Household waste recycling sites: waste material composition by weight with a view to facility optimisation

Matthew L. Bench, Ryan Woodard, Marie Harder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Whilst amounts of waste recycled in civic amenity or household waste recycling sites (HWRSs) are increasing, many recyclable and recoverable materials entering sites are being overlooked. This paper analyses the residual waste from two well-managed urban civic amenity sites in Brighton and Hove with combined recycling rates of 24.9 per cent in 2001/02. Detailed residual waste composition data from such facilities is seldom made widely available. Levels of wood waste were found to be 24.6 per cent by sample weight, higher than had previously been estimated, whilst fines were also high at 16.6.per cent. This new data indicates options for wood should be strongly considered from the perspective of the statutory recycling targets and the Landfill Directive. For compliance with both, untreated wood could be recycled into compost filler or recovered for its energetic value, whilst treated wood could be collected for manufacture into chipboards or amenity uses. However, since the largest single category of wood recorded at sites was chipboard at 7.7 per cent by weight, closed loop systems need to be developed so that this and other board products can be recycled. Options for other recycled materials alongside textiles and plastics as well as bulky items and inert material are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-8
Number of pages7
JournalCIWM Scientific & Technical Review
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2003


  • Household waste recycling sites
  • civic amenity
  • recycling
  • wood


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