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Waste Management 28 (2008) 200–214 www.elsevier.



Modelling municipal solid waste generation: A review
Peter Beigl, Sandra Lebersorger, Stefan Salhofer
Institute of Waste Management, Department of Water, Atmosphere and Environment, BOKU – University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Muthgasse 107, 1190 Vienna, Austria Accepted 27 December 2006 Available online 1 March 2007

Abstract The objective of this paper is to review previously published models of municipal solid waste generation and to propose an implementation guideline which will provide a compromise between information gain and cost-eYcient model development. The 45 modelling approaches identiWed in a systematic literature review aim at explaining or estimating the present or future waste generation using economic, socio-demographic or management-orientated data. A classiWcation was developed in order to categorise these highly heterogeneous models according to the following criteria – the regional scale, the modelled waste streams, the hypothesised independent variables and the modelling method. A procedural practice guideline was derived from a discussion of the underlying models in order to propose beneWcial design options concerning regional sampling (i.e., number and size of observed areas), waste stream deWnition and investigation, selection of independent variables and model validation procedures. The practical application of the Wndings was demonstrated with two case studies performed on diVerent regional scales, i.e., on a household and on a city level. The Wndings of this review are Wnally summarised in the form of a relevance tree for methodology selection. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction Waste management for municipal waste is considered a public service, providing citizens with a system of disposing of their waste in an environmentally sound and economically feasible way. The amount and composition of waste generated comprise the basic information needed for the planning, operation and optimisation of waste management systems. The demand for reliable data concerning waste arising (waste generation) is implicitly included in the majority of national waste management laws. More explicitly, waste legislation requires assessment of the current waste arising and forecasts, such as in Ireland (Dennison et al., 1996a) and in Germany, where the competent public authorities (cities or counties (“Kreise”)) are required to assure “guaranteed disposal” for a period of 10 years in advance (cf. Sircar et al., 2003).

This entails a demand for reliable information on waste quantity and composition, which is diYcult to achieve on a disaggregated level. Other than in more centralised infrastructures like electricity supply (where the consumption of each single end-user can be measured), waste generation can not be measured directly. Typically, in waste disposal systems there are several parallel disposal channels (e.g., public curbside collection; civic amenity sites for green waste, bulky waste, etc.; private collectors of, e.g., clothing textiles; take back by retailers). The waste arising on a single household basis is measured only in rare situations, e.g., in areas where Pay-As-You-Throw systems have been installed. Thus waste generation cannot be measured on a detailed basis, which would allow further evaluation of disposal habits, changes and trends. In this case modelling is of particular importance. Models and data from models are used in the planning of waste management systems, including: – the development of waste-management strategies (Daskalopoulos et al., 1998);

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2. where the socio-economic homogeneity of each area was considered by the study authors. is shown in Table 1. life cycle analyses and multicriteria decision analyses. are lagging behind and are far from reaching general modelling standards. OECD.1. especially in the context of landWlling waste (Leao et al. the capacity evaluation of MSW incinerators by Chang and Lin. These streams can be deWned either according to composition of MSW (regardless of where collected) or to means of collection (separate or commingled). Due to the multitude of possible research design options. Pladerer.P. which are stratiWed by income (Abu Qdais et al. as well as operational costs (Grossman et al.. and – monitoring of systems (e. except for settlement areas. Derived recommendations are summarised in a comprehensive guideline. In this paper. waste generation related planning data have an essential inXuence on: – personnel and truck utilisation (Matsuto and Tanaka. with more than 50 papers addressing the broader Weld of this topic published through the end of 2005. such as cost beneWt analyses. policies promoting greater sustainability in waste management have not been followed by equal eVorts to boost adequate knowledge about waste generation. type of independent variables and modelling method. Models that focus on the estimation. have been established over the last decades (Morrissey and Browne. Section 3 discusses the beneWts and shortcomings of the models. 2004). explanation or prediction of the whole. These Wndings concerning relevant requirements for waste generation modelling are then demonstrated with two case studies in a more detailed way focussing on model applications at diVerent regional scales in Section 4.. Waste generated within the investigated period (due to the high eVorts involved limited to 3 weeks and 6 mo) is collected.2. Brief descriptions in the following chapters aim at presenting representative. 1974) and infrastructures (Dennison et al.1. In spite of the fact that decision-support orientated waste management models. 1999) or are based on a random sampling contingent on the electoral register (Dennison et al. 1974) with respect to collection and transportation. Settlement areas Positive experience with regard to the relationship between settlement structure and waste generation characteristics (cf. as well as other main characteristics. Household characteristics are mainly gained by personal interviews and surveys. The objective of this paper is to review previously published models of municipal solid waste (MSW) generation and to propose an implementation guideline which will provide a compromise between information gain and costeYcient model development. Regional scale The regional scale refers to the size of the smallest identiWable sample unit observed in each study.. Households Household studies enable relationships between waste quantity and a broad set of individual characteristics or habits of either the household itself or the household’s representative to be analysed. separated by 6 up to 36 fractions and documented.g. 2004)). indispensable planning fundamentals. 1997) corroborate the selection of . The conclusions of this review are given in Section 5. and material recycling up to waste minimisation will lead to increasing data complexity. Climbing up the waste management hierarchy from landWlling. Focussing on crucial design options within the modelling procedure. 2. 1996a). a high heterogeneity of models – from purely application-oriented up to highly sophisticated tools – is available. 1996a) or treatment facilities and capacities (e. as census data are not available on individual level due to data protection issues. The deWnition of each category is based on existing administrative units. They serve as a basis for further improvements and optimisation in terms of sustainability (environmental. For the operation of waste management systems. including a relevance tree for methodology selection. ClassiWcation of waste generation models To date. the classiWcation of these models is described in Section 2. type of modelled waste streams. mainly statistically based modelling approaches have been published in the literature since 1974. etc. waste generation models. thus requiring more detailed information on waste generation and composition (ParWtt and Flowerdew. economic and societal) targets. and – land demand for facilities. these tasks are partly carried out by the participants themselves. or parts of the MSW stream were reviewed. Beigl et al. in order to structure the highly heterogeneous approaches.. 1997).. Numerous.. 1997) or age and education level (Lebersorger. 2. Representativeness is strived for through appropriate sample sizes (ranging from 40 to 857). (cf. design options.. An overview of the reviewed studies according to these criteria. which deal with the underlying. recycling activities.. the data sources used for waste-related data and for independent factors are described in the following sections. as well as all databases used concerning the independent variables. as well as notably dissenting. A systematic review of 45 waste generation modelling approaches revealed four characteristic classiWcation criteria: regional scale. Closely related to this criterion. / Waste Management 28 (2008) 200–214 201 – the planning of waste collection services (Grossman et al. 1997). 2001).g. Table 2 mentions the ranges of size and number of observed regional units. 1993). assessing eVects of waste prevention action.1. energy recovery. 2. 1998.1. Christiani.

1997). 1974. CA MR MR GC MR.c. MS – Material streams. (1998) Dennison et al.c. D P. SR GC GC MR TSA SR n. census blocks with several hundred inhabitants (Grossman et al. CA SD GC. (2000) Hockett et al.a 1 1 103 1 100 9 1 1 1 1 50 6 44 1 n. (1997) Bach et al. (2003). SR TSA GC.c. ACORN (cf. C D – C. (1996a. GC – Group comparison. SR GC GC.c. (1995) Jenkins (1993) Joosten et al. housing approximately 80. SD – System dynamics. C P.c. 1997)) and questionnaire surveys.b) Dyson and Chang (2005) Eder (1983) Emery et al. (2001) Patel et al. SR TSA SR GC. Beigl et al. C P. D P. D P. – no comment. D C...c. y – – – – m – n. D C C. ParWtt and Flowerdew. D P. (2000) Karavezyris et al. (1998) Leao et al. (2004) Becker (1999) Beigl et al.c. C C C. / Waste Management 28 (2008) 200–214 Time series length Datasets 21 – – – 622 2 4–7 – – 60 14 – 614 24 – 3 11 3 n. (2004) Beigl et al. HWF – Household waste fractions. 3 16 31 375 1 50 1 n. (1998) Pladerer (1999) Rhyner and Green (1988) RuVord (1984) Salhofer and Graggaber (1999) Skovgaard et al. 118 629 18 P. P – Production and trade-related variables. The selected areas often correspond to the smallest administrative units. CO – Country. (1974) Hekkert et al. SA – Settlement area.. market-research based geo-demographic classiWcation packages (e. HH – Households. C C P P. (2003) Bach et al. 10 5 1 62 1 2 15 3 1 1 7 10 2 2 2 1 1 11 3 n. TSA – Time-series analysis.c. d n. C P GC. (2005) Thogersen (1996) HH DI DI SA DI DI CO CO CO DI DI SA CO CO HH DI DI SA SA CO DI SA CO DI DI CO DI DI DI HH SA DI DI DI DI CO SA DI CO HH DI HH DI CO CO Units 40 1071 649 6 55 27 31 13 1 12 1 33 14 2 857 4 260 3 n. 39 – – – – 6108 – n.c.c. 626 – 4 365 14 6730 5 – – – 626 4 – – 618 2 Interval d – – – y 8y y – – m y – y y – 10 y 6w w n.c. Lebersorger. . a Sorting campaigns in 37 regions. D C C. DI – Districts. D C. Household waste analyses typically cover the documentation of collected waste quantities and sorting analyses of samples from selected collection rounds or containers. e. (1993) Grossman et al. 2004) or enumeration districts with approximately 400–600 households (ParWtt and Flowerdew.g. D – Disposal-related. SR SR SR SR IOA TSA TSA GC. CS – Collection streams. 1 4 1 Independent variables type Modelling method C C. IOA – Input–output analysis. An exception with much larger areas. C. MR – Multiple regression analysis. 260 n.c. SR – Single regression analysis. D C. employment status and household size. Data sources for independent variables cover census data from statistical oYces.c. C. Homogeneity of settlement density and dwelling types in a given area is assumed to implicitly control variables such as income. (2005) Bogner and Matthews (2003) Bogner et al.g.000 inhabitants per area. homogeneous settlement areas as the sample unit. D C C P. (2002) Katsamaki et al. D C. was described by Emery et al. CA – Correlation analysis. HWF CS CS CS MS CS CS HWF MS.202 Table 1 Characteristics of the reviewed models Reference Regions Type Abu Qdais et al. D P D C C C C. (2003) European Commission (2002) Franklin Associates (1999) Gay et al. C – Consumption-related. w – y d y m/d 5y – – – w y – – y 5y Waste streams Type HWF CS CS CS CS. CS MS HWF CS HWF HWF HWF MS MS CS MS CS CS MS CS CS CS CS HWF CS CS CS CS CS HWF CS MS CS CS HWF CS MS. (2002) OECD (2004) ParWtt and Flowerdew (1997) ParWtt et al. SR TSA TSA GC GC IOA GC. D C. SR GC GC IOA IOA MR IOA MR MR IOA SD TSA TSA GC. (2001) Lebersorger (1998) Lebersorger (2004) Martens and Thomas (1996) Matsuto and Tanaka (1993) McBean and Fortin (1993) Navarro-Esbrí et al. CS CS Number 6 5 1 2 6 1 1 1 20 1 1 29 3 6 36 1 14 30 n. 7 1 n. (1993) Brahms and Schwitters (1985) Chang and Lin (1997) Chen and Chang (2000) Christiani (1997) Christiansen and Fischer (1999) Daskalopoulos et al. D C C C C C D P C C C.

Mertins et al. 2. 1999) or cities (Chang and Lin. deWned product items (Daskalopoulos et al. 2000). .. 1998. and in some cases also sporadically conducted sorting analyses.. 1999. this method is not aimed at considering the collection procedure applied.4.. / Waste Management 28 (2008) 200–214 Table 2 Characteristics of waste generation models by regional scale Regional units observed Typical range of residents by unit Number of regional units Data sources for dependent variables Data sources for independent variables Households 1–7 40–857 Full sorting analysis Self-documented waste quantity Household interview Household questionnaire survey Settlement areas 1200–10. Christiansen and Fischer. city district or city. if surveyed.. analysed samples cover up to several hundreds of essentially small and medium-sized municipalities (Bach et al. Christiansen and Fischer. Skovgaard et al.P.3.. 2001) are used for modelling of the independent variables. The usual data sources include nationally aggregated waste quantities on an annual basis. 1): – Material streams (Type A): This most comprehensive deWnition. 1997. 1998. 2004). Martens and Thomas. which may correspond to municipality. 1998. 2001. 1999. If modelling is not limited to only one major region (Gay et al.. 1999. such as the gross domestic product (GDP) (Thogersen. cross-sectional and time-series analyses.4). While the Wrst type aims at estimating waste streams.5 Mio.1. 2005). Salhofer and Graggaber.000 3–103 Representative sorting analysis Waste quantity statistics Census Household questionnaire survey Districts 60. 2000) or all main fractions of the MSW (Franklin Associates. 1996) and expert interviews (cf. 1995). is only achieved by means of input–output analyses.. 1997. 1999. Countries Models on this highest aggregation level can be classiWed into three types: input–output.. census and economic data in addition to waste management-related information (Chang and Lin. Karavezyris et al. county. paper and wood (Hekkert et al. 1–1071 Waste quantity statistics Representative sorting analysis Census Branch-speciWc statistics Census Branch-speciWc statistics Country 10–270 Mio.000–3. and data from industry and trade associations. 2000). 1–31 Waste quantity statistics 203 Waste-management related documentations of infrastructure and activities Waste-management related documentations of infrastructure and activities Waste-management related documentations of infrastructure and activities Household budget survey Macroeconomic aggregate Product-related literature and statistics 2. This research design enables the achieving of full coverage of federal states (ParWtt et al. 1993. private consumption expenditures for all (OECD.. 2002). 2004. Skovgaard et al.. Modelled MSW waste streams The waste streams modelled in the reviewed studies can be classiWed into three concepts (Fig.. Matsuto and Tanaka. 1995. 1997).. Hockett et al. The term ‘district’ is here deWned as administrative unit. Several studies have documented the use of time series on an annual (Beigl et al. are not essential for the model results and may be used only for validation (see Chapter 2. Districts Both the competence of regional planning and the ready availability of data justify the fact that the majority of the models selected districts as the smallest regional unit (cf. 1996. Beigl et al.. such as plastics (Patel et al. 2005) or various other indicators as shown in a cross-sectional comparison of 13 OECD-countries by Bogner et al. census-related and economic data from statistical oYces.2..1.. While waste quantity statistics. 1993) or daily (Navarro-Esbrí et al. 1985) in a single country. Jenkins. Hockett et al. 1999). are used as waste data. addressing all wastes originating from the Wnal consumer. Waste quantity records. 1993) basis. 2. the other two regression-based methods focus on comparisons between countries and/or in time by means of aggregated variables. Chen and Chang. Due to its nature. Joosten et al. 2004). Karavezyris. (1993). 2002. monthly (Chang and Lin. Brahms and Schwitters. In some studies (Daskalopoulos et al. Karavezyris and Marzi..

. According to the above mentioned categories. Many independent variables have been hypothesised and tested in order to explain the quantity of total or partial streams of MSW. 2003. assuming or statistically estimating (e.. – Fractions of household waste (Type C): Models based on sorting analyses of commingled or residual wastes. illegal disposal (Karavezyris et al. 2001. are addressed by a few models. 2001. (1995) and Jenkins (1993). 2000). 1. 1974. Horizontal factors describe the processes of interchanges between diVerent waste types. Concepts of waste stream modelling (Bars of sub-streams are labelled schematically).. 1996a) categories. bulky waste. shifts between residual waste. grouping is based on the focussed stages in product life cycle: production and traderelated. 1996a). ParWtt et al. 1995. (2003).g. Dyson and Chang. glass. monetary data are predominantly converted into physical data by surveying. 2002) or informal collection (cf. recyclables and illegally disposed waste are mainly caused by diVerent modes of separate collection and do not aVect the total waste quantity. Data concerning production and trade contain direct or indirect information about the quantity of product and waste streams over successive processing stages. Independent variables Salhofer (2001) has classiWed models for the analysis of waste generation into two categories: input–output models based on the Xow of material to waste generators (input) or from waste generators (output) and factor mod- els that use factors describing the processes of waste generation. Beside the oYcially reported waste streams. 1996. such as paper and cardboard. 2. (2003) have proposed horizontal and vertical factors for the prediction of municipal waste quantities.204 P. As mass-related data are rarely available (Joosten et al. plastics or metals (Bach et al. As an example. Sircar et al. the sum of all recyclables (ParWtt et al.. 1997. 2000. the second classiWcation aims at unveiling hypothesised causal relationships between factors for the prediction of waste generation. Beigl et al. Beigl et al. at least on the level of product groups. Thogersen. Martens and Thomas.... waste generated per GDP . While the Wrst classiWcation focuses on the purely descriptive characterisation of waste streams over the stages in product life cycle (from production. 2001) or single recyclable materials.. 1999). These have partly been summarised in previous reviews by Salhofer (2001). Lebersorger. Hockett et al. taking into account a range of 6 (Abu Qdais et al. 1998. from curbside collection enable the analysis of its composition. signiWcant quantitative interchanges to other disposal options.. / Waste Management 28 (2008) 200–214 Concepts of waste stream modelling Material streams Other materials Collection streams Other collection streams Plastics Fractions of household waste Illegal disposal Informal collection Other disposal options Glass Metals Plastics Paper Organic material Source separated waste streams Glass Materialrelated waste streams Paper Commingled (residual) waste Municipal solid waste collected on behalf of the municipality Other materials Metals Plastics Glass Material fractions within commingled (residual) waste Commingled waste Paper Organic material Organic material A B C Fig. Leao et al. Pladerer. Vertical factors are due to changes of the total sum of all waste streams depending on demographic.g. over trade to consumption). 2004.. such as residual waste (Becker. Fehr et al. Grossman et al. such as private Wring (Salhofer and Graggaber. results from other input–output analyses are used as dependent variables.. 1997) to 36 (Dennison et al. 1996. consumption-related. 2004. and disposal-related variables. Chang and Lin.. 1999. Jenkins. 1999.. respectively.. 2005). economic. 1993. Beigl et al. – Collection streams (Type B): Predominantly. 1999). Hockett et al. 2003) or single collection streams. technical and social developments.. Chen and Chang. oYcial waste statistics are used in modelling of the total MSW collected (e.3. Dennison et al. Bogner and Matthews.

. 2004.. (2000) highlight the problem that comparisons of the results obtained with the model with externally observed waste quantities on the highest aggregation levels are questionable due to the presence of diVerent aggregations or low consistency within the studies. the method of model validation and the applicability for predictions. Joosten et al. 1996a). Jenkins. 1999.. 2004. fostered recycling activities (cf. 1993. 2004. Beigl et al. The third group of signiWcant variables contains disposal-related factors which may aVect horizontal shifts between waste types.. Joosten et al.e. A method without the use of any independent variable (except the time series data with at least three values) was proposed by a projection with a grey fuzzy dynamic model proposed by Chen and Chang (2000).e. This is especially true for the variables related to income (Hockett et al.. if available. product-related surveys of the ‘residence time’ (i. Beigl et al. (1993) used conversion factors that were based on surveys of at least three major waste generators in each sector category of the standard-industrial-code (SIC). Apart from the mentioned aZuence-related indicators. Some of these approaches can be extended to multivariate models using up to Wve parameters.. 1993. While in the case of regression models. 2004. 2004). .. (1999)) the price per product unit. DiVerences between the methodological characteristics can best be described by addressing the number of independent variables. were successfully used as proxy for the percentage of commercial waste (Bach et al. 1993. 1984). 1984. In order to consider the diVerences in the use phase. 1993). Salhofer and Graggaber.. employment status (Dennison et al.. Regarding input– output analyses. rental rate of property (Abu Qdais et al. (1999) proposed diVerent options due to data availability. 2003. Brahms and Schwitters (1985) compared their input–output analysis for main MSW fractions with a nationwide sorting analysis in Germany on the highest aggregation level proving low estimation errors for the packaging materials metals. individual characteristics of households – namely the household size (Dennison et al. 1997. system dynamics and input–output analyses. 2005). analyses (cf.e. are far more complex due to the manifold interactions between the selected parameters. 1996. RuVord. 1993. Jenkins. 1998) observed by means of household interviews – proved to be signiWcant.. tenancy) of property (RuVord. Daskalopoulos et al. or may even prove to be impossible because “studies on Wnal consumption are almost completely lacking” e. Gay et al.. Bach et al. 1999. Martens and Thomas. 1998) for which most. RuVord. Further to the well documented impacts of residential population and sporadically dwelling tourists on total MSW quantity (Hockett et al. Jenkins. Methods enabling the consideration of only one independent variable (i.. Evaluations of consumption-related variables reXect the relationship between living conditions and waste generation patterns. The employment by sectors. density of collection sites (Bach et al. Beigl et al. and population density and urbanisation (Martens and Thomas. Seven groups of applied methods could be identiWed as enumerated in Table 1. container size (Martens and Thomas.. 1996. as well as development and health indicators. Other signiWcant aZuence-related proxies are represented by dwelling type (Emery et al. to prevent intercorrelations) have not been applied for the other two methods. textiles (16%) and organic waste (36%).. ParWtt and Flowerdew. 1999). 1993). (1993) and Mertins et al. (2005) applied a three-parametric time series model.. tenure (i. the mean prices per material or product unit for each industry is given priority over average retail prices based on national statistics and data from market inquiries. quantitative predictions can also be applied by means of single regression analysis as shown by a prediction model for main material fractions of MSW by Daskalopoulos et al. (2000) and Hekkert et al.. 2000). ParWtt et al. 1984. 1996b.g. Jenkins. 1984. 2001) and user fees (Jenkins. SigniWcant impacts on the quantity of source-separated recyclables are the home heating arrangement (Dennison et al.. Bach et al... 1996a)..P. (2001) used Wve collection-infrastructure-related variables as cluster criteria for a successive group comparison. ParWtt et al. such as life expectancy and infant mortality (Bogner et al. 1997.. Eder. In addition to time series approaches. 1995. 1993. 1983). Sircar et al. Grossman et al. 1996a. of the evaluations proved the expected positive relationship. 1974. Lebersorger. 1995). 1984)..e. Eder. as well as branch-speciWc sales data. Bogner et al... 1974) and the private consumption expenditures by product groups (OECD. 1996a. 1996a. Grossman et al. 1998). model validation is often very diYcult or impossible to achieve. for plastic materials. the duration of the use phase) enable the assessment of waste generated (Patel et al.. Therefore. most of these variables serve as proxies for the general level of aZuence. the life-cycle stage of the household (Lebersorger. A common feature of these methods is that the model validation is based on real waste data.. 2.. 1984) or consumption habits (Dennison et al. Multivariate methods.. but considerable errors for packaging glass (39%). Hockett et al. Christiansen and Fischer. such as multiple regression analyses. and constant variance and normality of errors) to not violate the fundamental regression assumptions... independence of explanatory variables. Dennison et al. 1995. 2003. Gay et al.4. correlation and regression analyses and group comparison. Haase. bivariate analysis) cover the time series analyses. Salhofer and Graggaber. Skovgaard et al. paper/cardboard and plastics (<4%). RuVord. 2004). Dennison et al. Hockett et al. 2004). RuVord.g. 1995) have to prove that each independent variable meets the stringent requirements (i. but not all (cf. 1996.. 1993.. RuVord. the age structure (Jenkins. comparable validation procedures (e. 1983). 1998.. (1998). 1995. / Waste Management 28 (2008) 200–214 205 unit as done by Thogersen (1996). Modelling methods The review revealed how a wide range of modelling techniques of diVerent levels of complexity have been applied to date. Hockett et al.

1998) by applying time-series analyses of daily data over up to 2 years is indisputable. 3. Skovgaard et al. the most extreme cases.. 1991). 2004. these are modelling methods which focus on only one region (i. 2000). Gay et al. ScharV. such as questionnaire surveys. With regard to the size of observed units. ParWtt and Flowerdew (1997) illustrate the close relationship between the focus in waste management hierarchy and the typical data requirements. The selection of excessively large. Chen and Chang. as well as the level of accuracy of discrimination. In the following. Abu Qdais et al. and thus can not serve as a basis for waste management planning on a regional level. experience gained in the reviewed studies suggests beneWcial ranges of the number of observed waste streams in order to identify an appropriate balance between information gain and eVorts. Cost-ineYcient sampling occurs. exert an essential impact on the eVorts to collect wasterelated data and the information content of the planning fundamentals. The modelling of waste potentials for the USA and for whole Europe (Daskalopoulos et al..g. OECD. Thus. a consolidated waste strategy should be accompanied by the appropriate regional discretisation of a model. Section 2. Navarro-Esbrí et al. 1993. 1995). While the focus on material recycling requires the “local authority monitoring of recycling schemes” in order to design material recovery facilities.. 1993)) are used. The identiWcation of the most signiWcant variable is often assumed to depend on the best relationship between the time series related to waste generation and that related to a factor. of an investigation for planning issues. – selection of independent variables to be hypothesised. 2002) or weekly collection service patterns (Katsamaki et al. as well as the cost-eYciency. (2003) from 1071 municipalities seems to far succeed the statistical requirements of a regression model...4.e. crucial design options concerning – regional sampling.g. 31 out of a total of 45) focus on the scale of districts or smaller regional units. (1997) could have avoided 24% of the 840 samples evaluated by selecting the usually applied 95% conWdence interval instead of a 99% conWdence interval. These models have to cope with the problem that hypotheses about the potential impacts on waste generation can be proved only in special cases. As the sample size of inquiries... – waste stream deWnition and investigation. the adjustment of research design is mostly induced – either explicitly or implicitly – by Wnding an appropriate trade-oV between information gain and cost-eYciency (cf. as discussed in Section 3. input–output analyses and time-series analyses) are discussed. legally and illegally disposed waste quantities on the level of city with more than 3 million inhabitants (Karavezyris et al.. interviews and accompanying sorting analyses is regarded as one of the main cost drivers (cf. too few or too many observed regional units may challenge the usefulness. Regional sampling Both the size and the number of regions to be observed represent crucial design parameters. 1993.2. if the size of the sample is too high in relation to the needed level of accuracy without leading to a signiWcant information gain. Waste stream deWnition and investigation The number and type (cf.206 P.e. Dennison et al. McBean and Fortin.g. if no other sources (e. two-thirds of the reviewed models (i. and – model validation are discussed below by presenting beneWts and shortcomings of the reviewed literature and summarised in a proposed procedural guideline. the decision makers’ beneWt of some models. the ambitious inquiry of waste collection data of Bach et al. (1996a) conducted 857 sorting analyses on household level.. Furthermore.. The majority of models based on collection-stream data apply total MSW generation as only one dependent variable.1. 2002) can not provide relevant information about the regional variation. the focus on the more sustainable waste minimisation and material reuse strategies should be funded on householdwaste audits and surveys to enable the identiWcation of “waste-creating activities”.. 3.. Beigl et al. / Waste Management 28 (2008) 200–214 3. although the calculated required sample size for a 95% conWdence interval was 384 sorting analyses. is often questionable. Based on this argumentation concerning the political appropriateness of the size unit (cf.2) of scoped waste streams. 2005). A further potential limitation to the gaining of information is constituted by the missing balance between the sample size and the complexity of a model. Hockett et al. Depending on the type of waste streams deWned (collection streams or household waste fractions). The successful identiWcation of seasonal impacts (Matsuto and Tanaka. In order to enable the identiWcation of beneWcial modelling procedures in terms of these two often contradictory goals. Discussion of design options and guideline development Models contributing to the improved estimation of present and future waste quantities and characteristics are aimed at enabling the best possible waste management planning decisions within the given constraints. 1998) or even the estimation of recycled. In contrast. although this fact may not have been proven by cross-sectional analyses (e. cost-saving methods with a small number of observations (depending on number of observed units and time series length as shown in Table 1) were proposed. accompanying crosssectional analyses (e. which are based on data related to countries or large regions. More questionable is the deduction of hypothesised causal impacts in the long term. A common variety with two considered collection .

are far from serving relevant up-to-date information.g. 9 (Patel et al. 2004). 1985). 2000. Beigl et al. especially for input–output analyses based on up to thousands of independent variables. forecasted values for variables. 2003). The necessity of up-to-date data can be supported with the considerable changes based on time-series data of European countries from the years 1995–2003. With reference to indirect waste analyses using market-research data. Gay et al.. (2005). (2003) with 30 sorting categories. no recommendations can be given as the number of considered material and product streams depend on the amount of detail provided by data sources. It is notable that models based on extensive databases. the investigated waste streams are not transparently deWned.g. 3.. (2003) traced the lowest amount of newspapers in household waste in the highest-income settlement area back to the fact of high recycling rates because “newspapers purchased by more aZuent households tend to be larger”.. A useful solution to this problem is proposed by Skovgaard et al. the majority of these models are often unusable due to the lack of underlying data for the model parameters.P. Further to the above mentioned problems of data obsolescence. / Waste Management 28 (2008) 200–214 207 streams (i. 1998). Hekkert et al.. 2002). 1993) and to . tourism) or waste-related activities (private burning of waste. the inclusion of collection data other than that pertaining to curbside collection sites would close this gap between the curbside collected stream and the complete collection stream. 2005). One of these was the criticism made by ParWtt and Flowerdew (1997) of the United Kingdom’s National Household Waste Analysis Programme. in time or between regional units) are subject to a diVerent level of aZuence or to diVerent recycling quotas. mainly from civic amenity sites. 10 (Joosten et al.3 (cf.. 2001. while source-separated waste streams nearly triple in some cases (e. Italy and Ireland or organic waste collected in France) (European Communities. Selecting independent variables to be hypothesised Still in the conception stage of model development. Frequently. A comparison of the reference year of core databases and the Wrst publication date of each study proves delays of 7 (Brahms and Schwitters. 2000) up to 12 years (Bach et al. commercial waste. but can be successfully estimated using appropriate proxy variables as described in Section 2. who provide forecasts for all necessary predictors for MSW forecasts to potential users. 1995). as done by Emery et al. Hockett et al. InsuYcient deWnition and standardisation of MSW is a well known problem. ParWtt et al. For example.g. had not been taken into consideration due to the inappropriate sampling procedure. In both cases. It is not advantageous to consider more categories or sub-categories of fractions as needed for the study objective. Karavezyris et al. it can often be pre-estimated whether a draft model with a deWned set of hypothesised variables will be able to satisfy the basic information needs of waste management planners: timeli- ness of data.. paper and cardboard collected in France. (2004) pointed out the cost-eVectiveness of this method. such as product-related fractions of total consumer expenditures on a national level (Daskalopoulos et al. the more diYcult it is to guarantee a level of data quality. Malta). however. applicability for predictions and suYcient data quality... Here the delay between reference year of the last observed waste-related data and the publication year was taken as benchmark. Section 4. so it is hardly comprehensible which (collection or materialrelated) streams are covered and how much information exists concerning the quantity and quality of the excluded streams.. Thus this diVerence points out the relevance of the up-to-date nature of existing primary data in order to support the strategic decisions based thereon. while 33% of the household waste. the growth of MSW generation within 8 years ranges up to 50% (e. that “the greater the lack of data. 1999... who stated that the deWned term “household waste” covered only the waste from curbside collection. and experiences concerning the diVerences between MSW and household waste have been reported (Fischer and Crowe. are very probably not available for the waste management planners.. namely input–output analyses and selected multiple regression models with a high number of hypothesised factors. The implementation of data-intensive approaches can be signiWcantly limited or aggravated by problems of data availability and comparability.e. the more time and eVort has to be put in to achieve reasonable results”. 1998) or actual indices of purchasing power per capita on a municipal level (Bach et al. For models based on sorting analyses of household waste.2).3. Distortions of MSW streams related to other sources (e. Assumptions and estimations usually have to be made to allocate mass Xows within product groups. Further often expensive disaggregation into materialrelated recycling streams (e. The reader should be enabled to make intertemporal forecasts or inter-regional predictions. the results showed that 6 up to 14 main categories are suYcient for evaluations. Fehringer et al.. whilst stating. If input–output analyses are applied..g. dependent variables) is the deWnition of a recycling and a commingled stream (Becker. collected and evaluated. In most models. Ireland. Further improvement can be gained by the use of parameters which are both easily comparable and predictable.. to transform prices into physical units (cf. Related limitations were openly reported in only a few cases. The main objective of several models is to provide a prediction tool. a delay of up to 3 years was reported. 2000). inconsistent deWnitions and a lack of data are cost-relevant drivers. The more independent variables are hypothesised.. illegal disposal) remain submerged. Martens and Thomas. Unfortunately. waste paper and waste glass) does not aVord any useful information due to the impossibility of identifying whether varying collection quantities (e.g. Without any quantitative information as to the separately collected materials in three settlement areas. Emery et al. 1996. Appropriately quick reactions on new waste generation trends require the provision of models based on timely databases. such as socio-economic variables (cf.

c. correlation coeYcient). 2001) can be limited or distorted for two reasons: insuYcient validation of model and model parameters and lack of balance between oversimpliWcation and overWtting. Extensive survey-based databases. from Dennison et al. collinearity tests and tests of residues). b Includes waste from the residential and commercial sector. 1998).4. An additional problem may be represented by the increased diYculty of interpreting models with more than ten parameters. d 13 regressors and 14 regional dummy variables.1.36 0. It has an indirect.921 0. the fundamental rule that the sample size should exceed more than twofold the number of parameters (Backhaus et al.e.. Indeed.4. 1989). correlation and regression models by means of common statistical tests. between household size and waste generation) are deterministically deWned. if not otherwise stated) Residual waste Waste glass Light weight packaging – collected in bringsystem Light weight packaging – curbside collection Waste metals Waste paper MSW MSW (Gallons/week) MSW Residual wasteb (Pounds/cap/month) Residual wasteb (Pounds/cap/year) MSW Sample size (n) 1071 507 71 216 156 649 550a 103 100 600c 49c 118 IdentiWed parameters 14 7 3 7 7 8 6 3 2 27d 27d 4 Explained variance (R2) 0. model validity is deWned as internal validity or the capability of the model to explain the dependent variable ‘waste quantity’.. . i.208 P. e.g. which are typically not based on stochastically assumed variables. could be used in multivariate procedures instead of single correlation analysis. Model validation The accuracy of model results (i. (2004) Grossman et al. (1993) and Bach et al. Patel et al. the main model characteristics and selection criterion for practitioners of prediction tools according to Armstrong. (2004).50 0.497 0. although not constraining. Models with an excessively high number of partly nonlinear parameters tend to unduly Wt to the data in the sample. the potential information gain could easily be increased in the case of an oversimpliWed model design.487 0.g. Validation with waste data In the present paper.g.. An unfavourable ratio between the identiWed degrees of freedom to the sample size may cause overWtting or oversimpliWcation of the model (Tabachnik and Fidell.. the ability to generalise the results obtained to diVerent temporal or spatial settings. / Waste Management 28 (2008) 200–214 assume residence times per product (cf. (1998). in order to ascertain existing relationships Table 3 Models based on multivariate regression equations Reference Bach et al. The level of complexity necessary depends on both the number of applied parameters and their functional form.c. likely implying a decreased practicability for waste managers. (1996a). Table 3 shows how the sample size of multiple regression models typically exceeds by 30-fold up to 90-fold the number of parameters. (1974) Hockett et al. 3. A possible countermeasure would be to check data availability and comparability during a preliminary examination prior to the Wnal deWnition of research design.998 n. (2003) Dependent variable (in kg/cap/yr. as presented by Daskalopoulos et al. a Time series from 55 cities. Furthermore..2. the application of this condition strengthens the suspicion that Jenkins’ (1993) 27-parametric forecasting model for the separate estimation of both residential and commercial waste based on only nine areas may be aVected by this phenomenon. 3.. Input–output analyses are also deterministic models. the seemingly arbitrary selection of non-linear regression functions of higher order.g.388 0. whose hypothesised relationships (e.. impact on the more relevant external validity.538 0.400 0.e. Bach et al. Beigl et al. 2003) may be of help in orientation. Balancing model complexity Waste generation models that are either exceedingly simple or too complex can provide inappropriate results.4. but not stochastically tested. should be transparently justiWed with objective relationships between the variables to prove that they are not based solely on the maximisation of R2. On the contrary.. While validity was tested for group comparisons. 3. (1995) Jenkins (1993) Salhofer and Graggaber (1999) n. The reviewed system dynamics models enable simulations of interconnected variables. The impact of overWtting of intercorrelated variables to variations due to measurement errors maximises the percentage of variance explained (e. c Time series from 9 communities. comprehensive validity tests were not conducted for all reviewed system dynamics models and input–output models. but limits the ability of the results to be generalised.65 0. With the exception of model-speciWc tests (e. as proposed by Lebersorger (2004). (2004) Beigl et al. Bogner et al. – no comment.53 0.

. Guideline for the evaluation of research design. Case studies The selected regional scale of a waste generation model produces the highest impact on type of information gained and eVorts required.P. garden or commercial waste. a multi-family dwelling was hypothesized as being occupied by households living under similar circum- .1. 3. for which no feasible explanation could be aVorded. between variables. / Waste Management 28 (2008) 200–214 209 Fig. 2004) was aimed at identifying inXuencing factors on waste generation from private households and at identifying indicators capable of forecasting the amount of residual waste from a multifamily dwelling.e. 4. the application of the developed guideline will be discussed. Beigl et al. even when taking into account the possibility of a diVerent recycling performance or the production of waste from sources other than households. Guideline development Fig. 2.. In both cases. based on parallel cross-sectional analyses) in order to increase long-term predictability.5. This can be applied both in checking a waste generation model prior to implementation or for evaluating the reliability of existing models. i. Lebersorger. 2000) or only one (Chang and Lin. The following two case studies demonstrate the beneWts and limits of two approaches on both a household and on a city level. Time-series based forecasting models taking into account no (Chen and Chang. 2 shows the guideline developed on the basis of the aforementioned Wndings for the evaluation of the research designs. Thus. 1997) exogenous impact could easily be improved by the inclusion of one or more aZuence-related census variable (e.g. Case study 1: modelling on a household level Case study 1 (cf. 4. Prior research had shown highly divergent percapita quantities of residual waste from multi-family dwellings.

2004) was the development of a long-term forecasting tool for the estimating of MSW generation in European cities. as well as the eVort needed to survey the residents. The determination of waste-related data at the level of a multi-family dwelling was preferred over that of household level due to practical and methodical considerations (cf. were used. Due to the considerable eVect produced by the interaction “age” and “household type”. which classiWes households according to number and age of adults and children. was considered an appropriate indicator. interaction eVects. age. social stratum etc. family-situation. As independent variables. aZuence-related indicators and both the quantity of per-capita MSW generation. The central hypothesis postulated a relationship between census-based. Correlation between household consumption activities and socio-demographic indicators (household type.. In order to verify the results of the case study.210 P. frequency of wasted food. An investigation carried out in association with six regional partners assessed the collection and inspection of waste-related data. The awareness of participating in a scientiWc investigation and the subjective feeling of “being controlled” will likely aVect the households’ actual behaviour (Hawthorne or guinea-pig eVect). the higher was the waste quantity of the multifamily dwelling. consumption of fresh food. Age and household type had an eVect on most of the household activities. The higher the percentage share of households with children and the younger the residents. p D 0. The data were analysed in two steps by means of contingency analyses and multiway frequency analyses. consumption of pre-packaged food etc. in all major European cities with more than 500. However. It was aimed at Wnding a suitable compromise between an appropriate level of accuracy and validity. / Waste Management 28 (2008) 200–214 stances with regard to income.. educational level of the respondent). 1. at household level. – similar circumstances for all households in a given multifamily dwelling with regard to the recycling system. In terms of practical applicability. whereas households with infants and schoolchildren were likely to generate the highest waste quantities. Furthermore. it is not applicable on a larger scale due to several limitations. cost for housing. income. Fig. As dependent variables.2. Correlation between the quantity of a deWned waste component (data at the level of a multi-family dwelling) and relevant household activities (data at householdlevel): for example the inXuence of the frequency of food preparation. Lebersorger et al. both the main eVects of either of them and the interaction of the two variables “age” and “household type”. the eVects should be simpliWed. life-cycle stage. Based on the availability and . Both regional data at city levels provided from local city representatives and national data from international organisations. 2003): – availability of aggregated information concerning a large number of households at reasonable costs and eVort. six multi-family dwellings were selected. as well as demographic and socio-economic indicators. In multi-family dwellings it is not usually possible to determine waste quantities on a household level without involving the household itself.000***). available from a former investigation (cf. The sample-size is restricted by the eVort required to determine the waste quantities from a multifamily-dwelling (separate weighing. 2. Tabachnik and Fidell. visual inspections required in order to check potential inXuences on waste quantities such as garden waste or commercial waste). Beigl et al. each with more than 600 inhabitants and more than 320 households.000 inhabitants. Case study 2: modelling on a city level The objective of case study 2 (cf. 3 shows the correlation between the quantities of residual waste of each multi-family dwelling and the household type and age (Kendall’s tau-b ¡0. The results obtained illustrated how the presence of a high number of elderly couples and singles was indicative of low waste quantities from a multi-family dwelling. are very diYcult to interpret. thus including at least 50 households from each multi-family-dwelling.. neighbourhood etc. on the quantity of wasted food. data on socio-demographic characteristics and household activities were investigated by means of a questionnaire survey applied to 334 households. 2000). construction issues.293. the quantities and composition of residual waste were determined at the level of a multi-family dwelling by means of composition analyses and weighing the contents of the waste containers. particularly three-way or higher eVects. It can be concluded that an investigation performed on both a multifamily-dwelling and household level may be of use when applied to clarify a speciWc research issue or to obtain detailed basic information. the composite var- iable life-cycle stage (cf. such as the United Nations or OECD. 4. thereby generating similar needs and resulting in similar quantities of residual waste. These advantages were considered to outweigh the disadvantage of not being able to attribute waste data to an individual household. Grassinger et al. However. and a comparable ease of applicability by municipal oYcers as targeted users.. which corroborates the results found in the Viennese case study. Beigl et al. population statistics do not generally provide such composite data and interaction eVects thus cannot be considered. 1989). detailed information concerning the socio-demographic characteristics and waste quantities from 10 multifamily dwellings. For the survey. – little inXuence of the questionnaire survey on the actual behaviour of the household. were used.

702 0. Additionally. these cities presented an average time-series length of 10 years in the sample providing both total MSW quantity and results for 14 national and city-related socio-economic indicators.581b 8. 1995 prices) Infant mortality rate (Deaths per 1000) Urban population aged 15–59 years (%) Household size (Pers/hh) Life expectancy at birth (Years) CoeYcient of determination (R2) ¡360. quality of data.600 276. – knowledge of the time-shifted long-term developments of waste generation and potential impacts was hypothesised by the authors to be generalisable for cities with a similar welfare level. representing the total MSW generation of a speciWc city in 1 year.P. The selection of this research design based on cross-sectional time-series data on a city level was derived from the following practical and methodological considerations: – waste generation on a city level serves as primary planning information.529 0.506 40.200 6.536 0. Tests of collinearity. a prosperity-related factor was modelled by means of principal component analysis. 3. Petersen et al. National indicators. with children >10 y/<10 y: household with children older/younger than 10 years. Mfd: Multifamily dwelling. not inter-correlated variables were identiWed.800 Infant mortality rate (Deaths per 1000) 20 8. 1995 prices) 3000 13.5 Limits and threshold values between groups (Approximate values resulting from hierarchical cluster analyses) GDP per capita (US-$ PPP. – Regression between total MSW generation and indicators: For each of the three groups.895 11.3 0.. regression equations were estimated using combined forward and backward regression.928 ¡123.0156b ¡126. Beigl et al.000 3.657 ¡375. – availability of time series enabled testing of the Wnal model under real conditions. / Waste Management 28 (2008) 200–214 100 90 80 70 100 90 80 70 211 % of households 60 50 % of households 60 50 40 household type 40 30 20 10 0 63 86 87 90 129 160 130 169 196 163 with children >10 y with children <10 y couple single Age 30 20 10 0 63 86 87 129 160 169 90 130 163 196 elder (over 50) middle-age (35-49) young (up to 34) Mfd by quantity of residual waste (kg/cap/y) Mfd by quantity of residual waste (kg/cap/y) Fig. . autocorrelation and residual analyses agreed with the regression assumptions. Ten multifamily-dwellings ranked by quantity of residual waste and distribution of their residents by household type (left Wgure) and age (right Wgure). 55 cities (from a total of 65) from the EU25 countries were included in the study. 1999).057 0. Data analyses were carried out in two steps: – Attribution of datasets to welfare-related groups using hierarchical cluster analyses: Each single dataset from a total of 550.485 359. The most signiWcant.523 20. – data quality on a city level was assumed to have highest data quality for small regions (cf. was attributed to groups in order to fade out high welfare diVerences.014b ¡197. Both welfare-related and demographic indicators were identiWed as the most signiWcant parameters to explain the Table 4 Prosperity-related regression models for total MSW generation in European cities Prosperity level Medium High Very high IdentiWed linearamodel parameters on the dependent variable MSW generation (kg/cap/yr) (ranked in order of signiWcance) Constant GDP per capita (US-$ PPP.1 a b Except the logarithmic relationship of the infant mortality rate.

The main selection criterion is the type of waste streams to be investigated. beneWcial choices concerning regional sampling (i. Fig. due to the presence of various planning issues. The discussion revealed several shortcomings concerning the choice of methods to be used. household size and both health indicators (i. and to identify signiWcant eVects of waste management activities on recycling quotas. infant mortality rate and life expectancy at birth) proved capable of explaining variations observed in mediumincome cities (Table 4). it can be surmised that both the regional variation between cities on similar welfare-level and the temporal variation can be explained more suitably than with pure cross-sectional analyses (Bach et al. The application of time series analyses and input–output analyses is advantageous for special information needs (e.. In order to verify the expected forecasting accuracy. as well as group comparisons. correlation and regression analyses.. Relevance tree for methodology selection.g. In the majority of cases.e..e. Thus the development of the actual MSW quantity was compared with the amount estimated using the model parameter.g. Beigl et al. the age structure. The implementation of the derived Wndings was practically demonstrated in two case studies with diVerent settings: a survey-based analysis of household waste generation at multi-family dwellings and a census-data-based development of a forecasting tool for cities. number and size of observed areas). While the gross domestic product and infant mortality rate were identiWed as signiWcant parameters for high-income cities.212 P. These models can best be described by four speciWc criteria: the focussed regional scale. the sum of fraction of commingled waste and separated collected quantity) Analysis of impacts on recycling quotas by fraction Yes Group comparisons and regression No Material streams (regardless of Availability of collection ) timely secondary data on the focused regional scale? to test effects of waste management activities on recycling quotas Input -output analyses Fig. 2004). / Waste Management 28 (2008) 200–214 Total MSW Assessment of seasonal impacts? No Yes Time series analyses based on monthly or daily records Significant interchanges with other disposal options expected? Correlation and regression methods to test mainly affluence-related impacts by analysing No Yes consumption-related variables consumption and disposal related variables Commingled waste(percentage of total MSW) Separate collection streams Other collection streams Modeled waste stream Models based on sorting analyses Analysis of impacts on material-related generation (i. which may be increasingly aVected by measurement errors. and single time series analyses (e. The comparison of both approaches corroborates the hypothesis that. Skovgaard et al. 2005).. Conclusions Assessments of impacts on current and future waste streams are essential and indispensable fundamentals in waste management planning. are the most beneWcial modelling methods.6%. variation of total MSW generation. the type of modelled waste streams... 2003). Beside these general checklist-like recommendations. Based on a comparison of the procedure and the results with other forecasting tools by Beigl et al. A literature review of previously published approaches revealed a high heterogeneity of applied models. 5. the use of only one ‘optimum’ procedure is not suYcient for diVerent study objectives and border conditions. Based on a discussion of previous studies. 4. in spite of the fact that issues to be solved were remarkably similar.e. 4 shows a proposed relevance tree for appropriate methodology selection. the dynamic modiWcation of the model was tested by means of ex-post forecasting. and starting from a deWned base year. selection of independent variables and model validation procedures were proposed. Lindh. the adaptation of overall model design to the planning problem plays a fundamental role. waste stream deWnition and investigation. An additional beneWt is the comparably ready availability of the applied demographic forecast data for the independent variables (cf. The setting of minimum requirements and criteria for modelling procedures should balance information gain and implementation costs. ranging from household up to country perspective. the hypothesised independent variables and the modelling method. especially in short time series. both to test the relationship between the level of aZuence and the generation of total MSW or a material-related fraction. A procedural guideline was developed in order to identify crucial design options with signiWcant impacts on information gain and cost-eYciency of waste generation models. assessment of seasonal eVects for short-term forecasts) or for appropriate data . The median relative error of the growth rate in MSW quantity of all cities’ time series (ranging between a length of 5 and 21 years) as key indicator for the accuracy amounted for 0. (2004. which do not allow for validation tests. 2005).

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