Keywords: construction waste composition, domestic waste composition, environmental engineering, landfill diversion targets, municipal solid waste, MSW, emerging economies, Brazil, developing countries, demolition debris, reusable materials, recycling
Experimental vs. arbitrary landfill diversion targets
An experimental method is developed for setting pragmatic short–term landfill diversion targets of municipal waste in emerging economies. Domestic waste composition is shown to be quite uniform throughout developing countries of Africa, Asia and America. Consequently, the method developed in Brazil is readily exportable to other continents with minor numerical adjustments. It consists of determining the threshold fraction of source–separated waste that private recyclers are able to absorb, and is shown to stand at 67% in Brazil. For construction and demolition debris the target in Brazil is identified through waste analysis to be 90%, which corresponds to the amount of reusable material present in the debris. The method is expected to eliminate the guesswork upon setting diversion targets in municipalities throughout the developing world.