Converting Waste Plastics into a Resource

Converting Waste Plastics into a Resource
U N I T E D N AT I O N S E N V I R O N M E N T P R O G R A M M E
CONVERTING WASTE
PLASTICS INTO
A RESOURCE
Assessment Guidelines
Copyright © United Nations Environment Programme, 2009
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Converting Waste Plastics
Into a Resource
Assessment Guidelines
(revised version)
Compiled by
United Nations Environmental Programme
Division of Technology, Industry and Economics
International Environmental Technology Centre
Osaka/Shiga
Preface
Economic growth and changing consumption and production patterns are resulting into rapid
increase in generation of waste plastics in the world. The world’s annual consumption of plastic
materials has increased from around 5 million tonnes in the 1950s to nearly 100 million tonnes;
thus, 20 times more plastic is produced today than 50 years ago. This implies that on one hand,
more resources are being used to meet the increased demand of plastic, and on the other hand, more
plastic waste is being generated. In Asia and the Pacific, as well as many other developing regions,
plastic consumption has increased much more than the world average due to rapid urbanization and
economic development.
Due to the increase in generation, waste plastics are becoming a major stream in solid waste.
After food waste and paper waste, plastic waste is the third major constitute at municipal and
industrial waste in cities. Even the cities with low economic growth have started producing more
plastic waste due to increased use of plastic packaging, plastic shopping bags, PET bottles and other
goods/appliances using plastic as the major component.
This increase has turned into a major challenge for local authorities, responsible for solid
waste management and sanitation. Due to lack of integrated solid waste management, most of the
plastic waste is neither collected properly nor disposed of in appropriate manner to avoid its
negative impacts on environment and public health and waste plastics are causing littering and
choking of sewerage system. Due to extremely long periods required for natural decomposition,
waste plastic is often the most visible component in waste dumps and open landfills.
Plastic waste recycling can provide an opportunity to collect and dispose of plastic waste in
the most environmental friendly way and it can be converted into a resource. In most of the
situations, plastic waste recycling could also be economically viable, as it generates resources,
which are in high demand. Plastic waste recycling also has a great potential for resource
conservation and GHG emissions reduction, such as producing fuel from plastic waste. This
resource conservation goal is very important for most of the national and local governments, where
rapid industrialization and economic development is putting a lot of pressure on natural resources.
Some of the developed countries have already established commercial level resource recovery from
waste plastics. Therefore, having a “latecomer’s advantage,” developing countries can learn from
these experiences and technologies available to them.
UNEP has developed a programme on integrated solid waste management to support capacity
building and technology transfer and under which a set of guidelines on development of ISWM
Plan (four volumes available on line: http://www.unep.or.jp/ietc/spc/activities/activity_capacitybldg.asp) have been prepared.
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Recognizing the importance of particular waste streams and to build the capacity for the
design and implementation of projects on the conversion of waste into material/resource source,
UNEP has also developed guidelines for the characterization and quantification of specific types of
waste, the assessment of waste management systems and compendiums of technologies for various
types of wastes.
This document pertains to the methodology for waste plastics characterization and
quantification (mainly for conversion into resource/fuel) and the assessment of current waste
management system including the identification of gaps therein. It is aimed to raise awareness and
assist policy – makers and managers on the collection and analysis of data to generate a baseline on
waste plastics to further develop viable business propositions for converting waste plastics into
fuels and to identify, assess and select Environmental Sound Technologies (EST) suitable for local
conditions.
This document can also be of interest to other interested parties/organizations that aim at
supporting decision-makers. They may be:
• consultants working on urban services, recycling, or waste management;
• representatives or staff of other local stakeholders including community groups, NGOs,
and the private sector;
• entrepreneurs wishing to expand or strengthen their solid waste portfolios;
• academicians and scholars in urban environmental management;
• the press, especially when seeking background materials;
• donors interested in supporting future waste management activities; and
• local experts interested in using or replicating the results.
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Table of Contents
Preface …………………………………………………………………………………………....…1
Acronyms…………………………………………………………………………………….…...…5
Part I: Waste Plastics Characterization and Quantification and Projections for the
Future
1. Introduction
1.1
Overview……………………………………………………………………………….…….7
1.2
Importance of Data Collection………………………………………………………….…....7
1.3
Roadmap……..……………………………………………………………………………….7
2. Plastics
2.1
Overview……………………………………………………………………………………10
2.2
Thermoplastics and Thermosets….……………………………………………...……..…..10
2.3
Most Common Plastic Types….…………………………………………………………....11
2.4
Film/Soft – Hard/Rigid Plastics……………………………………………………….……12
2.5
Plastic/Resin Identification Code…………..………………………………..………….…..13
3. Preparation for Data Collection
3.1
Setting the Boundaries………………………………………………………………...……14
3.2
Collecting the Information Required……………………………………………….……...16
4. Data Collection, Analysis and Presentation
4.1
Overall Solid Waste Data Collection ………………………………….….………………..18
4.2
Plastic Waste Data Collection ………………………….……………….………………….18
4.3
Methods for Sample Analysis………………………………………………………….…...22
4.4
4.5
4.6
4.7
Methods for Data Analysis………………………………………………………….……....24
Data Presentation……………………………………………………………………………30
Working Example…………………………………………………………………………...32
Collection of Additional Information……………………………………………….………36
5. Municipal Waste
5.1
Survey for Municipal Solid Waste..………………………………………………………..38
6. Industrial Solid Waste
6.1
Plastic Waste due to Production Process…………………………………………….……..42
6.2
Plastic Waste due to Other Activities………………………………………………………45
7. WEEE / E-Waste
7.1
Plastic Substances in WEEE / E-waste…………………………………………………….46
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Part II: Assessment of Current Waste Plastics Management Systems
8. Waste Plastics Management System / Practices
8.1
Introduction…………………………………………………………………………………49
8.2
Waste Plastics Pathways ……………………………………………………………………50
8.3
Assessment of Waste Plastic Management System...……………………………….….…..51
8.4
Policies...…………………………………………………………………………………....54
8.5
Institutions……………………………………………………………………………….…57
8.6
Financing Mechanisms……………………………………………………………………..58
8.7
8.8
Technology…………………………………………………………………………………60
Stakeholder’s Participation…………………….…………………………………….……..62
Annexure
Annexure 1: Types of Waste Plastics
Annexure 2: Types of RPPCs and CRV Containers
Annexure 3: Common Types of Plastics, Properties and Product Applications
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Acronyms
ABS
BOT
BFR
C&D
CIWMB
CL
CV
CRV
DTIE
ESTs
E-Waste
HDPE
HIPS
IETC
ISWM
LDPE
LLDPE
MC
MSDS
MSW
NGOs
OECD
PA
PC
PE
PES
PET
PP
PPVC
PRC
PS
PSP
PU
PVC
3R
RPPCS
SAN
SPI
StEP
TPE
UNEP
WEEE
WGF
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene
Build-Operate-Transfer
Brominated Flame Retardants
Construction & Demolition
Californian Integrated Waste Management Board
Confidence Level
Calorific Value
Californian Redemption Value
Division of Technology, Industry and Economics
Environmentally Sound Technologies
Electronic Waste
High Density Polyethylene
High Impact Polystyrene
International Environmental Technology Centre
Integrated Solid Waste Management
Low Density Polyethylene
Linear Low Density Polyethylene
Moisture Content
Material Safety Data Sheet
Municipal Solid Waste
Non-governmental Organizations
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Polyamides
Polycarbonates
Polyethylene
Polyester
Polyethylene Terephthalate
Polypropylene
Plasticized Polyvinyl-Chloride
People’s Republic of China
Polystyrene
Private Sector Participation
Polyurethanes
Polyvinyl-Chloride
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
Rigid Plastic Packaging Containers
Styrene AcryloNitrile
Society of the Plastics Industries
Solving the E-waste Programme
Tons Per Employee
United Nations Environment Programme
Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment
Waste Generation Factors
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PART I
Waste Plastics Quantification
and Characterization.
Projections for the Future
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1. Introduction
1.1
Overview
The aim of these guidelines is to provide a methodology for the collection of baseline data
for a potential project on converting waste plastics into a resource/fuel. The guidelines have been
prepared to facilitate the collection of information on waste plastics, which could be recovered
either from mixed waste or directly at source from different waste generating sectors, viz.:
domestic, commercial, industrial, construction and demolition, and WEEE/E-waste. These
guidelines are also expected to help in estimating the trend of waste plastics generation by each
generator type or sector as per demographic and socioeconomic trends of solid waste generation
rates.
It is important to put into context the waste plastics generation in relation with the overall
solid waste generated. Quantification and characterization of the solid waste stream as a whole is
recommended prior to focusing on waste plastics. Further, plastics to fuel conversion technologies
may require the mixing of waste plastics with organic waste, including paper and wood, as
additional feedstock; hence the quantification of these streams of waste will also be useful to be
known (Please refer to the following guideline "Developing Integrated Solid Waste Management
Plan – Training Manual Vol. 1: Waste Characterization and Quantification with Projections for
Future" http://www.unep.or.jp/ietc/SPC/publications.asp).
These guidelines for waste plastics could be used as stand alone set of guidelines, if the
target is to characterize and quantify only waste plastics, or could be used as an additional set of
guidelines to narrow down the characterization and quantification of solid waste with reference to
waste plastics.
1.2
Importance of data collection
The data on current and future trends of waste plastics is the basic requirement to develop a
viable system for converting waste plastics into a resource (energy or useful material). Information
on quantities, types and quality of the waste plastics is necessary to determine the technology to be
used, its size, specification of equipment and additional aspects of the system such as the vehicles
for collection, buildings and stockyards. The data will also ultimately help in working out the
economic feasibility of the planned business.
1.3
Roadmap
As a starting point for the baseline data compilation it is very important to set the boundaries
and plan the data collection and analysis procedures before hand. Figure 1.1 presents the roadmap
to follow for the data collection and its analysis. This roadmap is divided into the following steps:
1. Setting the boundaries: Clear definition and demarcation of geo-political and
administrative boundaries based on the sectors and/or waste generators (Chapter 3); and
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2. Setting the procedures for data collection, analysis and presentation: Determining the
number of samples for primary data collection, identifying the sites and timing for sample
collection, selecting the methods for the analysis of the samples, and choosing the
methodology for analysis and presentation of the data (Chapter 4).
The procedure for the data collection might differ according to the waste generator sector
that is targeted, as well as the specific waste stream such as Waste Electrical and Electronic
Equipment (WEEE) or Construction and Demolition (C&D) waste. Guidance on this regard will be
provided in the following chapters:
•
•
Municipal solid waste (residential and commercial): (Chapter 5)
Industrial solid waste (non-hazardous): (Chapter 6)
•
WEEE/E-waste: (Chapter 7)
Construction and Demolition (C&D) Waste
In developing countries, C&D waste may not contain substantial portion of waste plastics,
however it might be present in the form of packaging materials or parts of equipment or materials
itself (e.g. pipes). Segregation of the plastics from other streams of waste is recommended. In
addition to it PVC should also be segregated from other plastics as a separate stream.
Hazardous Waste
It is recommended that wherever waste plastics are mixed or contaminated with hazardous
waste, then that portion of the waste (which includes the waste plastics), is treated as hazardous
waste. Please refer to the Guidelines for Integrated Solid Waste Management (ISWM), which are
available separately.
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Define Geo-Administrative Boundaries
Define the Waste Generation Sectors
Residential, Commercial, Industrial, C&D,
WEEE/E-waste
Define
Municipal and non-municipal waste
Hazardous and non-hazardous waste
Collect Information / Maps
Zoning (residential, commercial, industrial)
Demographic (current and future)
Socioeconomic characteristics
Waste generation rates
Primary data on waste plastics
Select the Procedures for
Data Collection, Analysis
& Presentation
Municipal Solid Waste Plastics
Industrial Waste Plastics
WEEE Waste Plastics
Overall Data on
Waste Plastics Generation
Figure.1.1: Flowchart for Data Collection & Analysis
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2. Plastics
2.1
Overview
Plastics are polymers, a very large molecule made up of smaller units called monomers
which are joined together in a chain by a process called polymerization. The polymers generally
contain carbon and hydrogen with, sometimes, other elements such as oxygen, nitrogen, chlorine or
fluorine.
There exist natural plastics such as shellac, tortoiseshell, horns and many resinous tree saps
but the term “plastic” is commonly used to refer to synthetically (synthetic or semi-synthetic)
created materials that we constantly use in our daily lives: in our clothing, housing, automobiles,
aircraft, packaging, electronics, signs, recreation items, and medical implants to name but a few of
their many applications.
These plastics are not just polymers which can be molded or extruded into desired shapes
but often contain additives that improve their performance. According to the polymer used, the
synthetic and semi-synthetic plastics can be designed with a broad variation in properties that can
be modified by the addition of such additives. Some additives include the following:
2.2
Antioxidants – added to reduce the effects of oxygen on the plastics during the ageing
process and at elevated temperatures.
Stabilizers – in many cases used to reduce the rate of degradation of polyvinyl chloride
(PVC).
Plasticizers or softeners- used to make some polymers more flexible, such as PVC.
Blowing agents –used to make cellular plastics such as foam.
Flame retardant –added to reduce the flammability of plastics.
Pigments –used to add color to plastic materials.
Thermoplastics and Thermosets
Synthetic and semi-synthetic plastics can be divided into two broad categories:
thermoplastics and thermosets.
Thermoplastics are plastics that can be repeatedly soften and melt when heat is applied and
they solidify into new shapes or new plastics products when cooled. Thermoplastics include
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), Low Density Poly Ethylene (LDPE), Poly Vinyl Chloride
(PVC), High Density Poly Ethylene (HDPE), Polypropylene (PP) and Polystyrene (PS) among
others.
Thermosets or thermosettings are plastics that can soften and melt but take shape only
once. They are not suitable for repeated heat treatments; therefore if heat is reapplied they will not
soften again but they stay permanently in the shape that they solidified into. Thermosets are widely
used in electronics and automotive products. Thermoset plastics contain alkyd, epoxy, ester,
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melamine formaldehyde, phenolic formaldehyde, silicon, urea formaldehyde, polyurethane,
metalised and multilayer plastics etc.
Of the total post-consumer plastics waste in India, thermoplastics constitute 80% and the
remaining 20% correspond to thermosets. Similar percentages are also representative in the rest of
the world.
2.3
Most Common Plastic Types
Plastics are classified on the basis of the polymer from which they are made, therefore the
variety of plastics it is very extensive.
The types of plastics that are most commonly reprocessed are polyethylene (PE),
polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS), polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polyvinyl chloride
(PVC).
Polyethylene (PE) - The two main types of polyethylene are low-density polyethylene
(LDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE). LDPE is soft, flexible and easy to cut, with
the feel of candle wax. When it is very thin it is transparent; when thick it is milky white,
unless a pigment is added. LDPE is used in the manufacture of film bags, sacks and
sheeting, blow-moulded bottles, food boxes, flexible piping and hosepipes, household
articles such as buckets and bowls, toys, telephone cable sheaths, etc. HDPE is tougher and
stiffer than LDPE, and is always milky white in color, even when very thin. It is used for
bags and industrial wrappings, soft drinks bottles, detergents and cosmetics containers, toys,
crates, jerry cans, dustbins and other household articles.
Polypropylene (PP) - Polypropylene is more rigid than PE, and can be bent sharply without
breaking. It is used for stools and chairs, high-quality home ware, strong moldings such as
car battery housings and other parts, domestic appliances, suitcases, wine barrels, crates,
pipes, fittings, rope, woven sacking, carpet backing, netting, surgical instruments, nursing
bottles, food containers, etc.
Polystyrene (PS) - In its unprocessed form, polystyrene is brittle and usually transparent. It
is often blended (copolymerized) with other materials to obtain the desired properties. High
impact polystyrene (HIPS) is made by adding rubber. Polystyrene foam is often produced by
incorporating a blowing agent during the polymerization process. PS is used for cheap,
transparent kitchen ware, light fittings, bottles, toys, food containers, etc.
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) – PET exists as an amorphous (transparent) and as a
semi-crystalline (opaque and white) thermoplastic material. Generally, it has good resistance
to mineral oils, solvents and acids but not to bases. The semi-crystalline PET has good
strength, ductility, stiffness and hardness while the amorphous type has better ductility but
less stiffness and hardness. PET has good barrier properties against oxygen and carbon
dioxide. Therefore, it is utilized in bottles for mineral water. Other applications include food
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trays for oven use, roasting bags, audio/video tapes as well as mechanical components and
synthetic fibers.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) - Polyvinyl chloride is a hard, rigid material, unless plasticizers
are added. Common applications for PVC include bottles, thin sheeting, transparent
packaging materials, water and irrigation pipes, gutters, window frames, building panels,
etc. If plasticizers are added, the product is known as plasticized polyvinyl chloride (PPVC),
which is soft, flexible and rather weak, and is used to make inflatable articles such as
footballs, as well as hosepipes and cable coverings, shoes, flooring, raincoats, shower
curtains, furniture coverings, automobile linings, bottles, etc.
Other plastics extensively used in our daily lives are as follow:
2.4
High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) – used in fridge liners, food packaging, vending cups.
Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) – used in electronic equipment cases (e.g.,
computer monitors, printers, keyboards), drainage pipe.
Polyester (PES) – used in fibers, textiles.
Polyamides (PA) (Nylons) - used in fibers, toothbrush bristles, fishing line, under-the-hood
car engine mouldings.
Polyurethanes (PU) - used in cushioning foams, thermal insulation foams, surface coatings,
printing rollers.
Polycarbonates (PC) - used in CDs, eyeglasses, riot shields, security windows, traffic
lights, lenses.
Polycarbonate/Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (PC/ABS) - A blend of PC and ABS that
creates a stronger plastic. Used in car interior and exterior parts and mobile phone bodies.
Film/Soft – Rigid/Hard Plastics
One common classification with regards to waste plastics is rigid/hard and film/soft plastics.
Plastic films are technically defined as plastic sold in thicknesses of up to 0.0254 mm, or 25.4 µm.
However it is usually referred to plastics which are typically thin items, pliable sheets or collapsible
tubes (e.g. shopping bags, trash bags and packaging materials for many different products).
On the other hand rigid plastics have the properties to be sturdy and self-supporting (e.g.
cosmetic and toiletry bottles, soft drink and water bottles, basins, pails, trays, various containers and
many others).
The most common polymer used in film plastics is low density polyethylene (LDPE) and
shrink wrap, which is a linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) designed to stretch. HDPE is also
extensively used. PP film is commonly used to package cigarettes, candy, snack food and sanitary
goods. PVC film is used in some bags and liners, labels, adhesive tape and to package fresh red
meats. PET films is found in nonfood, non-packaging applications such as magnetic audio,
photographic film and video recording film.
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Similarly, rigid plastics are composed of a broad variety of polymers (e.g. In agriculture the
most used resin types are mainly HDPE, PP and PS. Common products are nursery pots, trays, flats,
tray inserts, baskets and hangers, pails and barrels).
This classification (film-rigid plastics) is based on common properties/features of the
plastics but does not refer to the composition of the material.
Please refer to Annexure 1 for a classification on rigid and non rigid packaging plastics.
Furthermore, definitions of various types of waste plastics are shown in Annexure 2.
2.5
Plastic/Resin Identification Code
The Society of the Plastics Industries (SPI) developed in 1988 the resin identification code
to facilitate the recycling of post-consumer plastics by providing manufacturers a consistent and
uniform system to identify the resin content of plastic bottles and containers. The SPI coding, by
which a number is recorded within the plastic item to specify the type of polymer used in its
manufacture process, focused on the plastic packaging commonly found in the residential waste
stream. The majority of plastic packaging is made of six type of polymers such as polyethylene
terephthalate (PET or PETE); high density polyethylene (HDPE); polyvinyl chloride (PVC or
vinyl); low density polyethylene (LDPE); polypropylene (PP); or polystyrene (PS). Therefore SPI
resin identification code assigned each of these resins a number from 1 to 6. Additionally this
system included a seventh code, identified as "other" indicating that the product in question is made
with a resin other than the six listed above, or is made of more than one resin used in combination.
Figure 2.1: Plastic Identification Code
Unfortunately the Plastic/Resin Identification Code is not world wide used and this
classification is not followed in most of developing countries where usually the waste plastics are
either covered under one category, “plastics” or two categories, “rigid and soft/film plastics”.
References:
http://www.plasticsindustry.org/
http://plasticulture.psu.edu
Understanding Plastic Films: Its uses, benefits and Waste Management Options. Prepared
for the American Plastics Council by Headley Pratt Consulting. Dec 1996.
http://www.sdplastics.com/plastics.html
http://www.ciwmb.ca
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3. Plastic Waste Quantification and Characterization –
Preparation for Data Collection
3.1
Setting the Boundaries
The first step for data collection is to clearly set the boundaries in terms of geographical and
administrative coverage, waste generation sectors to be covered and identification of the waste
plastic generators.
3.1.1 Setting Geographical Size of the Area and Zoning
A map is required from local authorities which identifies the geographical and
administrative boundaries with geographical area and land zone planning.
Population Size and Growth
Time series data of the population and future projections along with the distribution of the
population among various zones is required.
Socio-Economic Patterns
The information on socioeconomic patterns is required to assess their influence over the
current and future waste plastics generation levels and trends. There is a strong correlation between
the economic growth, or the rate of urbanization and industrialization, and the generation of waste
plastics in developing countries. Currently there is an increase in goods predominately made of
plastic instead of other materials: an increase on plastic packaging, refrigeration of foods wrapped
in plastics, take away foods, plastic bags provided by shopping malls, etc.
Size and Number of Industries and Commercial Undertakings
The information on the size and number of industries and other commercial undertakings,
according to their type or clusters as per industrial classification (an example of industrial
classification is shown in chapter 6), is required to formulate the data collection strategies, as
various types of clusters may generate specific types and specific quantities of waste plastics.
Administrative Boundaries and Responsibilities
The information on the administrative roles of various departments and their jurisdiction
will be required as baseline information on the institutional arrangements and institutional gaps that
need to be filled in to effectively manage waste plastics. This information will also cover the
responsibilities of various actors (government, industry, service providers and community) in the
collection, transportation, treatment, recycling, and disposal of the waste plastics. This would
14
further help to estimate the types and quantities of waste plastics generated at its origin, transported
to the disposal site, and/or recycled.
3.1.2 Defining Waste Generating Sectors
Municipal Waste
Depending on the administrative boundaries, municipal waste may only cover residential
and commercial waste or it may also include urban agricultural waste and/or industrial waste from
canteens/restaurants, residences and offices within the industries (non-hazardous waste). Therefore,
the term “municipal waste” has to be defined based on the existing regulations and practices within
the specified geographic location.
Usually in most developing countries, municipalities are responsible for the collection and
disposal of municipal waste from residential areas while other sectors (commercial, industrial, and
agriculture) make their own arrangements to transport their waste to the municipal disposal sites
(landfill and incineration plants), if they are allowed to dispose their waste at municipal facilities,
and pay the subsequent disposal charges.
If within the municipal waste there are separate categories for residential and commercial
waste, and they are collected separately, then it is recommended that the collection of the data is
done under separate categories and not as municipal waste as a whole.
Residential Waste
Residential waste generated by households, such as single-family houses or multi-family
buildings, is comprised of different streams of waste in which waste plastics is included.
Usually the municipality is responsible for the collection and transportation of the residential
waste, thus it is treated as municipal waste; however in some countries, the collection and
transportation of waste from multi-family buildings could be the responsibility of the residents. In
some countries there are regulations on segregation at source for the recyclable waste or in other
cases without any regulation informal recycling occurs. Information on this type of regulation or
information is vital to estimate the overall quantity and quality of waste plastics for designing a
recycling facility.
Commercial Waste
In many places, waste plastics, as part of the non-hazardous commercial waste generated by
the commercial entities (shopping malls, markets, offices etc.) is considered as municipal waste and
therefore collected by the local government or municipality. However in many cases waste
generators arrange its collection through the private sector. Either way, businesses might segregate
the waste plastics and sell them to recycling companies. This information would help to estimate the
overall quantity and quality of waste plastics and final disposal.
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Industrial Waste
Industrial waste can be both, hazardous and non-hazardous. Usually, industrial waste is not
considered as municipal waste; however, in some places, the non-hazardous portion of the waste
(where waste plastics is included), is disposed of at municipal disposal facilities. In this case, the
industries make arrangements for the transportation of the waste to the disposal facility and they
may pay disposal charges. Some or all of the waste plastics generated by industries may be directly
sold to recyclers. Hence this information would be useful for designing a recycling activity in the
city.
Construction and Demolition (C&D) Waste
In developing countries, C&D waste may not contain substantial portion of waste plastics.
However, this should be confirmed locally as well as the arrangement for collection, transportation
and disposal (recycled or disposed at landfill).
Segregation of the plastics from other streams of waste is recommended. Additionally PVC should
also be segregated from other plastics, as a separate stream.
WEEE/E-Waste
Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) or E-waste is one of the fastest growing
waste streams in the world. In developing countries like China and India, though annual generation
per capita is less than 1 kg, it is growing at an exponential pace. Composition of WEEE/ E-waste is
very diverse and differs in products across different categories. It contains more than 1000 different
substances, which fall under “hazardous” and “non-hazardous” categories. Broadly, it consists of
ferrous (50%) and non-ferrous metals (13%), plastics (21%) and other constitutes like glass, wood
& plywood, concrete and ceramics, rubber etc. Usually, most of the plastic components from Ewaste are dismantled and sold to recyclers. This information would be vital to assess the overall
quantity and quality of waste plastics available within a city.
3.2
Collecting the Information Required
In addition to setting the boundaries and specifying the sectors it is important to collect the
information related to policies, national classifications of materials (and industries) and any other
information locally available regarding to waste in general and waste plastics in particular.
Therefore, for a particular city or region, the information to be collected prior the preparation of the
field data collection is as follows:
I. Maps from local authorities identifying the geographical and administrative boundaries.
II. Maps for land-use/zoning plans.
III. Population size and growth: Time-series data with future projections, distribution of
population among various zones, number of single-family and multi-family buildings and
average size of inhabitants.
16
IV. Size and number of industries and commercial undertakings, which generate waste
plastics, as per national or local classification.
V. Regulations on solid waste in general and waste plastics in particular.
VI. List of plastic types. Identify local classification of the plastics if exist. Usually waste
plastics are classified as soft/film plastic and rigid plastic, and within this classification the
specific types such as PP, PE, PS, PVC etc should be detailed. Some countries, as it is the
case of Thailand, have developed methodologies to assess waste plastics. Identification of
those guides is recommended.
VII. Primary data on waste plastics and its proportion in the overall waste (if such data is
available).
References:
CASCADIA Consulting Group (2004), Statewide Waste Characterization Study. California
Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB)
http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/Publications/LocalAsst/34004005.pdf (6 April 2006)
Sky Valley Associates (2003), 2002 Oregon Solid Waste Characterization and
Composition. Department of Environmental Quality, Oregon, USA.
http://www.deq.state.or.us/wmc/solwaste/wcrep/ReportWC02Full.pdf (6 April 2006)
CASCADIA Consulting Group (2003), Guidelines for Waste Characterization Studies in the
State of Washington. Washington State Department of Ecology
CASCADIA Consulting Group (2005), Provincial Waste Characterization Framework.
Government of Canada.
http://www.recycle.ab.ca/Download/WasteCharFinalReport.pdf (6 April 2006)
17
4. Plastic Waste Quantification and Characterization –
Data Collection, Analysis and Presentation
4.1
Overall Solid Waste Data Collection
Prior to the characterization of waste plastics it is important to put into context the waste
plastics generation in relation with the overall solid waste. Quantification and characterization of
the solid waste stream as a whole is desirable so that each stream of waste is segregated, weighted
and their data is recorded (Please refer to "Developing Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan –
Training Manual Vol. 1: Waste Characterization and Quantification with Projections for Future"
http://www.unep.or.jp/ietc/SPC/publications.asp). For the purpose of this guideline we will focus on
data collection for plastics as a segregated stream.
4.2
Waste Plastics Data collection
The assessment of a potential project on the conversion of waste plastics into a resource
requires a detailed study of the composition of the waste plastics being generated. However
extensive studies on waste quantification and characterization, including measurement and sample
analysis, could be costly, time consuming and complicated. Thus the design of the study should be
in line with available time, funds and skills; and to the level, where sufficient data could be made
available to take appropriate decisions to identify technologies and make techno-economic
feasibility studies leading to implementation of these technologies.
The required information from the data collection to be analyzed is as follows:
1) Amount of plastics being generated within the geographical boundaries delimited for the
project.
2) Amount of plastics reaching the transfer station and the disposal site as well as the
plastics being diverted for recycling.
3) Amount of rigid and soft/film plastics (if required).
4) Further classification of plastic types to be able to assess the technology suitable to the
plastics available and
5) Quality of the plastics (how clean/dirty they are).
It should be highlighted that this process for collecting the information will also depend and
differ according to the location where the data collection is taking place.
Once the details of what type of data collection is required, the next step would be the
identification of the number of samples, timing of samples, methods to cover seasonal variations,
sites for collection of samples and methodologies for sample analysis and data generation. For data
analysis, the important considerations would be to produce results, which are representative with
18
high confidence levels with minimum costs, and the future projections incorporating population and
socioeconomic growth, and technological development. For data presentation (graphically and in
tables), the useful aspects would be to provide overall current and future picture of the plastic waste
generation including the percentage of such stream within the overall solid waste stream as well as
its sub-categorization with respect to various types of plastics.
4.2.1 List of Plastic Types
The list of waste plastics types to be identified must be in accordance with the possible
identification of such types of plastics and/or in accordance with any methodology proposed by the
country or local/national regulations or practices.
The classification could be based on different criteria such as:
a) Rigid and film plastics, if the level of information obtained through this
classification would be enough (which it is not usually the case).
b) Types of polymers used (PET, PP, PE, PS, etc)
c) Others, as containers, packaging etc. Example presented below.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
PET Containers
HDPE Containers
Miscellaneous Plastic Containers
Film Plastic*
Trash Bags
Grocery and Other Merchandise Bags
Non-Bag Commercial and Industrial Packaging
Film
Film Products
Other Film
Durable Plastic Items
Remainder/Composite Plastic
The most recommended categorization is based on the typology of polymers used in the
manufacture process since each technology is best suited for a plastic type and therefore this
information will be needed for the assessment of technologies.
Identification of plastic typology
Experienced and skilled persons can sometimes identify various types of plastics by visual
observation, feel and texture. However, due to the similar appearance or properties of some types of
plastics, in many cases it is difficult to identify the various types at a glance. A laboratory test will
definitively characterize the typology however it can be very costly.
Identification methodologies are to be applied according to the local situation in which the
data collection is taking place. Potential identification methods are as follow:
i) According to the Plastic Identification Code - Just possible if this code is used in the
area where the characterization is taking place.
19
ii) By the properties of the materials - Previous identification of main plastics materials
within the municipal waste by its properties and product applications (Please refer to
Annexure 3: “Common types of plastics, properties and product applications”).
iii) Including waste pickers in the field team – They are experts on the characterization of
the plastics since each type of plastic has a market value.
iv) Going back to the manufacturers - Previous identification of main plastics materials
within the municipal waste by contacting the manufacturers. This is very time
consuming and the results are not very satisfactory since it is very difficult to identify
and classify all the plastics.
4.2.2 Number of Samples
The number of samples depends primarily on the cost versus its utility. For higher statistical
accuracy and confidence level, the number of the samples will be more. There are statistical
procedures to calculate the number of samples at each confidence level. Table 4.1 is an example of
the variation of materials in mixed solid waste and the number of samples required to achieve
confidence levels of 95%, 90%, 80% and 70% respectively (RecycleWorlds 1994).
Usually, for solid waste data, it is recommended to set the number of samples according to a
confidence level (C.L) of approximately 80% (Cascadia 2003).
Table 4.1: Number of Samples for Waste Composition
Materials
C.L 95%
C.L 90%
C.L 80%
C.L 70%
Residential
Commercial
Residential
Commercial
Residential
Commercial
Residential
Commercial
Newsprint
224-2397
698-3563
58-600
170-991
16-150
48-223
9-58
21-101
Cardboard
899-1955
533-997
225-499
134-250
58-123
35-64
27-66
17-30
Aluminum
275-1437
754-4399
70-350
191-1100
19-92
60-275
10-42
23-123
Ferrous
194-554
552-3411
50-139
138-953
14-37
36-214
8-18
17-97
Glass
145-619
596-2002
39-155
149-501
19-61
39-126
6-19
19-58
Plastic
261-1100
422-783
67-275
107-195
18-70
28-61
10-32
14-24
12-47
26-92
5-14
8-25
3-5
4-8
3-4
3-5
Organic
The difference in number of samples for residential and commercial waste is due to the level
of variation in waste between these two sectors. For residential waste the variation of material types
across the samples is usually low; therefore, fewer samples would be required to establish the same
confidence level in comparison with assessment of commercial waste (e.g. California Integrated
Waste Management Board (CIWB) asks for 40 samples for residential waste, 50 samples for
nonresidential wastes, 25 samples for subpopulation with similar businesses and 40 samples for
subpopulation with different businesses per year).
20
In the case of the waste plastics, the number of samples will depend on the proportion of
different types of waste plastics (which may vary depending on the local situation). If a certain type
of plastic contained in the sample is in lower percentages with respect to other materials (e.g.
durable plastic items, such as plates) higher number of samples will be required to confirm the
quantity of that material in comparison with the higher percentage material (e.g. PET bottles).
The number of samples also depends on the methodology for sample analysis, so that more
samples would be required to achieve same confidence level if the samples are being analyzed
through visualization, in comparison to analysis based on hand sorting.
Due to higher costs and efforts required to collect and analyze the samples, it is
recommended to be careful in narrowing down the types of waste plastics.
4.2.3 Timing for Sample Collection
The timing of sample collection could be a vital factor for getting a representative data.
Waste disposal patterns, with respect to types of materials, often vary according to the time of day
or week. Therefore, based on the economic viability, the study should include plans either (1) to
collect data that covers the entire period of disposal, or (2) to collect data that may be assembled
later in a way that represents the entire period.
Nevertheless, the local knowledge can play an important role to identify suitable timings for
data collection for various waste streams or for different types of materials. In some countries, there
are regulations for disposing certain types of wastes at certain timings (e.g. residential waste early
in the morning or late at night) and at certain days of the week (e.g. recyclables once a week). This
information would help to plan for appropriate timings. In other case, a pilot survey can also help to
determine the variations across the different timings of the day or across the different days of the
week.
4.2.4 Seasonal Variations
To account for seasonal variations, the local knowledge may help to identify the possible
seasonal changes in the waste plastics streams (e.g. the availability of certain type of agricultural or
industrial products in a certain season may increase the waste plastics generation due to packaging
of industrial and agricultural goods). Similarly, at some places the seasonal migration may affect
overall solid waste and consequently waste plastics. This identification would be useful to plan the
data collection activities, as it will be very costly and time consuming to collect data during all the
seasons for all types of waste plastics.
4.2.5 Selection of the Sites
The samples may be taken directly from generators, at the primary collection point
(piles/heaps), from waste collection vehicles or at the disposal facility. The decision in this regard
depends on the tradeoff between efforts and the requirements for data. If data has to be very
accurate with respect to waste generators, then samples should be collected at the primary stage of
21
waste generation but be aware of areas or small towns where waste is not collected properly and
therefore samples at specific points such as the disposal site do not represent the waste generated
within the area (since open dumping, burning and other treatments of the waste are carried out).
Furthermore, the timing of the sample collection would differ based on the decision for the site for
sample collection. For selection of sites, it is important to ensure that samples are randomly selected
across the different sites for unbiased statistical analysis. To facilitate random selection of samples,
“random numbers table” may be generated based on the virtual numbering of the sites.
For analyzing source segregated waste plastics, the samples would be directly collected
either at generation level or at transfer stations. This would be easier than analyzing samples of
mixed waste, where some of the waste plastics become dirty or contaminated and may not be
considered as “waste plastics” for recycling purposes.
4.3
Methods for Sample Analysis (quantification and characterization)
To analyze mixed waste samples or source-segregated waste plastics samples, an
appropriate methodology would be required. There are a few common methods, which are adopted
to analyze the samples at generation point, from the vehicles transporting the waste and at the
disposal point. The data may slightly vary from one method to another. For example for higher
confidence level extensive samples may be collected at generation point and could be analyzed by
hand sorting. These methods also differ in terms of cost and efforts. Therefore, depending on the
information requirements, one of the methods or a combination of the methods could be adopted to
collect the information. These methods can be divided into two categories. First one is for
measuring the amount of waste or quantification of waste. The second one is for characterization of
waste. This could be further divided into characterization through visualization and characterization
through hand sorting.
4.3.1 Quantification of Waste
There are several ways and methods to quantify the waste. One or more of the following
methods could be used depending on local conditions:
Survey
At Generation Point: This method of quantifying waste involves visiting or contacting waste
generators (e.g., businesses, apartment buildings, etc.) and determining through measurement or
observation the amount of waste plastics disposed during a given time period. Since waste
generation is highly variable from place to place, or from one time to another, it is advisable to
collect many data points in order to develop a reliable estimate of the average amount of plastics
disposed by that class of waste generator. Typically, estimates of generation are correlated with
another variable that describes the generator, such as number of residents, employees, area, etc.
This correlation allows estimates of waste quantities to be “scaled up” to a level larger than the
individual generator.
22
From the Vehicles at the Disposal Facility: This method quantifies the waste that arrives at a
disposal facility according to the waste sector. Since disposal facilities often do not classify
disposed waste according to the same waste sectors that are used in municipal solid waste planning
or waste characterization studies, it is sometimes necessary to use statistically valid surveying
techniques to determine the portion of a facility’s disposed tonnage that corresponds to each sector.
The portions that are revealed through the vehicle survey are then applied to a known total amount
of waste that is disposed at the facility during a given time period.
To quantify the waste plastics from this type of information it would be necessary to know
the percentage (by weight or volume) of the plastics within the overall waste stream.
Examination of Records
At Generation Point: Some businesses and institutions maintain records that reflect the
amount of waste disposed over time. This information can often be found in invoices from the
waste hauler or from the log sheet. Typically, the amount of waste is expressed in terms of volume
rather than weight, so a volume-to-weight conversion factor may be necessary in order to quantify
the weight of waste.
To quantify the waste plastics from this type of information it would be necessary to know
the percentage (by weight or volume) of the plastics within the overall waste stream.
At the Disposal Facility: Most disposal facilities keep transaction records that reflect the
tonnage brought for disposal. In cases where the facility classifies waste according to the same
sectors that are considered in the waste characterization study, facility records can provide thorough
and reliable data to show the portion of a facility’s disposed tonnage that corresponds to each
sector. The portions that are revealed in the records would have to be related to the percentage of
plastics within the overall waste specifically for that sector. These figures can be further correlated
to a known total amount of waste that is disposed at the facility during a given time period.
4.3.2 Characterization of Waste
There are several ways and methods to characterize the waste. One or more of the following
methods could be used depending on local conditions:
Hand sorting of Samples
From Generators: This study method produces waste composition data that can be
correlated to specific types of waste generators, such as specific categories of business or industry,
multifamily buildings, or single-family residences in specific neighborhoods. Waste samples are
obtained at the location where they were generated – e.g., from the dumpsters or disposal areas of
the business or building in question.
At Disposal Facility: Generally, within this method an entire vehicle-load of waste is
identified for sampling, but only a portion of the load is pulled out for actual sorting. This method is
23
essential for characterization of waste plastic which is finally disposed of and has not been diverted
for recycling purposes. However, because the method is employed at the disposal facility, it is of
little use in correlating waste composition with specific types of waste generators, such as particular
types of business, since it would not be possible to identify them.
Visual Characterization of Samples
From Generators: This method of waste characterization is ideal for wastes that are nearly
homogeneous, such as waste plastics segregated at shopping malls, etc.
From Vehicles: This method is ideally suited for waste that is taken to a disposal facility and
that arrives in loads that are fairly homogenous individually (even if loads are markedly different
from one another). Waste plastics loads from various commercial entities and industries are often
suitable for visual characterization, because an individual load often contains just a few materials.
The usual approach in visual characterization is to estimate the composition of the entire load and to
correlate the visual estimate with the net weight of the load.
4.4
Methods for Data Analysis
4.4.1 Waste Plastics Quantification
Quantifying based on Vehicle Surveys
If the annual tonnage of all waste disposed at the facility is known as well as the percentage
of waste plastics in the waste reaching the disposal site, then the analyst should use the vehicle
survey to determine the portion of annual disposal corresponding to the waste sectors being studied.
For a given waste sector, S, the sector overall tonnage can be calculated from the tonnage, q, found
on individual vehicles.
Sector (tons)
∑Q, S, survey period
= ---------------------------∑Q all, survey period
X
∑Q all, annual
To calculate the Sector plastic tonnage we would apply the percentage of the waste plastics
within the overall stream to the sector tonnage:
Sector (plastic tons) = Sector (tons)
X
% of plastics within the overall waste stream
If the annual tonnage of all the waste disposed at the facility is not known, then the analyst
should extrapolate sector tons directly from the corresponding tons that were counted during the
vehicle survey.
24
Operating days in year
Sector (tons) = ∑Q, S, survey period X ---------------------------Days in survey period
Appropriate adjustments should be made for the differences between weekdays and
weekends and for any other known shifts in waste disposal patterns across days, weeks, or seasons.
In the same way as before:
Sector (plastic tons) = Sector (tons)
X
% of plastics within the overall waste stream
Quantifying a Waste Sector at the Point of Generation
The process of quantifying waste plastic for a given sector involves several steps, starting
with the individual measurements of waste plastic taken at the generators that were visited (this can
be calculated by multiplying the total waste generated by the surveyed industry and the percentage
of the waste corresponding to plastics). The general procedure, applicable in most instances, is
described below. It should be followed separately for each size group that is being studied within a
larger commercial group or industry group.
First, extrapolate the volume of waste disposed using each waste container (or pile or
process, etc.) at each generator that was visited.
Generation time annual
Volume container, annual =
Volume container, measured
X
-----------------------------Generation time measured
Second, add together the extrapolated volume of waste disposed in all containers that handle
waste belonging to the same waste stream at the location.
Volume site, annual =
∑Volume container, annual
Third, calculate the density of the mixture of waste plastics at the generator location, based
on data from the waste sample.
Weight sample
Density site = ----------------------Volume sample
Fourth, apply the location-specific density figure to calculate the tons of waste plastics
disposed annually by the generator.
Tons site, annual = Volume site, annual X Density site
25
Fifth, calculate a “scale-up factor” for waste generation by the given sector and size group.
For many commercial sectors, the appropriate scale-up factor is according to the number of
employees. For most industrial sectors, it is according to number and size (production output) the
industry. The example shown below involves calculating tons per employee, or TPE for a given size
group in the industry. It draws upon data reflecting the disposed tons of plastics and employment
only at the locations that were visited as part of the study.
∑ visited sites Tons site, annual, size group
TPE annual, size group = ------------------------------------------------∑ visited sites Employees site, annual, size group
Sixth, calculate the tons disposed from the entire size group in the sector being studied. The
example below draws upon data reflecting the total number of employees in the larger population
(e.g. countywide, statewide, etc.) of industry members in the appropriate size group.
Q site, annual = TPE annual, size group X Industry - wide employment in size group
Seventh, add the results for the size groups to calculate total tons disposed by the industry.
Q industry = ∑ Q size group
Quantifying based on Waste Generation Factors
For calculating and projecting waste plastics quantities, especially from service and
industrial sector, waste generation factors (WGF) could be determined. Then it will be easy to
extrapolate the waste generation rates for the industries and services. WGF depends on the size of
the operation, the waste management practices and the process technology. Therefore, the
information for this sector should not only have a number according to the industrial classification,
but also the size of production and process technology. WGF can be defined as:
WGF =
Quantity of waste plastics generated (tons per year)
----------------------------------------------------------------Quantity of product produced (tons per year)
4.4.2 Waste Plastics Characterization
Waste characterization or composition of the waste plastics is not as difficult as
characterization of mixed waste, if the waste plastics are segregated at least in one type “plastics.”
However, if one has to start with mixed waste then it should be calculated the percentage of plastics
within the mixed waste for each of the waste sector being studied and to each size group within an
26
industry group. Once waste plastics are identified from the mixed waste or at waste generation
point, then the next step would be to further categorize waste plastics and quantify the proportion of
each category within the total waste plastics. The next section of this chapter describes how results
for individual sectors or size groups can be combined to describe the composition of larger
segments of the waste plastics.
Calculating the Average Values
For a given material, j, in all of the relevant samples, i, calculate the ratio, r, of the material
weight, m, to the total sample weight, w.
∑i mi,j
rj =
--------∑i wi,j
The calculation should be repeated for each type of waste plastics.
Calculating the Error Range
For each mean estimate, rj, calculated as described above, the confidence interval (error
range) surrounding the mean estimate is calculated as follows. First, calculate the variance, Vrj, of
the mean estimate.
1
1
∑i (mi,j - rj wi)2
---X
----------------Vrj = --- X
2
n
w
n-1
∑i wi
Where n is the number of samples, and w mean sample weight w = ------n
Confidence level is ± (t X √Vi,j), where t depends on the number of samples, n, and the
desired confidence level. The value of t can be estimated from t-static
Volume to Weight Conversion Factors & Net Weight of Waste
Combining the composition estimates for two or more segments of the waste stream require
the use of a weighted averages method. The result for each segment of the waste stream is weighted
according to the relative size of that segment in the larger waste stream that is being studied. It is
important to note that the density figures based on estimates are intended for use as “rules of
thumb.” Following are the volume-to-weight conversion factors for waste plastics from Guidelines
for Waste Characterization Studies in the State of Washington. However, situations often exist
where the actual density of each material differs from the table presented below.
27
Table 4.2: Density of Waste Plastics
Source: CASCADIA Consulting Group (2003), Guidelines for Waste Characterization Studies in the State of Washington.
Washington State Department of Ecology
Calculating the Weighting Factors when Combining Waste Sectors
A specific weighting factor should be calculated for each sector or segment of the waste
stream being studied. The weighting factor, PG, for each segment or size group, G, within the waste
stream is calculated as follows:
t G, annual
PG = ----------------Tallsectors, annual
A weighting factor should be calculated for every waste sector, and thus the sum of all the
values of PG should equal one.
Calculating the Average Values for Combined Waste Sectors
The mean estimate for a given material, j, in a combination of segments (1, 2, 3...) of the
waste stream is found as follows.
rj, combined = (p12 X Vrj1) + (p22 X Vrj2) + (p32 X Vrj3) + ….
Confidence level is ± (t X √Vj, combined), where t depends on the number of samples, n, and the
desired confidence level. The value of t can be estimated from t-static.
Variables:
S
Q
TPE
j
tonnage associated with a sector during a particular time period
quantity of waste encountered in the study
tons per employee
designation of a particular material
28
i
r
designation of a particular sample
ratio of material weight to total sample weight, for an individual sample
m
w
weight of a material in an individual sample
total weight of an individual sample
V
the variance associated with the estimate for a material’s percent in a group of
samples
n
p
number of samples in the group
a weighting factor given to a segment of the waste stream, where the sum of all the
values of p is 1
G
designation of a size subgroup within a segment of the waste stream – usually used
for generator samples
4.4.3 Determining Waste Characteristics
The components and properties of waste plastics influence the processing of fuel production
and the qualities of the resulting fuel products.
Moisture Content
Moisture content is very important factor that influences the decisions for collection,
transportation, recycling, treatment and disposal of most of the waste streams including waste
plastics. The moisture content shall be measured by heating the sample at 105 oC in an oven until
the weight loss stabilizes. The weight of the sample before and after gives the moisture content. The
different fractions of the waste stream shall have their moisture content measured separately and the
moisture content measurement has to be carried out on the same day as the sample collection to
avoid drying out.
Bottles or liquid containers need to be emptied before weighing.
Clean versus Unclean Waste Plastics
Keeping in view the aim of these guidelines to collect data on waste plastics for designing
recycling system, it is important to know the difference between clean and unclean plastics as the
economic viability of recycling system will depend on the amount of clean plastic. Sometimes,
especially if the waste plastics are part of the mixed waste, the unclean plastics may be double in
weight than the clean plastics. Therefore, once quantification and characterization of unclean waste
plastics is done, then few samples must be cleaned, dried and measured (weighted). The difference
between unclean and clean weight would provide a factor to estimate the amount of clean waste
plastics.
Calorific Value
Calorific values can usually be taken as standard for waste plastics unlike other waste types
such as kitchen and yard waste where calorific values are also calculated based on laboratory
results.
29
Bulk Density
It affects possible loading weights of waste. Bulky waste requires more transportation
capacity or larger vehicles to be used for their collection. In many cases suitable shredding or
crushing is required to increase the bulk density for cost reduction of the transportation and the
effective input to processing equipment.
Weight (kg)
3
Bulk density (kg/m ) = ----------------Volume (m3)
4.5
Data Presentation
Based on the target audience and their requirement, data on the waste plastics can be
represented in relation to other streams or just in relation to the types of waste plastics. Furthermore,
the data can be presented in different formats (tables and graphs), which are more suitable
depending on the scope of the data.
4.5.1 Tabular Presentations
Tables will represent and correlate different waste streams, quantities, types of waste or
times series and future projections.
Table 4.3: Solid Waste Generation
Sector
Residential
Commercial
Construction & Demolition
Healthcare
Industrial
Waste Plastics
Estimated percentage
(%)
10.6
14.4
9.0
0.5
7.9
Waste Plastics
Estimated tonnage
per day
1.3
1.1
0.2
1.0
1.4
Similar tables may be produced for different types of plastics or for available amounts of
certain plastics for recycling or for final disposal.
These data tables can also be produced for time-series data showing overall trends or trends
in each sector or for each type of material. Based on that data, future projections can be provided
with a few different possible scenarios. For example, the following table shows hypothetical time
series data.
30
Table 4.4: Time Series Data (2000-09) and Projections (2010-19) based on Linear Growth
Year
Others
(tons)
MSW
Plastic
(tons)
Total
(tons)
Year
Others
(tons)
MSW
Plastic
(tons)
Total
(tons)
2000
22.0
4.0
26.0
2010
33.3
7.3
40.6
2001
22.0
4.0
26.0
2011
34.1
7.7
41.8
2002
23.0
4.5
27.5
2012
34.9
8.0
42.9
2003
23.0
4.5
27.5
2013
35.6
8.4
44.0
2004
24.0
5.0
29.0
2014
36.4
8.8
45.2
2005
24.0
5.5
29.5
2015
37.2
9.1
46.3
2006
24.5
5.5
30.0
2016
38.0
9.5
47.4
2007
25.0
6.0
31.0
2017
38.7
9.8
48.6
2008
25.0
6.5
31.5
2018
39.5
10.2
49.7
2009
25.5
7.5
33.0
2019
40.3
10.6
50.8
4.5.2 Graphical Presentation
It is important to produce graphs, based on the tabulated data, as they provide quick and
better understanding. For example, a pie chart can provide a quick glimpse of the share of each
sector in overall plastic waste. Similarly, pie charts are also good to show the proportion of a type of
waste (e.g. waste plastics) from each sector (Figure 4.1). Time-series data helps to provide a clear
view of the historical trend and its future projections (Figure 4.2 and 4.3).
WEEE
1%
Residential
23%
Industrial
49%
Commercial
17%
Healthcare
1%
Constructio
n&
Demolition
9%
Figure 4.1: Waste Plastics from Different Sectors
31
Time Series Data on Residential Waste
Amount (tons)
60.0
50.0
40.0
Others
30.0
Plastic
20.0
Total
10.0
19
91
19
93
19
95
19
97
19
99
20
01
20
03
20
05
20
07
20
09
0.0
Year
Figure 4.2: Time Series Data on Residential Waste
Time Series Data on Residential Waste
Amount (tons)
60.0
50.0
40.0
Others
30.0
Plastic
20.0
Total
10.0
19
91
19
93
19
95
19
97
19
99
20
01
20
03
20
05
20
07
20
09
0.0
Year
Figure 4.3: Time Series Data on Residential Waste
4.6
Working Example
Let us take an example of a small City X. The data collection and analysis has to be done to
quantify and characterize waste plastics from municipal waste from residential and commercial
sectors to assess the potential of a plastic to fuel facility.
It is assumed that waste plastics are part of the mixed waste as no segregation system is in place.
Based on the historical data or pilot surveys, the major waste components of municipal waste have
been identified as food wastes, paper, cardboard, plastics, textiles, rubber, leather, yard wastes,
wood, glass, metals, dirt, and ash.
We should start our exercise with a quantification and characterization of the main
components of the solid waste stream or since we are assessing the potential of a plastic to fuel
facility we should at least quantify wood and paper in addition to plastics.
Since our main focus is the plastics we take the decisions on site selection, number of
samples and methodology of the characterization based on plastic data. It has been decided that the
32
collection of the samples is going to take place from the vehicles arriving at the disposal site and the
characterization will be done through hand sorting.
The number of samples is to be determined based on the confidence level and the chosen
methodology for the analysis of the samples.
The confidence level required will depend on the utility of the data. In our case, to assess
plastic to be converted into fuel we can use a low confidence level since we are looking for all the
plastics within the municipal waste (and we are not looking for a specific type that might be more
difficult to be present in the samples. For example if we were assessing the recycling of rigid plastic
(PET bottles, toys, plates, containers, etc.) back into plastic and recycling of soft plastic (shopping
bags etc) as a mixture of combustible wastes for a boiler we would need to have higher confidence
level, since we are specifically looking for rigid plastics (which might be in a small proportion).
Secondly, the chosen methodology for the analysis of the samples which has been agreed as
hand sorting at the disposal facility so that samples will be taken directly from the vehicles arriving
at the disposal facility and during different timings of the day.
We assume that there are no seasonal variations in municipal solid waste as well as in waste
plastics. From Table 4.1, for 70% confidence level, the sample number for waste plastics ranges
between 10-32 for residential sector and 14-24 for commercial sector. Thus we set the number of
samples as 14 for municipal waste (which will be used as well as the samples for the quantification
and characterization of the mixed well). We distribute the 14 samples over the 7 days with 2
samples per day, one for residential and one for commercial waste. There are 10 trips per day for
residential waste as well as commercial waste and we select 1 vehicle for each waste sector based
on a random numbering system. We can now start collecting the samples from the vehicles arriving
at the disposal facility.
A.
Quantification and Characterization of the Mixed Waste
We measure the tonnage of all the vehicles before and after unloading the waste to know the
total Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to be disposed. Since we are assessing the potential of a plastic
to fuel facility information on wood, paper and cardboard are also required. Therefore we segregate
the sample into five material types: plastics, wood, paper, cardboard and other wastes.
Each type of material will be measured individually either by weight, by volume or by both
so that the sample bulk density can be determined (If the weight can not be measured, the volume
will be recorded and volume-to-weight conversion factors (density) from literature will be applied).
After measuring all the materials, we can calculate the ratio of each component with respect
to the total weight of the sample as shown, for the case of plastics, in Table A.1.
33
Table A.1: Quantity of Municipal Waste and Waste Plastics for City X
Daily Samples
MSW
Day
Samples
(tons)
2
1 1 (residential)
2
1 2 (commercial)
3
2 3 (residential)
4
2 4 (commercial)
2
3 5 (residential)
1
3 6 (commercial)
2
4 7 (residential)
2
4 8 (commercial)
3
5 9 (residential)
2
5 10 (commercial)
3
6 11 (residential)
1
6 12 (commercial)
2
7 13 (residential)
4
7 14 (commercial)
Waste Plastic
(tons)
0.4
0.3
0.5
0.7
0.3
0.1
0.3
0.3
0.6
0.2
0.4
0.1
0.4
0.7
Day
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Total
Av.
Aggregated Data
MSW
Waste Plastics
(tons)
(tons / %age)
4
0.7 / 17
7
1.2 / 17
3
0.4 / 13
4
0.6 / 15
5
0.8 / 16
4
0.5 / 13
6
1.1 / 18
33
5.3 / 16
4.7
0.8 / 16
We should also check the records at the disposal facility of the annual tonnage disposed
there as a comparison with our data. If the annual tonnage is not available, then we can extrapolate
the annual tonnage, based on the vehicles surveyed.
The different components of the waste are to be analyzed. Since availability of funds is
limited we will limit the analysis to moisture content. Calorific values will be obtained through
bibliography sources.
We prepare Table A.2 on moisture content based on the laboratory tests or based on
moisture meter readings. The bulky density could also be measured.
Table A.2: Raw Weight and Moisture Content of collected MSW in City X
B.
Component
Raw Weight
(tons)
Moisture Content MC
(%)
Plastics
5.3
1.4
Dry Weight
(tons)
5.2
Paper
6.3
5.9
5.9
Cardboard
2.7
5.0
2.6
Wood
0.9
20.0
0.7
Other waste
17.8
60.0
7.1
Total
33
-
27.26
Quantification and Characterization of Waste Plastics
We now know the amount of plastics within the waste stream however we need further
information on the typology of the plastics.
At this example we segregate the waste plastics into the main plastics used for packaging as
shown in Table B.1. The measurement of each type of available plastic could be done either by
34
weighing it or by volume and then volume-to-weight conversion factors are applied. (An example
of these conversion factors has been given in Table 4.2 however there should be locally established
factors).
After measuring all the types of plastics, we can calculate the ratio of each component with
respect to total weight of the plastics sample. Based on the average ratios from all the samples,
these ratios could be used to calculate the distribution of major plastic types in the overall MSW.
Table B.1: Characterization of Waste Plastic
PE
Weight
(kg)
2168
Percentage
(%)
40.9
PS
323
6.1
PP
101
1.9
PET
1129
21.3
PVC
148
2.8
Composite
Other plastics
Total
90
1341
5300
1.7
25.3
100
Component
Furthermore, the difference between unclean and clean waste plastics should also be
calculated. (This exercise can be undertaken with a smaller sample).
Table B.2: Clean and Unclean Waste Plastics in City X
Component
Unclean Plastic
Weight
(kg)
Clean Plastic
Weight
(kg)
PE
1237
931
PS
157
166
PP
61
40
PET
451
678
PVC
Composite
Other plastics
73
42
704
75
48
637
Total
2725
2575
The unclean plastics can be further clean and the amount of dirt and contaminants can be
calculated.
Calorific values are taken as standard for waste plastics unlike other waste types such as
kitchen and yard waste where calorific values are also calculated based on laboratory results.
35
NOTE: The same treatment of the data could have been done independently for the
residential and commercial sector, so that we would get a more detailed data sector related. The
example has considered MSW as a general stream.
Some of the obtained information can be presented as follows. (Sector related
representations can also be included).
Plastics
16%
Paper
19%
Other
waste
54%
Wood
3%
Cardboard
8%
Figure A: MSW Composition in City X
PET
21%
Other plastics
25%
PS
6%
PP
2%
Composite
2%
PVC
3%
PE
41%
Figure B: Waste Plastics Composition in the MSW of City X
4.7
Collection of Additional Information
In order to assess the plastics for conversion into a resource including the set up of a facility
on the conversion of plastics to fuel, it is necessary to know not only the amount of plastics that are
generated but the actual management of that waste and the final treatment or disposal (e.g. plastics
or types of plastics being recycled)
36
The quantification and characterization of the waste might not give a direct indication of the
amount of plastics recycled (and therefore to be diverted from the final disposal or to not be
available for a different treatment). This can be calculated by the difference in amount of the waste
plastics generated at source and the waste plastics disposed at the transfer station and/or at the
disposal site; though this would require the assessment in both locations and it might be very costly.
This information with regards to recycling could then be collected thorough Source-based
Surveys and Community-based Surveys.
These types of surveys can also be used to collect additional information related to the
quantification and characterization of the waste, however usually as a first step of the survey it is
needed awareness raising within the communities on the different streams of solid waste in general
and specifically on the different types of waste plastics.
After the awareness-raising, two methods could be applied to get more reliable information
from communities. The first method is to have interviews with a representative population sample
with respect to the different aspects of residential waste plastics, commercial waste plastics and
industrial/agricultural waste plastics such as source segregation and primary collection.
Simultaneously, as the second method, a similar population sample may be asked to develop a pizza
(pie chart) of their weekly waste plastics.
References:
CASCADIA Consulting Group (2004), Statewide Waste Characterization Study. California
Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB)
http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/Publications/LocalAsst/34004005.pdf (6 April 2006)
Sky Valley Associates (2003), 2002 Oregon Solid Waste Characterization and
Composition. Department of Environmental Quality, Oregon, USA
http://www.deq.state.or.us/wmc/solwaste/wcrep/ReportWC02Full.pdf (6 April 2006)
CASCADIA Consulting Group (2003), Guidelines for Waste Characterization Studies in the
State of Washington. Washington State Department of Ecology
CASCADIA Consulting Group (2005), Provincial Waste Characterization Framework.
Government of Canada
http://www.recycle.ab.ca/Download/WasteCharFinalReport.pdf (6 April 2006)
37
5. Municipal Waste
Waste plastics are becoming one of the major components in municipal solid waste. In
developed countries, waste plastics are becoming the largest or second largest component in
municipal solid waste, while in developing countries it is third largest component, after food and
paper. To characterize and quantify waste plastics from municipal waste, it is important to either
have information on characterization and quantification of municipal solid waste or to start with the
analysis of municipal waste, before moving to analyze waste plastics.
Prior to carrying out data collection and analysis for municipal solid waste, the following
information is should be available based on the previous steps discussed in Chapters 1 to 4:
1. Geographic and administration boundaries are defined and land use maps are ready with
information on residential, commercial, industrial and other zones.
2. The decisions on geographical coverage and type of waste that is considered as municipal
solid waste. Usually, residential and non-hazardous commercial waste is considered as
municipal waste. However, if there are other sectors or types of wastes, to be considered as
municipal solid waste, then those should be included in the survey.
3. The primary information on the waste transfer stations, transportation, and final disposal
would be required to design the survey and to identify the sites for the collection of samples.
5.1
Survey for Municipal Solid Waste
The survey for municipal solid waste should be aimed to gather accurate data with minimum
efforts, time, and money. The survey may be designed through the following process:
1. Based on the geographical and administrative map, prepare a list of districts/counties with
basic information. Districts of similar characteristics (zoning, population distribution, socioeconomic patterns, etc.) should be identified and grouped to assure that the survey covers all
districts under the different conditions.
District / County
A
Zoning
Residential
Counties / Streets
A1, A2, A3…
B
Residential &
Commercial
B1, B2, B3…
C
D
Industrial
Residential
C1, C2, C3…
D1, D2, D3…
Note: A, B, C, D will be replaced with the real district/county names and subsequently A1, A2...will be replaced with the
street names within each district or county
2. A separate list of the primary waste collection and final disposal facilities for each
county/district should be prepared and allocate a number to each waste collection site and
waste disposal facility. In case the data has to be collected at a disposal facility, then identify
the number of trips by each waste collection vehicle and check if they bring waste from a
38
single sector (e.g. residential) or from all the sectors under municipal waste. Additionally,
identify if they transport waste from a single county/district. There should be a separate
numbering for the vehicles transporting waste from a single sector. Furthermore, if the same
vehicle makes more than one trip per day, then that vehicle will be allocated numbers equal
to the number of trips.
District/County
Collection site
Disposal site &
vehicles
A (A1)
1, 2, 3
I
1, 2, 3,4
A (A3)
4, 5, 6, 7
B (B2)
8, 9
5, 6, 7, 8
9, 10
B (B4)
10, 11
II
11, 12
C (C1)
12, 13
C (C3)
14, 15
III
15, 16
13, 14
D (D2)
16, 17, 18
17, 18, 19, 20
Note: A, B, C, D will be replaced with the real district/county names and subsequently A1, A2,…will be replaced with the
street names within each district or county, and each primary collection site at generation or each collection vehicle at
disposal site will be allocated one number (1,2,3..) for random selection of sites for collection of samples.
3. Calculate the number of samples, based on the information provided in chapter 4.
Thereafter, randomly select the numbers corresponding to waste sites or vehicles. For
example if the number of samples is decided as 20 and it is also decided to collect the
samples from generators or collection points as well as from the vehicles arriving at the
disposal facility, then, there may be a balance between samples collected at the generation
point and the samples collected at the disposal point. In this case, 10 samples may be
collected at generation point and 10 samples at disposal site. The selection of sites may look
like this:
Sample No.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Collection site
Disposal site
2
1
3
2
5
6
7
8
8
12
11
13
12
15
15
17
17
18
18
20
4. The details should be chalked out for sample collection and sorting, including timetable,
team members, and sample sorting procedures: hand sorting or visualization and weighing
Sample No.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Collection site
Date/Time
Team
Equipment
Method
Disposal site
Time
Team
Equipment
Method
5. The data should be recorded for each sample. The following table is for reference purposes
and the list of materials could be modified (as mentioned earlier, paper, cardboard and wood
39
can also be included since plastics to fuel conversion technologies might require the mixing
of waste plastics with these streams of waste as additional feedstock). Similarly the
composition indicators may also be reduced or increased.
Sample No. 1
Location: Street A1, District A
Sample Type:
Waste Container for primary collection
Sample Type:
Mixed / Segregated (Recyclable, organic/food, non-recyclable)
Volume: 2 m3
Weight: 45.1 Kg
Component
Wet Weight
Dry Weight
(kg)
(kg)
Composition
MC
CV
C
H
O
N
S
Ash
Plastics
Wood
Paper
Cardboard
Other Waste
Total
Note: MC, CV, C, H, O, N, S are moisture content, calorific value, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and sulfur respectively
6. Simultaneously information should be collected from the generators on their direct reuse,
recycling and disposal of waste other than dumping at the waste collection points or waste
disposal facilities
District A
County / Street
Population,
No. of houses
Single family &
Multi-family
Number & type
of commercial
undertakings
A1
2000
100
30
Fruit Mart
5 shops
A2
A3
A4
A5
A6
MF
MF
Shop
1000
20
Services
5 Banks
4 Office
Note: A1, A2, will be replaced with names of streets or areas within a district
SF
Street A1
Type and
amount of
waste for reuse
and recycling
Ballpark
estimates for
%age of waste
being reused or
recycled at
source
2 Plastic jar
1 newspaper
5%
SF
SF
2
newspapers
4%
Note: SF is single family residence and MF is multi family residence (e.g. apartment buildings)
40
7. Similar type of sample collection and analysis would be done at the disposal sites, where the
waste collection vehicles would be analyzed (as samples) in the similar fashion. The total
weight of samples (vehicles) could be measured at weighing bridges at disposal facility for
loaded and empty vehicle.
8. Based on the data from all the samples, the municipal waste could be quantified and
characterized as per the guidelines provided in Chapter 4.
NOTE: If the samples are to be collected from generators it is highly recommended to require the
segregation of the plastics from the other streams of waste.
Source based intensive surveys and community-based surveys, as discussed in Chapter 4,
should be conducted, if collection/transportation is not 100% for reliable assessment at the transfer
station and disposal sites. These surveys could also be additionally required, if the waste at transfer
stations and disposal sites is mixed from all sectors and sector-based assessment is required.
41
6. Industrial Solid Waste
Waste plastics are one of the major components of non-hazardous industrial waste.
Industries generate two waste streams from two different activities. One stream is due to the
production process, where hazardous and non-hazardous waste is generated. This production
process also includes the laboratories and sludge from effluent treatment plants. The other solid
waste stream is due to maintenance of the buildings and activities of the staff. This stream includes
office wastes, construction and demolition waste, and wastes from staff canteens or restaurants.
The first part of this chapter discusses the guidelines to collect and analyze the data for the
waste stream related with the production process. The second part discusses the guidelines for the
waste stream related with daily activities of staff and maintenance of the premises.
6.1
Plastic Waste due to Production Process
The production process depends on the product and the production technology. Therefore
characterization of waste is mainly dependent on these two factors, while quantification depends on
the size of production and efficiency of the technology. Based on this information, waste generation
factors (WGF), as defined in Chapter 4, may be developed to extrapolate the data for similar
industries or to estimate future trends. WGF may already be available at national or regional basis
and some pilot surveys could confirm their validity within the required confidence level for data.
However, if either WGF are not available or they do not provide representative results, then based
on the new survey for industrial solid waste, these factors could be developed for their future use.
Here, it is considered that WGF are not available and consequently surveys are to be
undertaken to collect and analyze the data. The first step would be to prepare the list of the
industries which are related to the plastic manufacturing or which production process generates
substantial waste plastics (e.g. electronics).. The next step would be the collection of data from
records and reports produced by these industries. If this data is available, then this would be a good
benchmark and fewer samples would be required to only confirm the applicability of this data. If
records are not available, then a detailed survey would be designed.
6.1.1 Identification of Industries
As our interest is in waste plastics and most of the times the budget and time is limited, we
can only focus on the industries which generate waste plastics from their production line.
Therefore, as above mentioned, the industries which are related to the plastic manufacture or
which production process generates substantial waste plastics are to be identified within the
geographical area where the survey is taking place. They will be categorized according to their type,
size and technology (information on the efficiency of the technology, especially with reference to
input-output ratio is very useful).
42
Based on the information and local classification the formats could be developed in the
following manner:
Table 6.1: Clustering the Industries
Type of Industry
Large
Medium
Small
Modern Traditional Modern Traditional Modern Traditional
3
Electronics (TV, Computer)
1
5
1
1
Medical (Surgical Equipment)
1
2
Plastic manufacturing
Note: Large, medium and small shows the size of the industry based on ranges provided in national classification (if available,
otherwise setup the virtual ranges). Modern and traditional either depends on the age of the industry or on the efficiency of the
industry with respect to output-input ratio
6.1.2 Survey Design
The identification of those industries which generate substantial waste plastics would
provide a clear picture of the number of industries with respect to size and technology. This
information would also help to decide the appropriate number of samples in accordance with the
number of the industries under each typology. If there are many different types of industries with
different sizes and technologies, then more efforts will be required to collect the data for higher
confidence levels. However, if there are fewer types of industries with little variation in size and
technology, then fewer samples may provide data with acceptable confidence levels. As discussed
in Chapter 4, the number of samples depends on the tradeoff between the requirement for the
confidence level and the budget.
To prepare the list of the different types of waste plastics from different types of industries,
the best approach would be to go through the industries’ reports and records on solid waste
generation. The other approach would be to consult the government departments responsible for the
industries. The third approach would be to consult the literature on various types of the industries to
finalize the list of the materials present in their waste stream.
In addition to the typology of plastics, it is important to get full information on the
management and final disposal. Some types of plastics might be reused or recycled or used as a
source of energy (waste exchange) within the same industry or within different industries.
Table 6.2: Plastic Waste Management (Production related Waste)
Type of Industry
Generation
PS
PP
Recycling/Reused
PVC
PS
PP
PVC
Final Discarded
PS
PP
PVC
Electronics (TV, Computer) Large
Electronics (TV, Computer) Small
Note: PP, PS, PVC …are examples of types of solid waste plastics. They can be substitute/amended according to the waste plastic
generated at each type of industry
43
From all this information WGF should be developed for each type of industry of similar size
and technology.
Time series data for each type of industry would be helpful to follow the trends for waste
plastics generation in the future. This data may also reflect the relationship between the variation in
waste plastics generation with respect to changes in technology and scale of the production.
Table 6.3: Time Series Data and Projections (1991-2010) for Industrial Waste Plastics
Year
PS
Electronics
PP
Year
Total
1991
2001
1992
2002
1993
2003
1994
2004
1995
2005
1996
2006
1997
2007
1998
2008
1999
2009
2000
2010
PS
Electronics
PP
Total
Note: PP, PS are examples of types of plastic waste encountered in a specific industry
There may be similar waste plastics from different types of industries. This would be clearly
revealed in an overall dataset that could be developed based on the aggregated data. This data could
be analyzed to provide current and future trends.
Table 6.4: Aggregated Data on Waste Components
Waste Plastic
Type
Electronics Manufacturing
Type of Industry
Medical
Automobile
Total
PE
PP
PS
PET
PVC
Composite
Others
Total
If required, the time series data tables and graphs may also be developed for all of the
materials to take the decisions for each of the waste plastics material. This would be helpful for
44
planning recycling and reuse activities for certain components and for planning proper disposal
facilities for other components. The future forecast are very important as the investments in
recycling plants and disposal facilities are bulky and require good assessment of each of the waste
plastics materials. Furthermore, based on Chapter 4, the graphical presentation for industrial waste
should be developed.
6.2
Plastic Waste due to Other Activities
Apart from the waste plastics generation due to the production activities, waste plastics are
also generated due to maintenance of buildings, office work, and daily lives of staff working and
living at industries. For staff, the major waste plastics are generated from consumption of packed
goods, PET bottles and shopping bags. The office wastes may also include packaging materials and
the building maintenance may generate plastic sheets, pipes and so on.
All these waste plastics components may be similar across the different types of industries;
however, the amount of waste plastics may vary in accordance with the size and age of the industry.
Survey Design and Data Presentation
The survey for this type of waste from industries may be conducted together with the survey
targeted to assess the waste plastics due to production activities. However, the data could be
presented separately. The data can be categorized under different types of waste plastics. The list of
the components should be prepared based on the local information or data from the industries
records and reports.
Table 6.5: Solid Waste from Industries (Non-Production related waste)
Component
Unclean
(tons)
Clean
(tons)
Re-used on Discarded & sent
site
to landfill
(tons)
(tons)
Staff activities
Rigid waste Plastics
Soft Plastics
Office Activities
Rigid waste Plastics
Soft Plastics
Maintenance
Rigid waste Plastics
Soft Plastics
TOTAL
NOTE: The categorization of the plastic types does not have to follow this one (rigid/soft) but a more exhausted classification
can be included specifying types such as PE, PP, PS, PET, PVC etc)
The graphs and tables may be prepared in similar fashion, as discussed in Chapter 4, to
provide information on current and future trends for this waste stream from industries.
45
7. WEEE / E-Waste
Globally, WEEE/ E-waste are most commonly used terms for electronic waste. At UNEP
web site, it is cited that “E-waste is a generic term encompassing various forms of electrical and
electronic equipment (EEE) that are old, end-of-life electronic appliances and have ceased to be of
any value to their owners”. There is no standard definition of WEEE/ E-waste. A number of
countries have come out with their own definition, interpretation and usage of the term “Ewaste/WEEE”. WEEE/E-waste definitions under different initiatives/ conventions/ agencies/ NGOs
ex. StEP, Basel Convention, OECD and Basel Action Network may also differ. However, for
assessment of waste plastics from WEEE / E-waste, it is recommended to use local/national
standards/practices. Furthermore, if some items are not covered under WEEE / E-waste, then these
may be covered under municipal or industrial waste; thus waste plastics from these items will be
covered under either WEEE / E-waste or under municipal or industrial waste. For detailed analysis
of WEEE / E-waste coverage and inventory and management, separate guidelines are available.
However, for our focus, to characterize and quantify waste plastics, this chapter might be sufficient.
7.1
Plastic Substances in WEEE / E-Waste
Composition of WEEE/ E-waste components is very diverse and may contain more than
1000 different substances, many of which fall under “hazardous” category. Broadly, it consists of
ferrous and non-ferrous metals, plastics, glass, wood & plywood, printed circuit boards, concrete
and ceramics, rubber and other items. Iron and steel constitutes about 50% of the WEEE/ E-waste
followed by plastics (21%), non ferrous metals (13%) and other constituents (Table 7.1).
Table 7.1: Average Weight and Composition of Selected Electrical and Electronic Appliances
Appliances
Refrigerators
and freezers
Washing
Machine
Personal
computer
TV sets
Cellular
Telephones
Average
weight
(kg)
Fe
%
weight
Non Femetal %
weight
Glass
%
weight
Plastic
%
weight
Electronic
components %
weight
Others
%
weight
48
64.4
6
1.4
13
-
15.1
40 to 47
59.8
4.6
2.6
1.5
-
31.5
29.6
53.3
8.4
15
23.3
17.3
0.7
36.2
0.080 to
0.100
5.3
5.4
62
22.9
0.9
3.5
8
20
10.6
59.6
-
1.8
Source: (1) Data compiled from Waste from electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) – quantities, dangerous substances and
treatment methods, EEA Copenhagen, 2003; (2) QWERTY and Eco-Efficiency analysis on cellular phone treatment in Sweden. TU
Delft, the Netherlands, 2004
46
Non-ferrous metals consist of metals like copper, aluminium and precious metals ex. silver,
gold, platinum, palladium etc. The presence of elements like lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium,
selenium, hexavalent chromium and flame retardants in WEEE/ E-waste beyond threshold
quantities as mentioned in Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and regulations related to hazardous
waste of different countries, classifies them as hazardous waste. Some of the plastic components in
WEEE / E-waste could be hazardous. These include phthalate plasticize, brominated flame
retardants (BFR). BFR can give rise to dioxins and furans during incineration. Therefore, even
though plastic recovery potential from PC, TV and Refrigerators might be quantified, as described
in table 7.2, the presence of these components in the plastic might limit their recycling efficiency.
Table 7.2: Recoverable Quantity of Plastics
Appliance
TV(1)
Refrigerator
PC
(3)
Plastic recovery potential (%)
26
(2)
13.84
23
Source: (1) Compiled from data presented in “Mechanical Recycling of Consumer Electronic Scrap. Licentiate Thesis 2005:36, Luleå
University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden”,Cui.j, 2005 (2) Compiled from data presented in “Waste Electrical and Electronic
Equipment (WEEE), Pilot Scheme Report, Producer Responsibility Unit Environment and Heritage Service, Government of U.K.,
2005 (3) Compiled from data presented in (1) Exporting Harm – High-Tech Trashing of Asia. Basel Action Network and Silicon
Valley Toxics Coalition, US, 2005; (2) Management of Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment, ACRR 2003
For detailed assessment of E-waste, a separate manual for E-waste Inventory is available at
www.unep.or.jp
47
PART II
Assessment of Current Waste Plastics
Management Systems
48
8. Waste Plastics Management System / Practices
8.1
Introduction
This part provides basic understanding and formats for collection of the information on
current solid waste management system.
The assessment of current solid waste management systems, covering also waste plastics, is
an important part of the baseline study since it would help to:
•
Analyze the availability, enforcement and impact of regulations and economic tools;
•
•
Assess the institutional framework, resources and jurisdictions for current institutions;
Analyze the efficiency and effectiveness of collection, treatment and disposal system
including technologies;
•
Understand the role of different stakeholders at different levels of the waste management
chain; and
•
Identify the challenges and opportunities to improve waste/waste plastics management based
on 3R (reduce, reuse and recycling) approach.
Therefore as we have seen a solid waste management system is usually comprised of:
Policies, laws and regulations
Institutions
Financing mechanisms (economic instruments)
Technology and infrastructure,
Stakeholder participation
It is important to highlight that the current system in a given city may cover upstream
measures such as source reduction at production and consumption level, and downstream measures
such as collection, transportation, treatment and disposal, and recycling and recovery.
In most of countries, specific information on waste plastics might be limited and the waste
plastics management system might fall within the overall solid waste management so that no
specific regulations, economic tools, institutions or services are developed as a separate
management system for this specific waste stream. Hence, all the information regarding solid waste
management such as policies/laws, institutions, financing mechanism and technologies for all the
waste generating sources (domestic, commercial, industrial, agriculture, healthcare facilities, Ewaste, etc.) should be collected, analyzed and any direct or indirect implications on waste plastics
should be identified.
This information will provide the basis for finding out the gaps in the management system
and practices pertaining to solid waste management in general and waste plastics in particular.
Some local issues may also be of interest such as to confirm the existence of pollution
related regulations which may, directly or indirectly, have an impact on waste plastics or its
treatment. For example pollution due to plastic bags, and related laws if any, would be of interest
49
for developing this information. Another example could be of air pollution act to address
incineration of waste containing waste plastics and its emissions.
Additionally, as a local issue it is important to identify the informal sector involved in the
management of the waste/plastic waste since they have a big impact on the waste plastics pathways.
8.2
Waste Plastics Pathways
Prior to assessing the solid waste/waste plastics management system it is important to
understand the waste plastics pathways, as shown in Figure 8.1. Discarded plastics can follow
different routes according to many different factors such as the behaviour of the generators (waste
plastic to be reused for alternative purposes, segregation of the plastic waste from other streams of
waste or plastics to be disposed for landfilling, burning or open dumping), the local system in place
(primary collection points for plastics, secondary collection points for recovery of plastics, coverage
of collection etc), national or local policies (segregation at source by law), existence of plastic
recycling market, or the presence of the informal sector engaged in recovery activities, etc.
Figure 8.1: Waste Plastics Pathways
When carrying out the assessment of the system, the different routes and all the factors
affecting such routes are to be identified; therefore the related information must be gathered or
identified as a gap within the whole system including policies, institutions, financing mechanisms,
technology and stakeholders.
50
8.1.1 Information Collection
The information required for the assessment of solid waste management systems in general
and waste plastic management systems in particular, may follow the following roadmap:
•
Coverage: Before starting to assess the management system, it is important to define the
management system for solid waste management that usually covers waste plastics. There
may be more than one management systems to address solid waste from different sources
and/or different types of solid wastes including waste plastics.
•
Assessment of Individual Management Systems: If there are more than one management
systems to handle solid waste in general and waste plastics in particular, from different
generators, then individual systems should be analyzed separately and then these could be
compared to see the similarities and differences in each of these systems. However, this
categorization should be adjusted based on local/national institutional arrangements and
regulations.
8.3
Assessment of Waste Plastics Management System
As afore mentioned, most of the countries do not have a separate system for waste plastics
management and it is usually managed under an umbrella system for solid waste management.
Hence it is recommended to assess the current solid waste management system and find the gaps
with reference to waste plastics management for making recommendations to make improvements
in the solid waste management covering waste plastics.
Solid waste management may vary from country to country and from city to city. In most of
the countries, the local governments are responsible for municipal solid waste management;
however industrial solid waste and hazardous waste is the responsibility of national governments. In
some places, the local governments are responsible for all types of waste; however, there may be
different departments to manage municipal waste, industrial waste and hazardous waste. There
could be fewer or more systems. The systems may be classified with respect to the responsible
institution. If there is only one institution or department that is responsible for all types of solid
waste management, then it may be considered that there is a single management system. However,
if there is more than one institution responsible for different types of solid waste or waste generated
by different sources then it is considered as a separate management systems. Therefore, it is
recommended to collect the data and information separately for different types of systems even if
there is some overlapping in terms of regulations and laws, financial mechanisms, technology and
infrastructure and stakeholder participation (Fig 8.2).
51
Figure 8.2: Solid Waste Management System
It may also be noted that management systems may evolve over time depending on the
variations in solid waste, political and administrative systems, socioeconomic situation and geoclimatic conditions. Hence, it is useful to capture the evolving process with respect to laws,
institutions, financial mechanisms, technologies and stakeholder participation.
8.3.1 Flowchart for Data Collection and Analysis
It may be helpful to create a flowchart for data collection and analysis to avoid duplication
of efforts and to assign a clear role to the team members who are responsible for data collection and
analysis. The flowchart indicates that data / information which should be collected, or identified as
a gap, for all the stages of solid waste management including source reduction, primary disposal,
collection and transportation, treatment and disposal, and recycling and recovery:
It is important not only to collect the information but to specifically identify the data related
to plastics or with a direct or indirect impact into the management of waste plastics.
52
Define Solid Waste Management Systems
Municipal Solid Waste Management
Industrial Solid Waste Management
Hazardous Solid Waste Management
Separate Data Collection for Each System
Municipal Solid Waste Management
Policies
Institutions
Laws
Industrial SWM
Technology
Hazardous WM
Institutional
Financing
Mechanisms
Transportation
Stakeholders’
Participation
Regulations
Framework
Fees / Taxes
Treatment
Waste Generators
Economic
Jurisdiction
Levies
Disposal
Service Providers
Tools
Resources
Subsidies
Recycling
(Private Sector)
Enforcement
Linkages
Support
Recovery
Government
Source Reductions /
“Upstream”
Primary Disposal by
Waste Generators
Collection and
Transportation
Treatment and
Disposal
Reuse, Recycling and
Recovery
Figure 8.3: Flowchart for Data Collection & Analysis
53
8.4
Policies
The aim is to collect existing national and local policies. Policies are translated into
regulatory and economic instruments for their implementation. Regulatory instruments, which are
also known as command and control, specify the standards or limits to be followed. Economic
instruments, which are also known as market-based instruments, provide incentives and
disincentives. There may be some voluntary instruments agreed by the stakeholders.
Regulatory, economic and voluntary instruments may be available in general or may be
available for each part of solid waste management chain including waste minimization (source
reduction), segregation at source, storage and collection, transportation, treatment, disposal, and
recycling and recovery.
8.4.1 Laws and Acts
Firstly, the laws and acts pertaining to solid waste management should be collected with
special attention to plastics. There could be direct laws or acts addressing either overall solid/plastic
waste management or a particular aspect of solid waste management chain, for example recycling
and recovery. Environmental protection laws and acts usually cover solid waste management at
national and local level. There may be a possibility that other laws, such as provision of public
services, may also cover all or some aspects of solid waste management. The policies addressing
various economic sectors, such as industries and agriculture, may also directly or indirectly address
solid waste management/plastic waste. The specific laws for healthcare facilities, construction and
demolition activities, and so on may also contain specific clauses on solid waste management. Laws
or acts on solid waste management may cover hazardous waste management or there may be
separate laws and acts addressing hazardous waste management. Some examples of the laws or acts
could be as under: important relevant
I.
II.
Environmental Protection Law / Act
Recycling or Resource Recovery Law /Act
III.
IV.
V.
Public Services Act – Solid Waste Management
Hazardous Waste Management Law / Act
Clean Air Act – Incineration, Landfill gases
Even thought some of the laws might not appear to be related to plastics, depending on the
further use of the information they might become relevant. As an example, the Clean Air Act might
not seem to be significant for plastic; however as the case of Philippines, the Clean Air Act bans
incineration of municipal, biomedical and hazardous waste. If the conversion of waste plastics into
a resource is being assessed, then it will be important to be aware of this act since automatically
incineration would not be an option to be considered for the plastic conversion technology.
In the same way, the Hazardous Waste Law can specify components used as additives in
some plastics which can be considered as hazardous, as it is the case of bromine flame retardants
and therefore some countries might call for a separate treatment of such plastics.
54
8.4.2 Regulations
Secondly, information on all the relevant regulations should be collected. This may include
various standards covering production and consumption for source reduction, segregation at source,
storage and collection of various types of solid wastes, transportation, treatment, final disposal, and
recycling and recovery. The standards may also be available for technology and infrastructure, for
example construction and operation of landfills and incinerators. Some examples of regulations or
standards could be as under:
I.
Regulations on production and consumption – upstream measures
II.
III.
Regulations on segregation of recyclable and non-recyclable waste
Regulations on electronics waste
IV.
V.
Regulations pertaining to extended producer’s responsibility
Regulations on handling of hazardous waste
VI.
VII.
VIII.
IX.
Regulations on collection and transportation of industrial waste
Regulations on construction and operation of landfills
Regulations on construction and operation of incinerators
Regulations on waste plastics or related to plastic
8.4.3 Economic Instruments
Thirdly, the information should be collected on all the relevant economic instruments
addressing one or more aspects of solid waste management chain. Financial disincentives in the
form of charges, levy, fine and penalty for waste generators could be a common economic
instrument. Economic incentives, such as subsidies or payback, for recycling could be another
common economic instrument. Some examples of economic instruments could be as under:
I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.
Levy on use of fresh resources in industrial production
Subsidies for recycling in industrial production
Volume-based solid waste fee on non-recyclable waste
Penalties on hazardous waste
Subsidies for resource recovery, including power-generation at landfill
8.4.4 Enforcement
The most crucial aspect of policies for solid waste management would be their enforcement.
Regulatory and economic instruments could only make a difference if these are properly enforced at
all the levels. Therefore, an assessment of the level of enforcement is vital to make an overall
assessment of the policies. However, it would be a challenge to assess the level of enforcement, as
the criteria or benchmarks may not be available to ascertain the level of enforcement. The opinion
on the enforcement levels may differ within different stakeholders, such as government, waste
55
generators or handlers, and community. Hence, to get a comparatively appropriate assessment,
opinions from all the major stakeholders should be sought.
8.4.5 Datasheet
Based on the collected information on laws, regulations, economic instruments and
enforcement, a data sheet should be prepared as shown in Table 8.1. It would be helpful to have a
table for overall solid waste and an additional one for waste plastics, so that policies specifically
referring to plastics or impacting plastic waste, or gaps within the policy, can be easily identified.
The relevant laws, standards or regulations and economic instruments should be annexed with Table
8.1. This table can be modified in accordance with the availability of data. If there is more
information available in the specific aspects, then new columns and rows can be added accordingly.
Table 8.1: Policies for Overall Solid Waste/ Waste Plastics
Laws / Acts
Regulations /
Standards
Overall (General)
Source Reduction
Segregation of Waste
(at source)
Primary Storage &
Collection
Transportation &
Transfer Stations
Treatment
Landfills
Incinerators
Recycling
Resource Recovery
56
Economic
Instruments
Enforcement
8.5
Institutions
Plastic waste as one of the streams of the overall solid waste is managed by the institution/s
responsible for solid waste management and not by any specific institution. Traditionally solid
waste management was the responsibility of local governments. However, with increasing rate of
solid waste from diversified sources, including industries and unconventional sources such as
laboratories, various institutions got involved into one or more aspects of solid waste management
chain. Furthermore more institutions became responsible due to the increasing awareness and
regulations for recycling and recovery, hazardous waste management and source reduction by
intervening at production and consumption level. There is also a transition from public institutions
to private institutions for undertaking various public utilities and services including solid waste
management. This requires governments to establish strong regulatory institutions to make sure that
service providers are effectively and efficiently delivering their services. There may be more than
one institutions involved at same level or for same type of activity, for example informal and formal
sector recycling or public and private sector for collection and transportation of municipal waste.
We need to collect information on all the institutions, currently responsible at any level of
solid waste management. The information should be as detailed as possible to identify their role or
mandate, institutional framework, and human resources and sources for financing their activities.
The collected data may be tabulated in two levels. At first, the name of the institutions may be
provided as per Table 8.2. This table can be modified in accordance with the length and breath of
the available information. Thereafter, a separate sheet, containing the following information
regarding each institution, should be attached with this table:
1. Role or mandate of the institution
2. Institutional Framework
3. Human Resources
4. Sources of funding
Table 8.2: List of Institutions involved in Solid Waste Management Chain
57
8.6
Financing Mechanisms
In many countries, solid waste management is the responsibility of the local government.
Local governments used to finance all the activities within solid waste management chain
(collection, transportation, treatment and disposal) from its annual budget, subsidies from national
government and through international cooperation. However, with a rapid increase in solid waste
generation rates and awareness for effective and efficient solid waste management to protect public
health and environment, huge investments are required to bring improvements in collection and
transportation, treatment and disposal, and recycling and recovery. This is resulting into a transition
of solid waste management. The governments are adopting various financing modes and some of
the widely practiced modes are as follows:
1. User Charges: In many countries, user charges are being introduced. For commercial and
industrial sector, the charges can be as high to meet the costs in accordance with the
polluter’s pay principle. For municipal sector, the charges are still low; however, these user
charges motivate waste generators to reduce the waste. Volume-based charges for municipal
waste are quite common in some countries.
2. Penalty, Fine and Levy: The terminology and rate of the penalty/fine/levy may vary from
country to country. This form of direct income is also becoming an important financing tool
for government to finance solid waste management.
3. Environmental Bonds: In some countries, local governments float various bonds to arrange
funds to finance development activities. Environmental bonds, a commonly used term in
some countries, are a major source to arrange funds for environmental infrastructure and
services including solid waste management
4. Environmental Fund: Some countries set a revolving fund to assist local governments in
meeting their financing needs for environmental infrastructure and services. This fund is
financed through various modes including national bonds, annual budget, loans from
international financing institutions and international cooperation.
5. Direct Loans: Local governments may take direct loans either from domestic or
international financing institutions.
6. International Cooperation: There is an increasing trend of a direct multilateral and
bilateral cooperation with local governments. International agencies are providing support to
local governments to improve the local environment. Various bilateral initiatives, including
sister cities, are also helping local governments to seek assistance for financing their
development projects including solid waste management.
7. National Subsidies: This is still a major source for many local governments to finance
environmental infrastructure and services.
58
8. Annual Budget: Local governments allocate substantial portion of their development
budget to finance solid waste management. This is usually cross-subsidized from the profitmaking avenues of local governments.
9. Private Sector Participation (PSP): There is an increasing trend of private sector
participation in waste plastics collection and recycling. This private sector participation is
visible in collection, transportation, treatment, disposal, and recycling of waste plastics.
Private companies are taking up major projects such as converting waste plastics into energy
or material source under various arrangements such as BOT (build-operate-transfer) basis.
Management by the Private Sector
Franchise is another common way for private sector participation, where private sector has
the right to collect waste plastics within the agreed location and sell recyclable waste.
Between
Betweenprivate
privatesector
sector
Regulated
Regulatedby
bygovernment
government
Long-term
Long-termcontracts,
contracts,license
licensefee
fee Ownership
Ownershipby
byPS
PS
Competition,
partial
monopoly
Competition, partial monopoly Capacity
Capacitydecisions
decisionsby
byPS
PS
Ownership
Ownershipby
bygovernment
governmentororPS
PS
Payment
Paymentfrom
fromcustomers
customers
Capacity
Capacitydecisions
decisionsby
bygovt.
govt.
Long-term
Long-termcontracts,
contracts,Competitive
Competitivetenders
tenders
Volume
guarantees,
Monopoly
Volume guarantees, Monopoly
Ownership
Ownershipby
bygovernment
governmentororprivate
privatesector
sector
Payment
by
government
/
customers
Payment by government / customers
Short-term
Short-termcontracts
contracts
Competitive
Competitivetenders,
tenders,
Ownership
Ownershipby
bygovernment
government
Payment
Paymentfrom
fromgovernment
government
Open
Competition
Market based system
Franchise
Commercial waste
MSW collection
Concession
Full concession contract
Build-own-operate-transfer
Build-operate-transfer
Contracting
Transfer and disposal
Solid waste collection
Operation & maintenance
Supply of equipment
Ownership and Investment by the Private Sector
Figure 8.4: Management and Ownerships in Various Forms of Private Sector Participation
Datasheet:
The information should be collected on the financing mechanisms for all the activities under
solid waste management chain (Table 8.3). There may be more than one organization involved for
one activity and there may be more than one financing mechanism to finance one activity.
Therefore, Table 3 can be modified in accordance with the available information.
59
Table 8.3: Financial Mechanisms for Solid Waste Management Chain
Type of Service
Organization
Direct
Revenue
Financing Mode
Local Government/
National Government/
International Cooperation
Private Sector
(Mention Type
of PSP)
Waste Plastics from
Residential and
Commercial Sector
1. Collection
2. Transportation
3. Treatment
4. Disposal
5. Recycling
Waste Plastics from
Industrial Sector
8.7
Technology
Solid waste management chain requires intensive use of environmentally sound technology
(ESTs) for collection, transportation, treatment, disposal, and recycle and recovery. The technology
could be as simple as containers for primary collection to as complicated as incinerators for disposal
of hazardous waste. The possible technological interventions within solid waste management chain,
which might also apply or are specific to plastic waste, are as follows:
1. Primary Collection and Transfer Stations: This may include the waste collection bins for
segregated municipal waste and special containers for hazardous waste. Material,
construction, labeling and storage of the collection containers are also important.
Construction and location of transfer station is quite crucial to avoid adverse effects due to
odour, breeding of vectors such as flies and mosquitoes, and entry of birds or cats and dogs.
The transfer stations should be located and constructed in such a way that it is convenient
for small carts to unload solid waste and for bigger vehicles to collect and transport that
waste.
2. Transportation: This covers all types of vehicles under operation to transport solid waste
from waste generation point to transfer station; and from transfer station to treatment and
disposal site. All the vehicles in operation should be listed out including manually driven
small carts, mechanically driven sophisticated transportation vehicles and special vehicles
for special waste such as hazardous waste, bulky waste and recyclable wastes.
3. Treatment: This includes separation of different types of waste for materials recovery and
recycling as well as for different types of treatment before final disposal. Hence at this level
of solid waste, technology may cover equipment for separation of various types of materials,
equipment for shredding of final disposable waste and technology for the treatment of final
60
disposal waste. In some countries, incineration is covered at this level and ash from
incinerator is sent to landfill for final disposal. Incineration is a high-tech process and
negative impacts of incineration could be worse for public health as well as for environment.
4. Final Disposal: Sanitary landfill is the most common technology around the world. The
conventional and environmentally unfriendly methods may still be in use. These include
open-burning, open-dumping and non-sanitary landfill. However, in most of the countries
these are officially banned and only sanitary landfill is recommended for final disposal.
Various types or technologies of sanitary landfills are available including fully aerobic,
semi-aerobic and anaerobic. The technologies may also vary in accordance with the type of
final disposable waste, for example some landfills may be used for co-disposal of special
wastes. The landfills for hazardous wastes could be more complicated and known as “secure
landfill.” The location of landfill is an important factor towards transportation costs as well
as for its impacts on the urban environment.
5. Recycling and Recovery: This includes various types of activities including recycling of
reusable materials such as plastic and glass containers, recycling of materials to into
industrial production such as paper and iron, converting waste into a energy such as burning
tires in cement kiln to produce heat, and converting waste into a resource such composting
and landfill gas. Hence technology can determine the level and sophistication of recycling
and recovery activities.
Table 8.4: Technology for Solid Waste Management
Type of Service
Type
Technology
Number
Important Features
Waste Plastics from Residential and
Commercial Sector
1. Collection
2. Transportation
3. Treatment
4. Disposal
5. Recycling
Industrial Solid Waste Management
Waste Plastics from Industrial Sector
Datasheet: The information on the technology is required for all the activities within solid waste
management chain. First of all, an overview of current technologies could be provided as per Table
8.4. Thereafter, separate sheets may be attached with this table on the details of each of the
61
technology including transportation vehicles, landfill, and recycling and recovery processes. Table
8.4 can be modified in accordance with the available technology/equipment.
8.8
Stakeholder’s Participation
Stakeholder participation is becoming an essential part of solid waste management. Major
stakeholders include waste generators, regulators, service providers (including the informal sector)
such as organizations involved in waste collection and waste disposal, and organizations involved in
recycling and recovery. These stakeholders can improve the efficacy and efficiency of solid waste
management by continuous interaction to bring improvements in the system, and by active
participation as each stakeholder may have a clear role to play. Waste generators, which are
traditionally considered as passive partners, have a major responsibility to reduce the waste,
segregate the waste and properly throw the waste as per the regulations. A close cooperation would
be required between waste generators and waste collectors to increase the coverage and
effectiveness of waste collection system. Similar cooperation is vital for disposal of waste.
Recycling and recovery of materials also depend on the cooperation of waste generators and waste
collectors. Furthermore, with rapid changes in quantity and composition of solid waste, regulatory
organizations or governments have to be in continuous dialogue with the stakeholders to introduce
appropriate regulations which can bring the required improvements in solid waste management
system.
The identification of the stakeholders within waste plastics can be narrowed down from the
stakeholders of the general waste to specific stakeholders of waste plastics (e.g. specific
organizations or groups within the informal sector might limit their activities to waste plastic
collection or recycling).
Datasheet: The information on stakeholder participation would be required at two levels. On the
one hand, the information would be required on the process to increase stakeholder participation.
This may cover the materials, campaigns, meetings, and other political and social interactions to
motivate stakeholders to participate in solid waste management. On the other hand, the information
would be required on the ways and means for stakeholder participation, for example, stakeholder
representation in decision-making bodies such as regulatory body and monitoring committee.
Stakeholder participation in the decisions to set the level and type of service, such as door-to-door
collection or location of transfer station, could also indicate the level of participation. Table 8.5 may
be helpful in obtaining and filling in this information.
62
Table 8.5: Process and Level of Stakeholder Participation in SWM
Type of Service
Major
Stakeholders
Measures to Improve
Stakeholder
Participation*
Level of Stakeholder
Participation**
Waste Plastics from
Residential and
Commercial Sector
Waste Plastics from
Industrial Sector
Waste Plastics from
Specific Wastes such
as E-waste
* Measures may include awareness raising materials and campaigns, meetings, etc.
** Level of participation may be indicated by the role of stakeholders in SWM chain
63
Annexure 1
Types of Waste Plastics
Many of the plastic types have been designed to collect information on Rigid Plastic Packaging Containers
(RPPCs), a category that is subject to specific regulation. Please see the subsequent section for definitions and
examples of RPPCs.
“PET Containers” means clear or colored PET containers. When marked for identification, it bears the number “1”
in the center of the triangular recycling symbol and may also bear the letters “PETE” or “PET.” The color is
usually transparent green or clear. A PET container usually has a small dot left from the manufacturing process, not
a seam. It does not turn white when bent.
1.
RPPC Small CRV PET Bottles means clear or colored PET bottles designed to contain less than 24 ounces of
material and meet the RPPC and CRV criteria.
2.
RPPC Large CRV PET Bottles means clear or colored PET bottles designed to contain 24 ounces or more of
material and meet the RPPC and CRV criteria.
3.
RPPC Non-CRV PET Bottles means clear or colored PET bottles that meet the RPPC criteria but do not meet the
CRV criteria.
4.
Other RPPC PET Containers means non-bottle PET containers that meet the RPPC criteria. Includes clamshell
containers.
5.
Non-RPPC Non-CRV PET Containers means PET bottles and containers that do not meet the criteria for being
either CRVs or RPPCs.
“HDPE Containers” means natural and colored HDPE containers. This plastic is usually either cloudy white,
allowing light to pass through it (natural) or a solid color, preventing light from passing through it (colored). When
marked for identification, it bears the number “2” in the triangular recycling symbol and may also bear the letters
“HDPE.”
6.
RPPC CRV Small HDPE Natural Bottles means clear/translucent HDPE bottles designed to contain less than 24
ounces of material and meet the RPPC and CRV criteria.
7.
RPPC CRV Large HDPE Natural Bottles means clear/translucent HDPE bottles designed to contain 24 ounces
or more of material and meet the RPPC and CRV criteria.
8.
RPPC Non-CRV HDPE Natural Bottles means clear/translucent HDPE bottles that meet the RPPC criteria but
do not meet the CRV criteria.
9.
RPPC CRV Small HDPE Colored Bottles means colored, non-translucent HDPE bottles designed to contain less
than 24 ounces of material and meet the RPPC and CRV criteria.
10. RPPC CRV Large HDPE Colored Bottles means colored, non-translucent HDPE bottles designed to contain 24
ounces or more of material and meet the RPPC and CRV criteria.
11. RPPC Non-CRV HDPE Colored Bottles means colored, non-translucent HDPE bottles that meet the RPPC
criteria but do not meet the CRV criteria.
12. Other RPPC HDPE Containers means non-bottle HDPE containers that meet the RPPC criteria.
13. Non-RPPC Small CRV HDPE Containers means HDPE bottles and containers that do not meet the RPPC
criteria but that meet the criteria for CRV containers designed to contain less than 24 ounces of material.
14. Non-RPPC Non-CRV HDPE Containers means HDPE bottles and containers that do not meet the criteria for
being either CRVs or RPPCs.
“Miscellaneous Plastic Containers” means plastic containers made of types of plastic other than HDPE or PET.
Items may be made of PVC, PP, or PS. When marked for identification, these items may bear the number “3,” “4,”
“5,” “6,” or “7” in the triangular recycling symbol. This subtype also includes unmarked plastic containers. This
includes types below.
15. RPPC Small CRV Bottles not HDPE or PET means bottles made of types of plastic other than HDPE or PET
(that is, made of types #3–7, or unmarked) that meet the RPPC criteria and that meet the CRV criteria for plastic
items that contain less than 24 ounces of material.
16. RPPC Large CRV Bottles not HDPE or PET means bottles made of types of plastic other than HDPE or PET
(that is, made of types #3–7, or unmarked) that meet the RPPC criteria and that meet the CRV criteria for plastic
items that contain 24 ounces or more of material.
17. RPPC non-CRV Bottles not HDPE or PET means bottles made of types of plastic other than HDPE or PET (that
is, made of types #3–7, or unmarked) that meet the RPPC criteria but do not meet the CRV criteria.
18. RPPC Clamshells not HDPE or PET means clamshell packaging that meets the RPPC criteria, made out of
plastic types #3-7 or unmarked. This category includes polystyrene egg cartons.
19. Other RPPC Containers not HDPE or PET means other plastic containers of types #3-7, or unmarked, that meet
the RPPC criteria.
20. Non-RPPC Small CRV Miscellaneous Plastic Containers means other containers made of types #3-7 that do not
meet the RPPC criteria but do meet the CRV criteria for plastic items that contain less than 24 ounces of material.
21. Non-RPPC non-CRV Miscellaneous Plastic Containers means other containers made of types #3-7 that do not
meet the RPPC criteria or the CRV criteria. This includes single-serving drink cups from take-away food stores and
restaurants.
“Film Plastic” means flexible plastic sheeting. It is made from a variety of plastic resins including HDPE and
LDPE. It can be easily contoured around an object by hand pressure. This includes types. NOTE: These types were
previously classified under the more general type “Film Plastic.”
22. Trash Bags means plastic bags sold for use as trash bags, for both residential and commercial use. Does not
include other plastic bags like shopping bags that might have been used to contain trash.
23. Grocery and Other Merchandise Bags means plastic shopping bags used to contain merchandise to transport
from the place of purchase, given out by the store with the purchase. Includes dry-cleaning plastic bags intended
for one-time use.
24. Non-Bag Commercial and Industrial Packaging Film means film plastic used for large-scale packaging or
transport packaging. Examples include shrink-wrap, mattress bags, furniture wrap, and film bubble wrap.
25. Film Products means plastic film used for purposes other than packaging. Examples include agricultural film
(films used in various farming and growing applications, such as silage greenhouse films, mulch films, and wrap
for hay bales), plastic sheeting used as drop cloths, and building wrap.
26. Other Film means all other plastic film that does not fit into any other type. Examples include other types of
plastic bags (sandwich bags, zipper-recloseable bags, newspaper bags, produce bags, frozen vegetable bags, bread
bags), food wrappers such as candy-bar wrappers, mailing pouches, bank bags, X-ray film, metalized film (wine
containers and balloons), and plastic food wrap.
“Durable Plastic Items” means plastic objects other than disposable package items. These items are usually made to
last for a few months up to many years. These include the plastics used in construction, communication, electrical
and electronics, furniture, transportation, and recreation industries.
27. RPPC HDPE Buckets means colored and natural buckets and pails made of HDPE and designed to hold 5 gallons
or less of material. This category includes buckets regardless of whether they are attached to metal handles.
Examples include large paint buckets and commercial buckets used to contain food for commercial use
(restaurants, etc.). These objects are packages containing material for sale, and are not sold as buckets themselves
(such as mop buckets).
28. Other Durable Plastic Items means all other plastic objects other than containers, film plastic, or HDPE buckets.
Examples include mop buckets, plastic outdoor furniture, plastic toys, CD’s, plastic stay straps, and sporting goods,
and plastic house wares such as dishes, cups, and cutlery. This type also includes building materials such as house
siding, window sashes and frames, housings for electronics (such as computers, televisions and stereos), fan blades,
impact-resistance cases (for example, tool boxes, first aid boxes, tackle boxes, sewing kits, etc.), and plastic pipes
and fittings.
29. Remainder/Composite Plastic means plastic that cannot be put in any other type or subtype. They are usually
recognized by their optical opacity. This type includes items made mostly of plastic but combined with other
materials. Examples include auto parts made of plastic attached to metal, plastic drinking straws, foam drinking
cups, produce trays, foam meat and pastry trays, foam packing blocks, packing peanuts, foam plates and bowls,
plastic strapping, plastic lids, some kitchen ware, toys, new plastic laminate (for example, Formica), vinyl,
linoleum, plastic lumber, insulating foams, imitation ceramics, handles and knobs, plastic string (such as is used for
hay bales), and plastic rigid bubble/foil packaging (as for medications).
Source:
CASCADIA Consulting Group (2004), Statewide Waste Characterization Study. California Integrated Waste Management Board
(CIWMB). http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/Publications/LocalAsst/34004005.pdf (6 April 2006)
Annexure 2
Types of RPPCs and CRV Containers
In coordination with classifying all materials according to the 98 material types, certain plastic materials were
classified as RPPC (Rigid Plastic Packaging Containers) from each sample into the nine types listed below.
RPPC Material
Description and Examples
1
RPPC PET (#1) Bottles
PET bottles containing beverages or other liquids. Examples include
bottles for soda pop, some sports drinks, sparkling waters, cooking
oil, shampoo, and some liquors.
2
RPPC PET (#1) Other
Containers
PET containers and packages, other than bottles, that are
recloseable. Examples include packages containing small toys or
hardware items.
3
RPPC HDPE (#2) Natural
Bottles
Primarily milk jugs and some juice bottles.
4
RPPC HDPE (#2) Colored
Bottles
Any HDPE bottle that is not clear/translucent. Examples include
some orange juice bottles, many laundry detergent bottles, and some
shampoo bottles.
5
RPPC HDPE (#2) Other
Containers
Examples include some margarine containers, some food jars, and
some yogurt containers.
6
RPPC #3–#7 Bottles
All plastic bottles that are not PET or HDPE. Examples include
some sports drink bottles, many shampoo bottles, and some
detergent bottles.
7
RPPC #3–#7 Clamshells
Food clamshell containers such as those often used by restaurants,
delicatessens and fast food restaurants; and non-food clamshells
used for packaging such as for hardware, electronics, automotive
parts, sports gear, safety equipment, and personal care products.
8
RPPC #3–#7 Other Containers
Includes containers for some prepared foods, such as chip dip. Also
includes some yogurt and margarine containers.
9
RPPC HDPE (#2) Buckets
HDPE buckets, often used as containers for paint and other
household chemicals and building materials. These buckets are
sometimes used for shipment of bulk foods.
A container must meet all of the following criteria to be considered an RPPC:
•
It is made entirely of plastic, except that lids, caps, or labels may be made of some other material.
•
It is capable of maintaining its shape while holding a product.
•
It has an attached or unattached lid or cap.
•
Contains at least 8 fluid ounces but no more than 5 gallons, or the equivalent volumes.
Also, certain glass, plastic, and metal containers were classified as CRV (California Redemption Value)
containers. CRV containers were defined for sorting as beverage containers that display the CRV
notification. Generally, CRV containers include carbonated soft drinks, beer, bottled water, and juice and
sports drinks. For more details, see the Department of Conservation, Division of Recycling websites at
www.bottlesandcans.com/what_main.html
and
www.consrv.ca.gov/dor/crcp/recyclers/Images/Act2004.pdf.
Source: CASCADIA Consulting Group (2004), Statewide Waste Characterization Study. California Integrated Waste
Management Board (CIWMB).
http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/Publications/LocalAsst/34004005.pdf (6 April
2006)
Annexure 3
Common Types of Plastics, Properties
and Product Applications
Name
Polyethylene
Terephthalate
(PET or PETE)
High Density
Polyethylene
(HDPE)
Properties
Clear, strength / toughness, barrier to gas
and moisture, resistance to heat. Excellent
resistance to most solvents
Stiffness, strength / toughness, resistance to
chemicals and moisture, permeability to
gas, ease of processing, ease of forming.
Un-pigmented bottles are translucent, have
good barrier properties and stiffness
Polyvinyl Chloride
(V or Vinyl or
PVC)
Versatility, ease of blending, strength /
toughness, resistance to grease/oil,
resistance to chemicals, clarity
Low Density
Polyethylene
(LDPE)
Ease of processing, barrier to moisture,
strength / toughness, flexibility, relative
transparency and ease of sealing. Excellent
resistance to acids, bases and vegetable oils
Polypropylene
(PP)
Strength / toughness, resistance to
chemicals, resistance to heat (has a high
melting point), barrier to moisture,
versatility, resistance to grease/oil,
inertness toward acids, alkalis and most
solvents
Versatility (can be rigid or foamed),
Generally is clear, hard and brittle. It has
relatively low melting point, Significant
stiffness in both foamed and rigid forms
Polystyrene
(PS)
Others
(Products made
with a resin other
than the six listed
above, or is made of
more than one resin
and used in a multilayer combination).
Easily foamed (“styrofoam”). Low thermal
conductivity and excellent insulation
properties in foamed form.Low density and
high stiffness in foamed applications
Dependent on resin or combination of
resins.
Product Application
Plastic soft drink and water bottles, beer
bottles, mouthwash bottles, peanut butter and
salad dressing containers, oven-able film,
oven-able pre-prepared food trays.
Bottles for milk, water, juice, cosmetic,
shampoo, dish and laundry detergent; trash
and retail bags, yogurt and margarine tubs,
cereal box liners.
In addition to packaging, HDPE’s major uses
are in injection molding applications, extruded
pipe and conduit, plastic wood composites,
and wire and cable covering.
Toys, clear food and nonfood packaging,
shampoo bottles, medical tubing, wire and
cable insulation, film and sheet; construction
products such as pipes, fittings, siding,
flooring, carpet backing, window frames.
Dry cleaning, bread, and frozen food bags;
squeezable bottles (i.e., honey, mustard).
Ketchup bottles, yogurt containers and
margarine tubs, medicine bottles. Packaging,
automotive, appliances and carpeting
Compact disc cases, foodservice
applications, grocery store meat trays,
egg cartons, aspirin bottles, foam cups, plates,
cutlery, protective packaging and building
insulation.
Plastics with presence of polycarbonate: a
hard, clear plastic used to make baby bottles,
water pitchers, three and five-gallon reusable
water bottles, food containers, some citrus
juice and ketchup bottles, compact discs, cell
phones, automobile parts, computers.
Acrylonitrile styrene (AS) or styrene
acrylonitrile (SAN), and acrylonitrile
butadiene styrene (ABS): Both AS/SAN and
ABS are higher quality plastics with increased
strength, rigidity, toughness and temperature
and chemical resistance. AS/SAN is used in
mixing bowls, thermos casing, dishes, cutlery,
coffee filters, toothbrushes, outer covers
(printers, calculators, lamps), battery housing.
The incorporation of butadiene during the
manufacture of AS/SAN, produces ABS,
which makes it an even tougher plastic. ABS
is used in LEGO toys, pipes, golf club heads,
automotive parts, protective head gear.
American Chemistry Council
Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) [www.plasticsindustry.org],
Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) [www.cpia.ca],
Environment and Plastics Industry Council (EPIC) [www.cpia.ca/epic/].
About the UNEP Division of Technology,
Industry and Economics
The UNEP Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE) helps
governments, local authorities and decision-makers in business and
industry to develop and implement policies and practices focusing on
sustainable development.
The Division works to promote:
> sustainable consumption and production,
> the efficient use of renewable energy,
> adequate management of chemicals,
> the integration of environmental costs in development policies.
The Office of the Director, located in Paris, coordinates activities
through:
> The International Environmental Technology Centre - IETC (Osaka, Shiga),
which implements integrated waste, water and disaster management programmes,
focusing in particular on Asia.
> Sustainable Consumption and Production (Paris), which promotes sustainable
consumption and production patterns as a contribution to human development
through global markets.
> Chemicals (Geneva), which catalyzes global actions to bring about the sound
management of chemicals and the improvement of chemical safety worldwide.
> Energy (Paris), which fosters energy and transport policies for sustainable
development and encourages investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
> OzonAction (Paris), which supports the phase-out of ozone depleting substances
in developing countries and countries with economies in transition to ensure
implementation of the Montreal Protocol.
> Economics and Trade (Geneva), which helps countries to integrate environmental
considerations into economic and trade policies, and works with the finance sector
to incorporate sustainable development policies.
UNEP DTIE activities focus on raising awareness,
improving the transfer of knowledge and information,
fostering technological cooperation and partnerships, and
implementing international conventions and agreements.
For more information,
see www.unep.fr
UNEP DTIE
International Environmental
Technology Centre (IETC)
Osaka Office
2-110 Ryokuchi Koen, Tsurumi-ku
Osaka 538-0036, Japan
Tel: +81 6 6915 4581
Fax: +81 6 6915 0304
Shiga Office
1091 Oroshimo-cho, Kusatsu City
Shiga 525-0001, Japan
Tel: +81 77 568 4581
Fax: +81 77 568 4587
E-mail: ietc@unep.or.jp
URL IETC: http://www.unep.or.jp/
The world’s annual consumption of plastic materials has increased
from around 5 million tonnes in the 1950s to nearly 100 million
tonnes; thus, 20 times more plastic is produced today than 50
years ago. Plastic waste recycling is one of the most established
recycling activities in economically developed countries. In most
of the situations, recycling of waste plastics is becoming viable in
developing countries as well, as it generates resources and provides
jobs, which are in high demand. The recycling of waste plastics also
has a great potential for resource conservation and GHG emissions
reduction, such as producing diesel fuel from plastic waste. As
raw materials, wastes plastics have attractive potentials for largescale industries and community-level enterprises. To develop and
implement the projects for converting waste plastics into a resource,
one of the most important factors is the information on quantity and
characterization of waste plastics. This document is a compilation of
the guidelines for collection and analysis of data on waste plastics.
These guidelines are aimed to build the capacity of practitioners in
developing countries on quantification and characterization of waste
plastics with projections into future. This document contains relevant
formats for data recording and presentation.
DTI/1231/JP
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