The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) has made some recommendations to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about how to to improve the agency’s biannual benchmark characterization of waste study.
SWANA’s recommendations include tracking additional materials such as construction and demolition debris, yard waste, electronics and food waste. The association also suggested that EPA reconcile their estimates for national waste generation and disposal quantities with data obtained from real-world measurements.
Further, SWANA recommended that EPA reanalyze their current per capita generation figure. Currently, there is one number for the entire nation, regardless of geographic location. SWANA recommends that adjustment factors be developed based on geography, population density, regulations, and weather factors. Separate factors for each would allow sites to adjust according to their own specific circumstances, the association said in a news release.
“EPA’s waste characterization study has been very helpful in tracking trends in solid waste management over several decades,” said John Skinner, executive director and CEO of SWANA. “However, it would be more useful if the estimates were verified with data from actual solid waste operations.”
The EPA report provides an overview of solid waste management in the United States from 1960 to the present. Its figures include per capita generation and trends in solid waste recovery and disposal.