Waste Composition Studies

A waste composition study is a detailed analysis of materials found in a particular waste stream. The data gathered in this process can provide valuable insights about program performance and opportunities for improvement.

CIF/SO funded waste composition studies

Since 2012, the CIF has provided funding for waste composition studies and program auditing. In December 2015, WDO negotiated an agreement under which SO and CIF would jointly fund a series of municipal waste composition studies over a period of three years. The Terms of Reference standardizes the study methodology, funding and project coordination, benefiting all stakeholders.

Determining sample size
Composition studies at depots

To complete a waste composition study for programs that only use depots, pre-screening users is required.

considerations for small communities

In 2012, the CIF developed “Curbside Waste Audits: Considerations for Small Communities”, as a step-by-step guide to the planning, collection, sorting and analysis involved in a waste composition study.

MRF audit guide

The CIF has developed “MRF Audit Guide: Material Stream Compositions” to provide municipalities with a reference document for planning composition studies of Blue Box recyclables received at the MRF. The guide can be used as a reference or inserted as an appendix into RFP/Tender documents for any municipality that’s establishing a new processing contract. Terms in the contract will permit a municipality to enter/audit the inbound, sorted or residue materials at the MRF and the guide will help set out the general procedures for conducting the audits.

For more information on this topic, contact Mike Birett, CIF or the CIF project contact, Jean-Louis Gaudet, of EXP.