|dc.description.abstract||Federal regulations require state governments provide for the safe and
environmentally sound management of wastes generated within their borders. In order to
effectively manage wastes, the types and quantities of material requiring management
needs to be measured.
This research investigates the reconciliation of results from two methodologies for
estimating municipal solid waste (MSW) generation, and assessing the potential for solid
waste planners to combine the two methods in a cost-effective manner to predict local
baseline data in order to meet governmental solid waste planning regulations.
This research investigates measurement methods and the feasibility of reconciling
the output of two commonly used methodologies for estimating MSW generation:
1. Indirect measurement by a materials flow analysis (MFA) and published by the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and
2. Direct measurement of the MSW stream at the local, state, or regional level.
The MFA used by EPA to estimate the quantity of MSW on a national level looks at
products sold and assumes a useful product life. At the end of the product’s useful life,
EPA follows the product flow through end-of-life management—generation, recycling,
The direct measurement method involves the collection, sampling, and measuring
of statistically valid portions of MSW. MSW is physically sorted at the disposal or
transfer facility and recovery through recycling and composting is estimated directly
from facility records or through various types of reporting requirements. Disposal is then
added to recovery to estimate generation.
Each method has advantages and disadvantages. The goal of this research is to
highlight the differences and similarities and issues that arise when comparing MSW data
collected under the two different methods.
Understanding the individual product and material components that make up the
total measurement, instead of just the bottom line total, is required when striving to
reconcile measurement methods. Additional research is required before it can be
determined if the potential exists for combining data collected by the two methods in a
cost-effective manner that would be useful to solid waste planners.||