Post-Collection Processing and Disposal (PCPD)

Post-collection processing refers to practices aimed at avoiding landfilling of solid waste by preserving and utilizing its residual material value. There are several methods of recovery including mechanical recycling, chemical recycling, composting, energy recovery, in addition to emerging novel recovery methods. Waste sortation is often prerequisite to each of these processes, depending on collection methods. Waste disposal refers to landfilling practices. SWEEP plans to takes into account:

The efficiency and effectiveness of post-collection processing

  • Recycling practices
  • Percent of solid waste recycled
  • Sortation technologies
  • Geographic proximity of material recovery facilities
  • MRF residual rate
  • Use of recovered materials as alternative daily landfill cover
  • Composting practices
  • Percent of solid waste composted
  • Energy recovery practices
  • Percent of solid waste utilized for energy recovery
  • Landfill practices
  • Percent of solid waste landfilled
  • Landfill gas capture rate
  • Landfill gas utilization rate
  • Landfill gas utilization practices
  • Capping strategies and cell size practices
  • Leachate management practices
  • Distances traveled from material processing to end market

The environmental performance of waste recovery and disposal:

  • MRF emission intensity
  • Prevention and/or mitigation of compost emissions
  • Landfill emission intensity

Economic performance of waste recovery and disposal:

  • Cost intensity of solid waste processing
  • Revenue gained from sale of recycled materials
  • Revenue gained from sale of compost
  • Revenue gained from sale of energy generated
  • Revenue gained from landfill gas utilization
  • Employment and social considerations for waste recovery and disposal
  • Jobs created by post-collection recovery and disposal practices

Working conditions and labor practices in recovery and disposal facilities

  • Siting of processing, recovery, and disposal facilities
  • Proximity to residential populations
  • Proximity to areas with special sensitivities
  • Demographics of areas surrounding waste infrastructure

3 thoughts on “Post-Collection Processing and Disposal (PCPD)”

  1. We need a holistic view of how waste is managed after it becomes waste.
    Waste streams are independently analyzed.
    Life Cycle Assessment has features that could organize such an approach.
    This SWEEP is particularly brilliant because it forces us to ask: What were we expecting to achieve in re-processing waste (after generation) anyway? Are we trying to combat GHG generation and climate change? Are we focusing on reducing or eliminating environmental impacts (rating all environmental impacts along with or exclusive from climate change impacts)? Do we have a sufficiently robust LCA analysis of the upstream resource and energy inputs required to make the products which in turn make up waste streams to be able to say which recovery is more effective than another?

    • Excellent questions, David. Initially, we are likely to focus on key impact areas where there is adequate data and expand from there. As you point out, there is still work to be done on getting lifecycle impact inventories expanded.

      WRT Waste Reduction, we will look at education, pay as you throw, extended producer responsibility, procurement rules and other policy tools to reduce material intensity as well as overall consumption.

      Rob Watson


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