Guidance on the Methodology for Waste Composition Analysis

For local authorities commissioning waste composition analysis of municipal waste.

Waste composition analysis (WCA) provides information about the types and amounts of the materials that are in a given waste stream. Analysis enables local authorities to gather information on the range of materials in their waste stream as well as the amount of each of these materials and their relative proportions in their waste. If carried out at a number of intervals over the period of a year, analysis can also highlight differences in waste composition over different seasons.

Data is gathered by physically sorting the waste by hand into a number of predetermined categories. Each category is then weighed and the results are collated to provide a breakdown of the total composition of waste that has been sampled.

The Zero Waste Scotland Guidance on the Methodology for Waste Composition Analysis (the methodology) has been designed as a standard template for the analysis of municipal waste by local authorities in Scotland. It is a requirement of funding from Zero Waste Scotland that the methodology is followed for WCA studies.

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