Commercial and Residential Waste Characterization and Contamination Study in Concord, CA
Client: Concord, CA
Date: Spring 2019
Key Personnel: Laura McKaughan, Program Manager; Nik Balachandran, Technical Advisor; Juliana Gerber, Crew Supervisor
√ Envirolutions staff sorted 52 samples (27 residential loads and 25 Commercial loads) over a two week period.
√ 13,550 lbs. of material were sorted and categorized, or an average sample size of 260.6 lbs.
Envirolutions Consulting, LLC conducted a contamination study of the inbound loads received from the private industry facility in Concord, CA in 2019. The purpose of the contamination study was to determine the contamination type and prevalence through a representative sample of materials received as inbound recycling loads at the facility. The study attempted to generally distinguish between inbound Residential (RES) and Commercial (COM) loads, though there were no modifications to the inbound truck collection routes to ensure all materials were exclusively from these sectors. The intended use for the results of this contamination study are to determine the contamination levels being incurred at this facility by this material inflow.
Envirolutions Consulting reached out to businesses identified during visual audits as having significant amounts of recycling and/or organics in their trash dumpsters. The project included site visits, customized operational recommendations, ordering additional recycling and organics carts, and providing posters, interior bins, on-site consultation, and staff trainings.
Overall 14.6% of the materials sampled were non-recoverable residual materials. When combined with the other contaminant categories (Household waste (HHW), food-soiled and non-accepted paper, and contaminated containers that would be too dirty to market), this number rose to 21.8%.