., U.S. Envir. Protection Agency, Cincinnati, OH,

Serial Information: Journal of the Sanitary Engineering Division, 1972, Vol. 98, Issue 5, Pg. 717-730

Document Type: Journal Paper


Knowledge of the physical composition of solid waste has long been recognized as potentially valuable information for the researcher, engineer, and manager. With this information, the researcher can hope to explain observed differences between two masses of solid waste, the engineer can design better systems, and the manager can operate those systems more efficiently. Currently, the only practical way to obtain physical composition data is through a manual separation study. Herein a rationale is presented using the characteristics of 10-category separation results to evaluate the optimality of 100-lb, 200-lb, 300-lb, and 600-lb separation samples. Assuming the 300-lb sample size, an example is given of how to calculate the required number of such samples for a proposed study. There is also some analysis of how the resulting physical composition data may be used.

Subject Headings: Solid mechanics | Solid wastes | Information management | Managers | Systems management | Recycling

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