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In early 2003, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) retained Engineering Solutions & Design, Inc. (ES&D) to perform a series of waste characterizations (also referred to as waste picks or waste sorts) at 11 selected solid waste management districts located throughout Ohio. The waste characterization study process included field sorting events at facilities located within each of the selected solid waste management districts. One field sorting event was undertaken in May or June 2003 (spring sort) and the other field sorting event was undertaken in September or October 2003 (fall sort).
One of the main objectives of the study was to determine the characteristics of the Ohio-generated municipal solid waste stream at various locations throughout the state. Sites were selected based on location, size and willingness to partner with ODNR and to allow access to the solid waste facility or facilities serving the solid waste district.
Summary of Results
The Waste Characterization Study defined the three standard recyclables as the major components of Ohio's waste stream: paper fibers; plastics; and metals. A number of other materials were considered as separate categories: yard waste; textiles; diapers; food; glass; empty aerosol cans; medical waste; fines; and superfines. Other items, such as computer parts and wood, were classified as miscellaneous.
The 2003 Waste Characterization Study found that three major components comprise more than 60 percent, by weight, of Ohio's total waste stream.
Paper fiber: 41 percent by weight and 44 percent by volume. About 31 percent of the weight measured was mixed paper, newsprint, office paper and corrugated paper.
Plastic: 16 percent by weight and 25 percent by volume. HDPE#2, which is commonly used to produce food containers, such as milk and juice jugs, liquid detergent bottles, trash bags and cereal box liners, accounted for approximately 38 percent of the plastics component weight and 40 percent of the total by volume.
Metals: 4 percent by weight and 7 percent by volume.
Overall, food and yard waste also were present in notable weights and volumes. Food comprised 15 percent by weight and 6 percent by volume. Yard waste comprised 9 percent by weight and 8 percent by volume.
Visual inspection was made of all 460 loads sampled to identify large items. More than 75 percent of all loads contained loose wood. Carpet was observed in 62 percent of the loads and construction and demolition debris was seen in 52 percent of the loads. Additionally, 42 percent of the sampled loads contained small appliances, while almost 30 percent of all loads included wood furniture. More than 17 percent of the loads yielded computers.
Of the 460 loads sampled during the 2003 Waste Characterization Study, 58 loads were pure commercial loads, containing only waste generated by retail businesses, offices, schools, nursing homes and/or medical centers.
Paper fibers accounted for nearly 50 percent of the weight of pure commercial loads. The percentage of total paper fibers in the commercial loads was 7.54 percent higher than in all loads (49.18 percent compared to 41.64 percent in all loads).
Plastics represented a 1.85 percent higher content in the pure commercial loads than in all loads (17.49 percent vs. 15.64 percent in all loads).
Yard waste, textiles and food waste were less evident in these pure commercial loads.
Sampling from these 58 commercial loads, combined with results from mixed commercial/residential loads and interviews with drivers and facility staff point toward a need to focus commercial waste reduction efforts on corrugated paper, office paper, mixed paper and plastics.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resource's Division of Recycling and Litter Prevention commissioned the Ohio Glass Recycling Study to improve how Ohio connects those who have glass with those who need glass. Currently Ohio manufacturers use about 110,000 tons of recycled glass per year from Ohio and surrounding states, yet their need is greater, at roughly 275,000 - 295,000 tons per year.
The study, released in May 2011, indicates that Ohio has a huge capacity for glass recovery. Roughly 90 percent of all glass containers consumed in Ohio are disposed of in landfills as opposed to recycled. While glass remains an important part of Ohio's industrial base, there appears to be a disconnect on the value of glass being recovered. Glass continues to go to landfills primarily due to perceived lack of markets and an inefficient system for collection and processing.
Using recycled glass costs less than using raw materials by reducing energy demands. Implementing strategies that can strengthen glass recycling programs across the state can create a competitive advantage for Ohio's manufacturers. Long-term, the division will work with industry stakeholders to establish an infrastructure that will help Ohio manage the value inherent in everything now being lost into landfills. Jobs will also be created throughout the supply chain. Looking forward, the creation of a glass recycling infrastructure represents the first significant step towards establishing Ohio and Ohio's manufacturers as leaders in green business practices that can continue to reap dividends for generations.
Recycling is good business, and it is good policy. Going forward, recycling glass represents an opportunity to begin systemic change that will be felt throughout our economy and our communities.
There are specific industries in Ohio that create, use and/or provide a significant amount of wood waste. The Construction and Demolition Association of Ohio (CDAO) received a grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) to conduct a wood waste study, in order to research the quantity and quality of wood waste/biomass circulating in the state of Ohio from all sources of wood. The study had five main goals:
Identify readily available wood waste sectors, including:
Identify/quantify what is currently readily available
Identify general economics
Perform a limited waste sort to confirm similar studies
Make conclusions and observations regarding the overall findings
The recently released Wood Waste Markets and Resource(s) Study provides a better understanding of the existing wood waste market(s) in Ohio, including producers, users and estimated volumes. Major sources of wood waste/biomass include but are not limited to:
Construction and demolition debris (C&DD) processors
(both C&D and MSW)
Other sources (i.e. material recovery
facilities, wood manufacturing facilities)
In some instances, such as wood derived from construction and demolition debris, less-than-adequate markets represent an opportunity for increasing the recycling of wood biomass in Ohio. Potential future markets are extensive including fuel uses to manufacturing feedstock. All potential sources may be needed if the state is looking to attract, renovate and/or expand existing industries to Ohio.
For more information, read the entire report or review a summary of the findings.
The WARM Waste Reduction Model was originally developed for small to moderate-scale waste managers enabling them to understand how their “business-as-usual” waste management practices compare to alternative practices, such as recycling, source reduction or composting, in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and energy use. Its user base has expanded to include various community officials, U.S. EPA WasteWise partners and municipalities interested in learning more about the climate and waste connection. However, the results garnered from using WARM are estimates and the model approach is not appropriate for use in inventories because of the diffuse nature of the emissions and emission reductions within a single emission factor calculated in WARM.