Waste Composition Study

Executive Summary for the 2006-2007 Missouri Municipal Solid Waste Composition Study and Results of the Missouri Waste Composition Study for the City of St. Louis' South Transfer Station (Archived Resource).

Publication Date: 02/18/2011
Document Type: Plans and Reports
Sponsor: Recycling Section

In late 2006 and early 2007, a solid waste composition study was conducted by the Midwest Assistance Program, which was contracted by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Fifteen locations throughout Missouri (including the City of St. Louis Refuse Division's South Transfer Station) were sampled and analyzed to determine what is in our waste stream and how much.

The data collected from our Transfer Station shows that more than 38% (by weight) and 40% (by volume) of our residential waste is recyclable.  When this study was conducted, materials were separated into categories based on the markets available at that time.  Some recyclables that we accept today were not accepted for recycling in 2006-2007 (e.g., plastic #'s 3, 4, 5, 7; aseptic packaging; aluminum foil, pie plates, trays; gable-top containers), and therefore fell into non-recyclable categories during the waste composition study.  Because of this, there are additional recyclables in our waste stream that were not considered recyclable in the waste composition study.  Based on that information, we estimate that the percentages of how much of our waste is recyclable are actually higher that noted in the study.  Including data for these other items would likely increase our recyclable waste above 45% (by weight) and 53% (by volume).

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