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Quantitative analysis of recyclable materials composition: tools to support decision making in kerbside recycling

Shaw, Peter J., Lyas, Joanne K. and Hudson, Malcolm D. (2006) Quantitative analysis of recyclable materials composition: tools to support decision making in kerbside recycling Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 48, (3), pp. 263-279. (doi:10.1016/j.resconrec.2005.12.013).

Record type: Article


For UK statutory recycling targets to be met, kerbside collection schemes must strive towards optimal performance levels at which the quantities and composition of materials recovered closely matche potentially recoverable materials in the household waste stream. Multivariate analysis of recyclable materials data for regions in the UK showed that there exist substantial differences between the composition of recovered and recoverable materials per household, per week. The similarity between recovered and recoverable materials was not closely related to the range of materials collected at the kerbside. The provision of kerbside recycling facilities for two or more materials, as required by the Household Waste Recycling Act [Household Waste Recycling Act. Office of Public Sector Information, London, UK; 2003, (accessed 19 May 2004)], does not appear to lead necessarily to high levels of recycling. Modes of behaviour revealed by statistical analysis showed that frequently recycling households were characterised by elements of episodicity and persistence; enhancement of cans and plastics recovery should be a key aim for the promotion of kerbside recycling amongst such households. We conclude that if multi-material kerbside recycling of household waste is to perform well, modification of kerbside schemes to broaden the range of targeted materials must be accompanied by promotional and educational campaigns, focused, as a short term priority, on medium and high recyclers and with emphasis on recognition of cans and plastics.

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Published date: September 2006
Keywords: recycling, waste, composition, analysis, kerbside, householders, behaviour, performance


Local EPrints ID: 39463
ISSN: 0921-3449
PURE UUID: 1e3e0565-e5e7-4e92-bd12-a574cd173767

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Date deposited: 28 Jun 2006
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 15:36

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