A new report issued by the Solid Waste Association of North America’s (SWANA) Applied Research Foundation (ARF) documents the collection of yard waste, analyzing schedules, processes and costs, while looking for opportunities to improve efficiency and mitigate risks.
The report, “Service Options for the Curbside Collection of Residential Yard Waste,” used the city of Charlotte, N.C., as a model to provide an analysis of the city’s current program and explore new yard waste collection options such as automated collection, reducing collection frequency on a seasonal or annual basis and requiring the use of compostable bags.
“The city of Charlotte currently provides weekly yard waste collection services to over 216,000 single-family residences where collection personnel manually lift and debag the yard waste set out in plastic bags while collecting it at the curb,” said Jeremy O’Brien, SWANA’s director of applied research, in a statement. “The city was interested in exploring options to reduce the costs and injury risks associated with this approach.”
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Sustainable Materials Management report released last week, yard waste comprised 13.2 percent of the municipal solid waste stream in 2015, making it a high-impact area that, if reduced, could lead to significant waste diversion in many cities.
“Yard waste is a significant component of the waste stream in many cities and counties, and this new ARF report provides powerful insights and data that will help solid waste management officials manage their yard waste collection systems and incorporate changes to make them more efficient and effective,” said David Biderman, SWANA’s executive director and CEO, in a statement.
The research for this report was sponsored by the ARF’s Collection Group, which includes Charlotte, N.C.; Clearwater, Fla.; Tucson, Ariz.; and Charleston County, S.C.
The full report is currently only available to SWANA ARF subscribers. SWANA members receive free access to ARF industry reports one year after publication.