Waste composition analysis in the London Borough of Enfield
The project involved the collection and analysis of all waste (residual waste, mixed dry recycling and mixed garden and food waste) produced by a representative sample of 500 households across Enfield.
The project included 250 individual kerbside households, as well as 250 households living on estates, repeated over a winter and summer phase.
The data was used to inform future service provision and communications.
The London Borough of Enfield wanted to generate some robust data about its waste service performance to allow the identification of further improvements.
We carried out waste composition analysis of all waste streams (residual waste, mixed dry recycling and mixed food and garden waste) from 250 kerbside households in Enfield.
The kerbside waste was sorted individually by household. Individual household analysis enables assessment of the variability of the waste and allows for calculations of the confidence intervals, as well as providing more data on the behaviours and habits of households.
Waste from a further 250 households using communal collections in flats and estates was analysed in the second week of the project as daily bulk samples.
Our analysis found that significant quantities of recyclable materials remained within the residual waste stream.
Following the analysis, we produced a report including recommendations for improvement of current recycling performance. Statistics provided included arisings (kg produced per household per week), composition, capture rates and recycling rates. The individual household sort approach also allowed for an assessment of the variability of the waste and calculations of the confidence intervals.
The information allowed the Borough to gain a better understanding of the performance of their service, what was achievable and where gains could be made.