New guidelines for characterization of municipal solid waste: the Portuguese case

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Courtesy of SAGE Publications

This report proposes a new set of guidelines for the characterization of municipal solid waste. It is based on an analysis of reference methodologies, used internationally, and a case study of Valorsul (a company that handles recovery and treatment of solid waste in the North Lisbon Metropolitan Area). In particular, the suggested guidelines present a new definition of the waste to be analysed, change the sampling unit and establish statistical standards for the results obtained. In these new guidelines, the sampling level is the waste collection vehicle and contamination and moisture are taken into consideration. Finally, focus is on the quality of the resulting data, which is essential for comparability of data between countries. These new guidelines may also be applicable outside Portugal because the methodology includes, besides municipal mixed waste, separately collected fractions of municipal waste. They are a response to the need for information concerning Portugal (e.g. Eurostat or OECD inquiries) and follow European Union municipal solid waste management policies (e.g. packaging waste recovery and recycling targets and the reduction of biodegradable waste going to landfill).

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