HWRC Waste Composition Analysis


Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) play an important role in the management of household waste. Despite this, few research projects have investigated the composition of material that is being deposited.

In 2001 WERG in partnership with Brighton & Hove City Councils and East Sussex County Council conducted analysis of waste flowing into the two HWRC in Brighton and Hove City. A sample of 5 tonnes of waste was taken and materials were initially sorted into 23 main categories and then into a further 59 sub sets.

The prominent material deposited was timber at 24%. Thirteen percent of the waste stream was fines (this may have been because the waste sampled had been dropped into the waste hall and therefore objects had smashed, etc and also the council street sweepers deposited their loads in the waste hall) whilst quantities of hardcore, paper, cardboard, carpet and garden waste were also delivered.

As mentioned previously materials were segregated into sub categories. For example timber was separated into treated and painted, composite boards and untreated miscellaneous. Composite boards constituted 53% of the total timber arisings and included chipboard coated in formica (8% of total site arisings), fibreboard (4%) and ply or block board (2%). Painted and treated timber totalled 8.2% and untreated 3.1% of total site arisings.

Since this research was conducted the council has implemented a range of initiatives which aim to increase levels of recycling.