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Presentation of Contractor’s Report “California 2008 Statewide Waste Characterization Study” CIWMB Strategic Policy Development Committee September 9, 2009 Presentation in 3 Parts Background Results Policy Implications Part 1 - Background What is waste characterization?

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presentation of contractor s report california 2008 statewide waste characterization study

Presentation of Contractor’s Report “California 2008 Statewide Waste Characterization Study”

CIWMB Strategic Policy Development Committee

September 9, 2009

presentation in 3 parts
Presentation in 3 Parts
  • Background
  • Results
  • Policy Implications
part 1 background
Part 1 - Background
  • What is waste characterization?
  • Why it is important?
  • How do we do it?
  • Board studies 1999-2009
what is waste characterization
What is Waste Characterization?
  • Determine what’s disposed in landfills
  • Determine types and amounts of paper, food, glass, metal, etc. in the waste stream
  • Profiles for each source of waste:
why is it important
Why is it important?

For effective diversion programs and waste management strategies, need to know:

  • Not only WHAT is in the waste stream, but WHERE it came from
  • How the waste stream changes over time
  • Current information to support policy decisions
how to do a waste characterization study
How to do a Waste Characterization Study
  • Take samples from garbage trucks or dumpsters
  • Sort materials
  • Record weights
  • Survey incoming vehicles
  • Compile data
ciwmb studies 1999 2009
CIWMB Studies 1999-2009

1999 – First statewide study, details on commercial sector by business types

2004 – Smaller study, composition & amounts by larger sectors

  • most like 2008 study

2006 – Four targeted studies

  • commercial sector details for select business groups, including recycling data
  • construction and demolition waste
  • detailed study of commercial self-haul
  • Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) residuals
overview 2008 study
Overview – 2008 Study
  • 40 disposal sites throughout the state
  • Data collected over 4 seasons in 2008
  • 751 waste samples sorted by hand
  • 6,896 vehicles surveyed for sector of origin
  • Data aggregation and statistical analysis to develop statewide composition and quantities
2008 study special data collection
2008 Study – Special Data Collection
  • Recyclable materials assessed for contamination
  • Roofing materials tested for asbestos
  • More details on lumber and plastic
part 2 key results
Part 2 - Key Results
  • Overall composition
  • Sector breakdown
  • Changes since 2004
  • Special data highlights
top 10 disposed materials overall 2008
Top 10 Disposed Materials Overall, 2008

* “Remainder/Composite” material types include miscellaneous materials that don’t fit other categories

recoverable materials in overall disposal
Recoverable Materials in Overall Disposal

Recyclable Materials


Most Paper

Recyclable Glass

Recyclable Metals

HDPE, PETE, Some Film Plastic


Compostable Materials



Other Yard Waste

A Portion of Non-recyclable Paper

Recoverable Inerts


Asphalt Paving

Asphalt Roofing


Gypsum Board

Rock, Soil, Fines

changes in the overall waste stream since 2004
Changes in the Overall Waste Stream Since 2004
  • Sector proportions about the same
  • Decreases in some categories:
    • Paper decreased from 8.4 million tons to 6.9 million tons
    • Glass decreased from 0.9 million tons to 0.6 million tons
    • Metal decreased from 3.1 million tons to 1.8 million tons
  • Plastic and organics about the same
  • Significant increase in “Inerts & Other” category
    • Driven by increase in lumber from 10% to 15% of the waste stream (from 3.9 million tons to 5.8 million tons)
results of special data collection
Results of Special Data Collection

Contamination Study – looked at condition and source of contamination for commonly recycled paper, metal, plastic


Contaminated at Source


Contaminated During Collection

most recyclable materials in loads are clean enough for recycling
Most Recyclable Materials in Loads are Clean Enough for Recycling

Paper Contamination

Metal & Plastic Contamination

details on lumber
Details on Lumber

“Clean” wood types are commonly accepted for compost and mulch production and are 56% of lumber and 8% of all waste disposed

asbestos in roofing
Asbestos in Roofing
  • 5 material types sampled
  • 191 samples from loads throughout the state analyzed using US EPA technique
  • Asbestos found in one sample – mastic*
    • New California data relieves asbestos concern
  • Projects around U.S use material in road base
  • Caltrans: no specifications or demonstration projects for use in road base

*Mastic is a paste-like material used as an adhesive or seal in roofing applications

pete plastic bottles
PETE Plastic Bottles
  • PETE = polyethylene terephthalate (e.g., water bottles, soft drink bottles, #1 recycling label)
  • PETE Containers are 0.5% of waste by weight
  • “PETE Containers” sorted in more detail
  • Water Bottles less than 1 liter in size are 26% of all PETE Containers disposed
part 3 key policy implications
Part 3 - Key Policy Implications
  • Organics
  • Commercial Waste Recycling
  • Climate Change – measuring reductions in greenhouse gas emissions
implications for organics
Implications for Organics

Diverting half of only these organics (Strategic Directive 6.1) would:

  • Increase statewide diversion from 59% to 74%
  • Use 6 million tons of resources for compost, bioenergy, and biofuels
  • Impact facilities, technology, cross-media issues
  • Keep these methane producers out of landfills
  • Meet AB 32 goals and Strategic Directives
    • Low-carbon Fuel, Renewable Portfolio Standards, anaerobic digestion
commercial waste
Commercial Waste*
  • Some businesses already divert a lot, some don’t
  • Largest part of waste stream
  • Most prevalent material types:
    • Lumber – 16% (almost 3 million tons)
    • Food – 15% (almost 3 million tons)
    • Cardboard – 7% (about 1 million tons)
  • Two thirds of commonly recyclable materials are clean enough for immediate recycling

* not including commercial self-haul or multifamily

common recyclables disposed in commercial waste
Common Recyclables Disposed in Commercial Waste*

* Not including Organics or Inert Materials

implications for commercial recycling
Implications for Commercial Recycling
  • Materials available:
    • 6 million tons food and lumber
    • 3 million tons common recyclables
  • Mandatory commercial recycling:
    • Proposed legislation
    • AB 32 measure
    • Developing regulations
  • Diverting 75% of commercial recyclables (other than organics) would increase diversion 2.3 million tons
  • Recycling methods/facilities exist – need expansion
climate change measurement
Climate Change Measurement

Waste characterization data supports AB 32:

  • amounts and sources of feedstocks for compost, mulch, biofuels
  • types and amounts of recyclables in commercial waste
  • amounts and sources of feedstocks for anaerobic digestion
climate change measurement cont
Climate Change Measurement (cont.)
  • Use data on changes in disposal to estimate statewide emissions reductions
  • Tons of specific materials diverted can be translated to MMTCO2e
  • Easier/more accurate to measure disposal than diversion
summary big picture
Summary – Big Picture
  • Comprehensive information on disposed waste
    • Commercial is biggest sector
    • Organics (food) and Inerts/Other (lumber) are biggest types, paper also significant
  • Many materials clean enough to be recycled
  • Huge potential - more diversion/GHG reductions
summary some details
Summary – Some Details
  • Data on materials/sources can guide next steps
  • Special information answers specific questions
    • low contamination rates for recyclables
    • asbestos in roofing almost non-existent
    • Most wood clean enough for compost/mulch
  • Even more information in the report!