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Title: Effects of increased kerbside provision and materials recovery facility development on recycling rates in a rural community
Author: Owen, Nia Elin
ISNI:       0000 0004 2747 8733
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2009
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Traditionally, the UK has relied heavily on landfill as a means of dealing with its MSW, However, the UK waste management industry is undergoing a significant period of change as a result of legislative drivers implemented on an European level. The key driver is the Landfill Directive, which has set targets for the reduction of the quantity of biodegradable waste sent to landfill. This Directive has been implemented in Wales by the Landfill Allowance Scheme (LAS), which essentially sets each local authority an annual tonnage of Biodegradable Municipal Waste (BMW) which it can landfill. Failure to comply with the annual target can result in significant financial penalties which are set at £200 per tonne landfilled over the target. This driver coupled with the ever increasing landfill tax, which is set to increase by £8 per annum, is making alternatives to landfill become more economically viable. As well as these statutory drivers, there are also non-statutory drivers. In Wales, the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) issued the non-statutory requirement for local authorities to achieve 40% recycling and composting by 2009/10, with a minimum of 15% recycling and 15% composting. It has also been announced that post 2010, the targets are likely to increase rapidly, culminating in a 70% recycling and composting target by 2024/25. This thesis uses a case study authority to investigate whether a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) coupled with changes to its kerbside provision could assist the region to meet its LAS and WAG targets. Key aspects of the thesis include: a compositional analysis of household waste within the case study authority, to ascertain the quantities of material available for diversion via a dry recyclate and organics collection scheme a review of a variety of different MRFs within the UK and overseas to determine best practice operations the development of a MRF conceptual design based on the information obtained from compositional analysis and the process reviews conducted on other MRFs the efficiency testing of the MRF commissioned within the case study authority to determine its performance and areas which could be improved and, the modelling of various scenarios to determine what changes could be made to waste management practices so as to maximise the quantity of material diverted from landfill, and assist the authority to meet its LAS and WAG targets. The compositional analysis study identified that the average household waste generation within the Case Study Authority was 14.9 kg/hhAvk, which was lower than the Welsh average figure of 17 kg/hh/wk. Participating households typically segregated 4.7 kg/hhAvk and 3.0 kg/hh/wk of dry recyclate and organic material respectively. It was also interesting to note that the compositional analysis established that the average BMW content within the Case Study Authority was 72%, which was significantly higher than the 61% used to define MSW for the LAS purposes. An efficiency study carried out on the first phase of the MRF implementation highlighted that when processing a residual waste (black bag) stream 11.2% was recovered in the form of dry recyclate, and 27.7% in the form of a mechanically segregated fine organic stream (less than 50mm fraction). When processing a dry recyclate stream, the efficiency study identified that 95% of the material was recovered for recycling however, two-thirds of this was in the form of a low grade paper product, which was sensitive to market changes. The thesis highlights that a MRF has a significant role to play in an integrated solution for municipal waste management however, it is clear that ultimately some form of thermal process will be required for the residual waste stream in order for local authorities to comply with the LAS targets.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available