A comprehensive waste collection cost model applied to post-consumer plastic packaging waste

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Abstract

Post-consumer plastic packaging waste (PPW) can be collected for recycling via source separation or post-separation. In source separation, households separate plastics from other waste before collection, whereas in post-separation waste is separated at a treatment centre after collection. There are also two collection schemes, either curb side or via drop-off locations. These different schemes have impact on total costs of collection at the municipal level. It can also influence the facility choices and network design. Therefore, a method which can compare costs of various collection schemes is needed. A comprehensive cost model was developed to compare costs of municipal collection schemes of PPW. The ‘municipal waste collection cost model’ is based on variables including fixed and variable costs per vehicle, personnel cost, container or bag costs as well as on emission costs (using imaginary carbon taxes). The model can be used for decision support when strategic changes to the collection scheme of municipalities are considered. The model takes into account the characteristics of municipalities, including urbanization degree and taxation schemes for household waste management. The model was applied to the Dutch case of post-consumer plastic packaging waste. Results showed that that in general post-separation collection has the lowest costs and curb side collection in urban municipalities without residual waste collection taxing schemes the highest. These results were supported by the conducted sensitivity analysis, which showed that higher source separation responses are negatively related to curb side collection costs. Greenhouse gas emission costs are a significant part of the total costs when collecting post-consumer plastic packaging waste due to the low density to weight ratio of the materials collect. These costs can amount to 15% of the total collection costs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-87
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Volume85
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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Keywords

  • systems

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