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BE-AWARE Work Package 3 Deliverable 3.3


Mohamed Osmani, Andrew Price, Malcolm Sutherland
(Loughborough University)

Completed November 2006 REVISED MAY 2013: portions of the original document have been scanned

Waste Characterisation Literature Review. Copyright of LabSearch, a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013


Executive Summary

This report was completed in fulfilment Deliverable 3 of Work Package 3, of the BE-AWARE protect. The report reviews waste characterisation approaches, technologies and methodologies, and also discusses the requirements for the next stage of Work Package 3. The identification and characterisation of waste materials can be a convex task, requiring careful attention of varying quantises, flows, and the chemical and physical composition Available data may be limited, and studies into a waste stream rely on representative sampling, interviews, and the use of resources such as IT databases or models. The potential for recycling a waste material is also limited by financial costs such as transportation, and the availability of appropriate reprocessing technologies. The following approaches of waste characterisation are discussed: • classification: waste materials are generally classified into groups of similar items, such as plastics, wood, bricks, etc.; • quantification: waste streams and materials are quantified, by observations or sampling, by interviews or questionnaires, or by simplifying data (for a few sites) for a larger sector or region; • composition: waste stream components are studied for their chemical and physical composition, in order to identify any hazardous chemicals or contaminants, or to assess their suitability for recycling; • economic aspects: the viability of recycling a material is determined by a range of financial costs, including haulage, capital costs (e.g. purchasing machinery), market value and environmental taxes; and, • performance: the potential for recycling a material is also governed by its performancerelated properties, including durability, purity, safety and physical stability,

Waste characterisation arid recycling depends on the use of technological tools, including computer models and databases, and laboratory instruments. Computer databases can be used to assemble and organise extensive data, which can be altered and updated. One important use of a database is to list companies which are producing recycled products, in order to expand the market. Another use is for determining the environmental impact of materials through database-generated results. Computer modelling can be used to study complex processes (such as the transfer of materials and wastes within an industrial sector), and to predict future scenarios (e.g. the changes to financial costs affecting a company if more materials are recycled). Assessment of waste materials can also be performed in the laboratory, e.g. to analyse for hazardous chemicals, and to correlate results with legislative requirements.
Waste Characterisation Literature Review. Copyright of LabSearch, a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013


Three methodologies used in waste characterisation include sampling techniques, analytical techniques, and the marketing of recycled products. Sampling of waste materials or streams can involve collecting actual samples, or collecting in-formation through interviews and questionnaires. Both methods have disadvantages, e.g. errors can arise from crosscontamination of actual materials; or an interviewee's incomplete knowledge of the materials. The accuracy of data collected through sampling is also limited by time, cost and accessibility to information or the materiaIs. The reliability of waste material analysis can be affected by contamination of the equipment, and by the precision of the data produced. In order for a recyclable material to penetrate the market at a profit, the properties of the material need to be compared with those produced by competitors (especially raw materials). Marketing a recycled material includes surveying customers' opinions; establishing its market value; assessing the level of competition in the market, and examining all the costs involved in producing and selling the material.

Waste Characterisation Literature Review. Copyright of LabSearch, a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013


1: Introduction 1.1: Background 1.2: Aims and objectives 2: Waste characterisation techniques 2.1: Introduction 2.2: The definition of Waste Characterisation 2.3: Construction and Demolition waste in the UK 2.4: Quantification 2.5: Classification 2.6: Composition 2.7: Economic aspects 2.8: Performance aspects 3: Waste characterisation technologies 3.1: Introduction 3.2: Databases 3.3: Modelling 3.4: Assessment 4: Methodologies 4.1: Sampling strategy 4.2: Analytical methodology 4.3: Marketing 5: Conclusions and further work 5.1: Summary of findings of the literature review 5.2: Further work References pages 36 - 41 pages 34, 35 pages 27 - 33 pages 20 - 26 pages 7 - 19 pages 5 - 6

Waste Characterisation Literature Review. Copyright of LabSearch, a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013

5 1: INTRODUCTION 1. The main objectives are to examine current approaches. The range of construction waste materials and the significance of some waste streams were identified. and discussed throughout the report. The next stage in the Be-Aware project was to gain an understanding of the aspects and methods used in characterising waste. These are summarised in Figure 2. and highlighted the key barriers associated with waste materials' recycling options. technologies and methodologies. the main findings are summarised and linked with the next stages in Work Package 3 or the Be-Aware Waste Characterisation Literature Review. the findings of which are summarised in this report. The alms behind Work Package 3 are to develop a detailed knowledge of the types and properties of construction wastes.1: Background This report comprises a literature-based investigation into waste characterisation approaches. Copyright of LabSearch. Research for Work Package 3 completed to date is summarised below: Figure 1: completed Be-Aware WP3 project tasks Construction waste targeting. as part of Be-Aware Work Package 3. and mapping activities provided insights into the existing nature of construction waste material recycling in the UK. a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013 . prioritising.2: Aims and objectives The aim of this report is to review existing waste characterisation strategies and techniques. Finally. 1. Previous Work Package 3 tasks focussed on targeting. prioritising and mapping waste products across a number of construction sectors. to investigate their viability tor recycling. This was accomplished through the collection and review of related literature. and to create a pan-industrial waste exchange. technologies and methodlogies.

This report also contains recommendations on which waste characterisation issues need to be further investigated.6 project. a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013 . Figure 2: aspects of waste characterisation examined in the literature review Waste Characterisation Literature Review. through a waste characterisation survey. and at Workshop 2 (Waste Performance and Economic Assessment) (held in February 2007). Copyright of LabSearch.

2. and identifying waste materials which can be recovered reprocessed. Data compiled by Poon et al (2004) (Figure 3) detailed the percentage of ordered construction materials for a British case study (office block) construction project ending up as waste. "in order to describe waste. British standards). cans. metal.3: Construction and demolition waste in the UK Construction and Demolition Waste (C&DW) is the largest waste stream being produced in the UK.1: Introduction This chapter discusses the types of Information which need to be collected for a waste characterisation study. Halliwell (2006) reported that in 2000. market value of recycled products.g. 2. Several initiatives have been undertaken in recent years by the UK government and by companies to exploit and re-use a range of materials present in C&DW. It is not precisely known what quantities of each type o+ waste material are produced throughout the UK. amounting to over 100 million tonnes per annum (Smartwaste.).). The composition of a waste is usually compared with required standards detailed in industrial manuals (e. 3005). magazines. etc. and increasing opportunities in recycling (Gay et al.g. two concepts are required: waste stream amounts and the composition of these waste streams”. Waste streams need to be quantified e. and sold on the market (Peng et al. a systematic assessment of waste streams must be undertaken. the related construction products on the marvel. As much as 30% of purchased material (namely plywood and Waste Characterisation Literature Review. The characterisation of waste streams and the estimation of waste flow rates is essential. or by product types (such as glass containers. Copyright of LabSearch. 2006).2: Definition of waste characterisation Yu and MacLaren (1995) defined waste characterisation as the analysis of the composition of the waste stream by material types (such as glass. To acquire such information. a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013 .g. Moore et al (1998) stated that. Waste characterisation studies can be linked with developing or choosing recycling technologies. to assess if generated wastes are abundant enough to be reprocessed (John and Zordan. due to increasing penalties for waste disposal (to landfill). In addition. 2000). 1997). durability of materials) may be collected in order to assess whether or not a recycling strategy may be viable. approximately 48% of C&D waste was recycled. paper. It is also proving to be one of the most potentially recyclable. and the remaining 4% was sent to landfill. using different approaches. economic and performance data (e.7 2: WASTE CHARACTERISATION APPROACHES 2. They also stated that waste characterization involves analysing the waste itself. and accounting for over 30% of all waste produced in 2004 (DEFRA. and the products of waste reprocessing. another 43% was beneficially re-used. etc. 1997).

The sourcespecific approach might be applicable within a small manufacturing plant. England). 1995).0% mass of bricks.g. and using this to predict individual quantities. Waste Characterisation Literature Review. 1996): Source-specific: the individual components of a waste stream being sampled. a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013 . Material flows method: the collection of data on the rate of production of (combined) wastes and/or saleable products from an operation.5% and 6. 1996). blocks. Copyright of LabSearch. 2004) 2. sorted and weighed: and. using quantified data can produce strongly shewed atypical results (USEPA. and should not be applied to other manufacturing sites. drywall. The scope of waste quantification data is generally limited by the geographical area of study.4: Quantification Producing quantified waste data There are two general approaches in quantifying waste (USEPA.g. Chen et al (2002) provided more modest predictions. estimating that on average. Figure 3: percentages of ordered materials being discarded (by mass) (Poon et al. 1996). Waste quantification may yield data with wide error margins (USEPA. and by the desired precision o1 results (Yu and MacLaren.8 plasterboard) may leave the construction site as waste. although the data produced may only be relevant to the plant itself. concrete production) or geographical area (e. When predicting the quantities and flow-rates of waste streams across a sector (e. tiling and wood brought onto British construction sites end up being discarded. the particle size/shape of the material. between 2.

Duran et al. IT necessary a waste sample can be crushed. on a building site). a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013 . Yu and MacLaren. 2004): percentage per total waste generated. costs of waste disposal/removal) reading environmental reports produced in-house collecting geographical data (e. sales. 2005. amount of waste generated at a particular financial cost. engineers. 1995. etc.g. Govt of Canada. percentage per total amount of purchased material (e. 2006 Sample collection and inspection Sample-based studies can be performed by selecting a random and representative sample of waste that may be directly measured. Waste Characterisation Literature Review. number of trucks transporting waste to landfill) questionnaires with managers. 2006. model - Gay et al. which is the largest waste stream) can be deducedTable 1 summarises the three general techniques used for quantifying waste streams: Table 1: Possible activities undertaken a qualifying waste General approaches Sample collection/study - Activities visual characterisation (observation.g.g. 1993. or even using a large weighing balance (Moore et al. 2005. no. 2003. and making general predictions {e. Envirowise. using computer-aided tools/models). ESA Association. Cascadia Group. Engineering Solutions and Design Inc. 2004). 1996).g. number of companies in specified region) using conversion factors (e. checking order documents}. At best. although general patterns (i. estimation) collecting representative waste samples on site tracking number of waste carrier vehicles (e. investigating documents (purchases. such data is often speculative (USEPA.g. CGS (Gore & Storrie) Ltd.e.g. an audit into the quantities of raw materials ordered by a manufacturer/contractor (e. amount of waste produced per unit of product sold) Contacting/reviewing companies - Database. of tonnes of spent concrete mix per tonne of raw materials). for example by calculating the mass or volume per disposal truck or container. Four reported examples include (Ekanayake and Ofori. Copyright of LabSearch. mass of waste generated per square metre (e. and. 1995. Waste stream quantity and flow techniques Measuring the quantity and components of a waste stream will require same site measurements.9 Units of waste measurement Researchers can use a wide variety of units for quantifying waste.g. 2000.

general assumptions may need to be made. 2006). account books). the total production' of waste in a region may be calculated by examining the total sales or purchases made by a company (Gay et al. Copyright of LabSearch. purchase orders). 2004).g. whereby the approximate mass or volume of a material can be recorded by observing how many truck-loads of the material are being collected. and the recorded number of finished products purchased. 2005). For example.e. interviewing managers. sold or transported on and off the site (Envirowise. or to separate out specific waste fractions from a mixture (La Cour-Jansen et al. the selected plastic items float whilst the rest of the waste sinks (Peng et al. in order to generate a reliable measurement. prior to weighing. etc. payments to waste disposal contractors (receipts. field tests conducted by CGS3 (Gore & Storie) Ltd (2000) revealed that actual densities of demolition waste could differ significantly from predicted average values. Bulk density values of specific materials may be used to convert volume-based units into mass-based units. If an approximate quantity of waste produced per unit of usable product is specified. dried. Cascadia Group (2006) noted that visual estimates of waste production are commonly used.e. however. When measuring waste streams in a broader sense (e. a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013 . Waste Characterisation Literature Review. Table 2 over-page lists a few examples of categories used by researchers in the field. 1997. and can be separated from a waste stream by floatation (i. Contacting companies and reviewing records Information on quantities of waste arising within a manufacturing plant may be collected through reading company environmental reports. These sources of data in turn may be derived from records of ordered materials (i. The defining properties of materials in a category determine how they can be analysed or reprocessed.10 sieved. or sending out questionnaires to companies. Using databases and models Waste production data may be entered into a computer database or model. 2003). of Canada. 2. industry-wide). Pascoe. based on the assumption that the quantities of waste materials emerging from a region relates to the density and number of relevant companies or sites (Govt. 1993).5: Classification Waste characterisation reports often include tables of waste material groups or clusters. certain plastics are generally hydrophobic and lightweight.

a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013 . Nevertheless. physical. Copyright of LabSearch. • comply with environmental. 1999): • estimate the material recovery potential for recycling. and. • examine the chemical. • identify suitable or valuable components or chemical constituents. whereby sampling and analysis of materials is mandatory. the composition must be taken into account in order to (Sfeir et al. Waste Characterisation Literature Review. • aid in designing and selecting reprocessing equipment. biological and thermal properties of the waste material/stream. It is usually more costly and time-consuming to determine the precise composition of a waste material or waste stream throughout a region or sector (USEPA. 1996).6: Composition Waste composition studies differ from quantification studies.11 Table 2: general categories of waste 2. H&S and industrial standards.

concrete/clay brick rubble. companies or contractors producing wastes may not have fully analysed their waste streams. 2002. Not every substance or material in a waste stream may be suitable for recycling. 2006). the viability of recycling or re-use can vary significantly (CIRIA. 2006). • prevailing market value of recycled products. 2004). listing a wide range of materials found m sampled waste streams. 2004).12 Material recovery and proportions Several waste characterisation studies reviewed contained tables. brass) could sell for up to £1500 per tonne (CIRIA. Peng et al (1997) detailed the methods used for segregating and reprocessing different fractions from demolition waste (Figure 4 over-page). and further sampling and analyses may therefore be required. and thereafter separated and treated. 2005. An example is the use of a magnet to remove ferrous metal scrap. reasonably pure steel scrap is much lower in value than stainless steel (CIRIA. and of those which are. unless it is pure and carries a high marker value. a wide range of screens or sieves may be used to separate the material into several different particle size fractions (Peng et al. Even the same materials can vary greatly in value. ESA Association. 2004): • ease of recycling specific materials. and indicating their proportions (CG&S (Gore & Storie). a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013 . 2000. 2006. Cascadia Group. DTLR. based on its chemical or physical composition. A material which forms a minor contribution to the waste stream is probably less economical to isolate and recycle. plastics and wood has no value unless the individual materials can be analysed. Govt of Canada. In spite of environmental legislation or internal waste management strategies. Duran et al. (e. and. recycled ferrous metals may sell for between £3 and £30 per tome. 2004). Waste Characterisation Literature Review. A mixture of soil. 2000). Waste material properties which should be examined are summarised in Table 3 over-page (John and Zordan. The recycling potential of a waste stream is governed by (CIRIA. Copyright of LabSearch. The proportions of different substances or materials within a waste stream need to be identified in order to prioritise which materials should be separated and reprocessed. 2005. • degree of segregation/purity of materials.g. whereas non-ferrous metals. for example. including physical composition such as particle size distribution. The potential market value of similar materials can vary greatly: for example. For poorly sorted demolition rubble. other metals such as aluminium are non-magnetic (Forton et al. 1997). Selection of re-processing equipment It is important to know the composition of the waste stream. Examination of waste material properties A composition study of a waste should be as complete as possible. Only specific materials can be obtained from a particular recycling procedure. in order to select and design the reprocessing equipment.

and can lower the market value (Calcott and Walls. the process may be prohibitively expensive. imposing tariffs on raw materials. although environmental legislation has altered the market in recent years (e. 2003) 2.g. a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013 .13 Figure 4: an illustration of separating waste fractions and recycling routes (Peng et al. Copyright of LabSearch.7: Economic Aspects The recycled materials market is in competition with the raw materials market.g. Even if recycling a material is possible. 2000). Stagenberg et al. e. aggregates). it is difficult to accurately predict the economic costs and benefits of recycling. Waste Characterisation Literature Review. 2005). 1997) Table 3: waste material composition properties (John and Zordan. 2000. compared with raw material production and disposal to landfill (European Commission.

2003) Limiting factors The exact profit margins involved in recycling a specific material vary greatly and is highly depend on manufacturer plants/construction sites. a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013 . due to a greater density of Waste Characterisation Literature Review.e. locations. 1998. settings (e. • natural aggregate sources (i. These in turn carry financial costs. 1998): • building projects are more numerous and greater in size. the value of the material itself. • waste disposal costs to landfilI are generally higher. which are listed in Table 4: Table 4: Economic costs to be considered in designing a recycling process (Witburn and Goonan. rural or urban). For example. the equipment and procedures required for recycling may be considered. some general trends should be considered in an economic study. Wie et al. quarries) are distant. a wide spectrum of internal and external costs must be investigated. and.g. recycling is more profitable in an urban location for the recycling of aggregates for the following reasons (Wilbum and Goonan. Setting The viability of recycling may vary between rural and urban regions. Once the waste itself has been analysed. Although the profitability of recycling differs between company sites. Copyright of LabSearch. • there is often stricter environmental or H&S regulation on-site.14 Recycling costs Before a waste material can be reprocessed.

where wastes from several local manufacturing plants could be collected. Government intervention: taxation and incentives The imposition of environmental taxes is practised by several governments worldwide. Resources Recycling a specific waste material will only be profitable if the appropriate equipment is accessible. On the other hand. 2003). of recruiting staff). a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013 . Where possible. Halliwell (2006) suggested that the centralised storage depots for construction wastes could be created. and health 5 safety regulations (e. the better the profit margin. Generally small quantities of wastes are generated at each construction material manufacturing plant throughout the UK. some construction companies producing aggregates have received capital grants funding from WRAP. and the employees adequately framed and/or skilled. or re-use the product in house and on-site. 2005). Waste Characterisation Literature Review. a range of measures have been taken during the past decade. which were invested in machinery and testing programmes for producing recycled aggregates (WRAP. In recent years. some of which are listed in Table 5 over-page. Waste haulage fees [based on quantities and mileage) therefore need to be estimated (Wie et al. State incentives are also being used in the UK to further the development of markets for recycled products. The waste might not be able to be adequately stored on-site due to restricted space. 2003). and then sent to recycling centres. 1998).g. working lifetime. The ideal situation is therefore to recycle a copious supply of waste material at a constant rate (Wilbum and Goonan. administrative costs (e. maintenance) need to be considered. Distance The distance between waste sources and reprocessing plants is a strong governing factor behind recycling viability. fire risk mitigation). site contractors and products manufacturers will aim to minimise waste production In-situ.g. This is seldom possible with a wide range of construction materials. particularly those arising from construction/demolition sites. and the depreciation of selected equipment {e. In the UK. Economies of Scale It is widely perceived that the larger the recycling facility (and the greater its capacity). there is adequate land or space. The costs {and space required) of having the waste material properly stored prior to recycling should also be examined (Wie et al.g. an extensive recycling operation relies on a copious and regular supply of a waste material. Copyright of LabSearch. Additionally.15 exposed persons nearby.

the emissions and impact of recycling operations is nowadays matched by the cost of environmental taxes. air of which incur financial costs. Copyright of LabSearch.16 Table 5: examples of environmental tax measures in the UK (Halliwell. and reproduced below: Although some of these costs such as reduced noise are intangible. Yahya and Boussabaine (2006) summarised these under the title. (2006). 2006. 2006) Predicting economic costs Construction waste management entail a wide range of activities and essential goods. "Eco-costs". a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013 . The balance of economic costs and benefits of recycling were summarised by Begum et al. and Waste Characterisation Literature Review. Osmani and Li. which are reproduced below: Recycling and reprocessing waste materials can yield financial benefits in addition to environmental Improvements.

(ii) the fluctuating market value of products/materials. and are therefore rarely reused for the same purpose. which must be carefully dislodged.g. 2001). With plastic materials. When predicting costs spanning a few years or longer. Recovering waste materials Most composite building materials are bespoke in their design. waste materials cannot be re-used if their fire. 3006}. It may also be difficult and costly to retrieve discarded materials. • potential far swelling. 2006). • uniformity of material quality. 2000): • origin of material. There is also the possibility of lending a waste malarial into a batch of raw material. clean them and re-use them. There are various methods and equations. Waste Characterisation Literature Review. Furthermore. For example. 2. using labour-intensive methods (CIRIA. although resulting data should be interpreted with caution. this does not take into account fixed and variable costs.17 installing safety equipment. which could be used for this. Performance criteria Key performance aspects to consider for potential waste recycling include (CIRIA. and on the ease and competence of the recycling process. and. 200D). • deleterious matter and contaminants. since it may be difficult to re-calculate their load-bearing and other physical properties as recovered items (Halliwell. • potential tor degradation. which is the total costs incurred in a given period. • drainage characteristics. From these. It is normally assumed that a recycling operation will be conducted over several years.resistant properties are unknown (Halliwell. 2000).8: Performance aspects The viability of recycling a material is dependant on the quality of the product being sold. how long it will take to pay off the debts incurred by investment). two essential variables to consider are: (i) the rate of inflation. and. one may be able to predict the Return-On-Investment on the project (i. One example is Average Cost Estimation. a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013 . nor does it consider variable rates of production activity (Stenis. divided by the quantity of products produced (e.e. since purely recycled plastic is often of a lower market value (Smith. the reclamation of clay bricks: demolished bricks contain mortar and plasterboard. cost per tonne). • susceptibility to frost. Copyright of LabSearch. this is often the case.

2006B): • durability (recycled timber-based mulches can last 2 . Some examples of the criteria used are listed in Table 6: Table 6: Examples of British standards tor testing materials (UKAS.18 Testing performance of waste materials British/industrial standards are always used when examining the performance of construction materials. • maintenance/replacement (better durability reduces the need to replace the mulch). 2003).g. • appearance (e. density. corrosion. Copyright of LabSearch. whereby reactions between the glass panicles and cement can cause the concrete lo bulge Waste Characterisation Literature Review. The list of standards is comprehensive. flexibility. and. even the trace presence of impurities in the waste glass stream can damage the recycling equipment (e. moisture content. and addresses a wide variety of characteristics. a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013 . Performance aspects relevant to this application include (WRAP. Although glass bottle recycling is widely conducted. mulch sold to individual customers). 2005) Category Appearance Characteristics Colour. particle size and shape Toxicity.g. which in turn is widely used as a weed-suppressing surface layer in horticulture. stability. Another performance issue restricts the use of glass cullet in concrete. Research has been conducted into the problem of alkali-silica reaction in concrete containing recycled cullet. furnace} or contaminate the emerging product (Poulsen. Performance of recycled glass cullet The performance requirements affecting the recycling of glass can be very stringent. • safety (treated wood might contain potentially hazardous pesticides or coatings such as CCA). durability. fluorescence.5 times longer than natural bark mulches due to a lower moisture content). flammability Chemical Further examples in regard to performance aspects of two construction waste materials (waste wood and glass) are given below: Performance of wood-chip mulch from recycled timber Timber frame cut-offs arid waste wood may be used in wood-chip-mulch. Appropriate standards should be referenced for a selected waste material. fracturing Examples Efflorescence of clay bricks (BS 3921) Compressive strength of concrete (BS EN 12390: 2002) Acid resistance of paving blocks (BS EN 1344: 2002) Physical Strength.

whereas original manufacture costs approximately £30. Having recycled or reclaimed products certified and tested may incur prohibitive costs. Halliwell (2006) quoted a re-certification testing charge of approximately £1500 for a trussed ratter. Copyright of LabSearch. Waste Characterisation Literature Review.19 and fragment (Dhir et al. 2003). a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013 .

Materials are also assessed using laboralory analysis according to accredited methods. companies and organisations involved in waste re-utilisation may use advanced techniques. at varying rates. in order to study the nature.20 3: WASTE CHARACTERISATION TECHNOLOGIES 3.g. include limit of detection results which do not approach a specified limit (e. thus making it more accessible and easier to analyse. a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013 . possess good repeatability and reproducibility. in order to assist building contractors in maximising the use of recycled products. Copyright of LabSearch. This method is particularly useful for organising the collection and presentation of extensive. and. and suppliers are registering their details through online databases A few examples are briefly discussed in this section. maximum permitted concentration of contaminants). A few examples are listed in Table 7 over-page. 2000): provide adequate information.2: Databases The purpose of a database is to organise and assemble all relevant waste stream information. Data generated from the use of tools and equipment for a project must (Eikelboom et al. highly variable reams of raw data. Online data-bases of available recycled construction materials and suppliers on the British market have been produced by a number of government agencies. it can now register its details online. Waste Characterisation Literature Review. National databases in the UK When selecting a material tor recycling. provide unambiguous test results. it is necessary to find out which companies in the local vicinity might process the waste. Databases are also being developed to inform companies on possible recycling options. If a company intends to market a reprocessed waste material. flow and impacts of waste streams.1: Introduction A waste characterisation study often addresses a complicated mixture of materials and contaminants being produced from several sources. Within this situation. including computer models and databases. 3.

21 Table 7: Construction waste material databases in the UK (sources listed) Mixed waste stream components Several waste characterisation studies published in the field will contain extensive tables listing a wide range of specific waste materials. Copyright of LabSearch. 1997): • a general description of the waste and the source company. a computer database covering a wide list of waste materials was created. a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013 . One recent example was a detailed study into the different wastes within construction and demolition waste generated throughout California (Cascadia Consulting Group. • movements in and out of site. • flows and quantities. 2006). A waste management database can hold the following information (Bahu et al. • chemical composition. and data were collected through surveys and sampling of wastes produced in sites within five Waste Characterisation Literature Review. • details of consignments leaving the site and their destination. • any associated hazards. and. In this study. and a note of haulage containers used. • storage area and description.

effluent discharge. to the final disposal of wastes to landfill.thus the potential environmental or hearth risks can be assessed. An example may be a database of materials that contain information on the leaching of potentially toxic metals. from "cradle to grave' (i. which are listed in Table 8 over-page: Waste Characterisation Literature Review. from the extraction of raw materials. greenhouse gas emissions.22 selected urban districts. of a material. Using the database. Such a database may be used lo consider waste materials being recycled or used in different possible scenarios . each containing the raw data produced at their sites. etc. a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013 . which is continuously being updated. Halliwell (2006) described three online databases. Assessment of waste performance and potential risk Databases may also be used when collecting and analysing an extensive range of environmental data. and statistical calculations were then performed in order to estimate the waste flows throughout the state of California as a whole. Records of all participating contractors were kept. estimations of the quantities and flows of each waste material were recorded at each of the five sites. Copyright of LabSearch.e. as shown in Figure 5: Figure 5: flowchart of methodology in creating a database on testing of materials (Van der Sloot et al. A flowchart lor creating and using such a database was proposed by Van der Sloot et al (2003). 2003} Life Cycle Analysis is a method of assessing and measuring the told environmental impacts (including toxic wastes.

2001). a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013 .23 Table 8: Life-cycle analysis databases (Halliwell.) is equally complicated (Ehanayahe and Ofori. and it may therefore be difficult to predict future waste stream scenarios. then further investment into recycling could in turn generate further profits. Money is transferred from one business to another whenever a waste is disposed. They predicted that if waste (including municipal and commercial wastes) could be recycled. or recycled and sold. The transfer of money in relation to waste management (taxes. etc. or when recycling equipment is purchased or maintained. purchases. A study into the economic impacts and benefits of waste recycling (and disposal) in a sector may address this complex network of purchases and spending. Goldman and Ogashi (2001) described a computer model. Predictinq the viability of aggregate re-processing Another economic factor-based computer modal was described by Duran et al (2006). as is its re-use or final disposal. 2004). Likewise. 2001). which simulated the flow of waste materials and money throughout California. which emulate such processes. If a company is selling or recycling a waste. and employment would increase significantly. Researchers have developed computer models. Based Waste Characterisation Literature Review. it may interact with several other businesses. Three examples are discussed: Economic impact modelling If a construction sector-based company decides to recycle its waste or send it to a recycling contractor other businesses linked with the materials and the operation will also profit as well (Goldman and Ogishi. Copyright of LabSearch.3: Modelling Construction waste generation is dynamic. if a construction materials manufacturer could reprocess and sell a recycled waste at a profit. which interact with more businesses in turn (Goldman and Ogishi. based on the transfer of C&DW between construction site contractors and recycling firms. the total sales from materials within the system could double. 2006) 3. Although computer databases can process extensive reams of data and can be updated. the data contained is static. Causes and streams of waste are inter-related and often interconnected.

quantify re-usable waste fractions. Copyright of LabSearch.only a probable outcome. Inevitably. and identify costs of different possible operations. the authors entered financial data for the activities of recycling centres. Financial data environmental taxes.24 on results from questionnaires. a computer model cannot predict every possible future scenario . were also included in the model. • the recycling contractor only charges enough money to cover costs. As is the case with any computer model. • the aggregates used in the model are not replaced by other materials. • no illegal dumping occurs. Figure 6: A simulation model of waste production and management at a construction site. environmental incentives. and. a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013 . and costs relating to the distances between the construction silo and the recycling centre. Duran et al (2006) also specified simplifications {and thus defined the limits) in their model: • the construction site contractor always aims to maximise profits. This was produced by analysing all the different activities on-site. 2002) Waste Characterisation Literature Review. • the construction site contractor either chooses a landfill site or the recycling contractor nearby. and collecting background data on the costs involved in transporting (onsite to recycling bins) and reprocessing/landfilling of the waste. optimise methods for storing and reprocessing the emerging waste. as baaed on a list of assumptions. using this information to predict the quantity of waste being produced. Predicting waste generation and potential recycling options Chandrakanthi et al (2002) described a Canadian computer model. The model was used to predict quantities of waste being generated from a specific building project. activities included in cost analysis (Chadrakanthi et al. Figure 6 summarises the outputs of their computer model. which was used for integrated solid waste planning and analysis.

25 3.g. increased preparation time)? • Is a proposed method of recycling the material the most efficient? Although a wide range of potential recycling options may be recommended for construction or demolition waste materials. If the characteristics of the waste material satisfy such requirements. compatibility with other materials (or machinery). all Industrial waste (including construction and demolition waste) is classified as Special Waste (nowadays defined as "Directive' waste). Waste materials may generally be classified as hazardous (i. adding it to the raw material within a manufacturing plant)? • Will using the waste material on-site create additional costs (e. in practise. Although construction products themselves do not pose a risk whilst in use. an assessment of the economic viability of possible recycling projects is also performed. must be disposed of). and its composition (Tam and Tam. A selected waste material needs to be assessed in terms of its potential market value. Waste materials regulations It is necessary to ensure that the re-use of a waste material is permissible under environmental legislation. individual materials or wastes generated from the construction industry or demolition may be intermingled with potentially hazardous or damaging residues (USEPA. waste recycling may be restricted to a few fractions or materials. Assessing the suitability of recycling: general considerations When assessing a waste material or the recycling technology required. safety) of waste materials can be assessed using British standards and other industrial testing criteria. as previously described in Section 2.4: Assessment The suitability (i. contaminated.e. 2006). Waste Characterisation Literature Review. 2000): • Is the market value of the material comparable with that of t he equivalent primary material? • Is the market value of the material suitable to match the costs of having it recycled? • Is the material available in sufficient quantities and at appropriate times? • Is the material durable? • How pure and how safe is the material? • What extra maintenance or additional components are required if recycling the material (e. Copyright of LabSearch.7. a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013 . the following questions should be addressed (CIRIA.g. and does not present a significant health or environmental hazard. At present. and requires examination (Figure 7 and Table 9 over-page). 2004). or fit for purpose.e. performance.

mutagenic irritant. a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013 . Certain materials such as lead piping and asbestos can readily be classified as being hazardous. Copyright of LabSearch. frames) wastes from shaping/cutting of plastics and metals Hazardous properties (summarised) - flammable. Waste Characterisation Literature Review. 2004). toxic. 2006) Table 9: materials and properties addressed under the Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005 (Environment Agency. A wide range of analytical instruments such as X-ray fluorescence (XRF). particularly since a waste stream (namely plastics) may contain a range of different materials. harmful to health The classification of construction waste materials as being either hazardous or nonhazardous is often a matter of judgement. explosive carcinogenic. Assessing the possible contamination of waste materials (from chemicals such as toluene. gas-chromatography-mass-spectrometry (GCMS) and flame emission spectrometry may be required for testing materials. or mercury from fluorescent bulbs) can be more onerous (USEPA.g. 2006) Materials included in “The List” - construction and demolition wastes (including soil) wastes from wood processing wastes from production of “panels” (e.26 Figure 7: methodology used for classifying materials (as required in the EU) (Environment Agency.

completing the field documentation.errors due to the population variability (i. 1997). Waste Characterisation Literature Review. . identifying suitable waste streams. contact details (e. which depends on how the waste stream is sampled. Representative sampling of materials therefore needs to be conducted (Bahu et al. 1997). . .errors in sample collection and storage. collecting samples.27 4: METHODOLOGIES A waste characterisation research methodology is a logical guideline used to assist those involved in a project. and. . A methodology emphasises that important aspects which need to be considered. Three prime issues associated with waste characterisation are addressed in this chapter: . location.quality and appropriate use of analytical tools (including computers and lab Instruments).sampling design error. 2003): . they must be efficiently tracked. 2003).e. Physical samples should be identified with unique sample numbers. Sampling errors The sources of error from the sampling procedure include (Popek.g. and/or having samples packaged and stored prior to analysis (Popek. The analyst cannot collect or analyse all the material from a waste stream.the development of an effective marketing strategy. 2000). and the source company may not accurately quantify its waste streams either.errors due to the variability of the waste stream (composition. 4. rate of production. and results will therefore carry a significant margin of error (Gay et al. is the sample from one source similar to those from other sources?). which aims at attracting customers/purchasers and generating profit. etc).consuming and difficult to conduct. rather than outlining a sequence of tasks (John and Zordan. and the type of sample (collected or discussed) (Popek. Sampling strategy and record-keeping A sampling procedure includes initial planning.the quality of the data produced. and estimations need to be made on total waste quantities. a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013 . . Records should include (sample collection) time. company. site manager).1: Sampling Strategy Detailed surveys of waste streams and their processing stages are time. Copyright of LabSearch. which strongly determines the usefulness of data produced. 2003). and. flow rates and composition. and should not be crosscontaminated by different samples.

particle/object shape. sample collection is limited by time. and density. whereby equal numbers of samples were collected during summer and winter months. whereby waste in a ripping area was poured into 16 disposal banks. and site personnel chose two batches at random. If a whole waste stream can be recycled. 4.28 The first two types of error are quantitative. 14 replicates were collected. 1995). 1993). in order to predict flows and quantities of waste. and collected data is used to represent the entire waste stream (Govt of Canada. and are therefore worth isolating. and statistical methods can be used to assess the margins of error. If studying such a complex waste stream. Copyright of LabSearch.1: mixing of samples A mixture of wastes (especially demolition waste) will vary greatly in particle size. define a sample size. Multiple sampling of the same waste streams over many weeks and months is often too expensive and timeconsuming for most projects (Yu and MacLaren. and decide how many replicates of a sample are collected (Gay et al. Several waste characterisation studies recommended that waste samples weighing between 90kg and 180kg should be collected from a mixed waste stream. 1997). during each period. a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013 . good mixing of the waste prior to obtaining samples should be performed. this would require special collection and transport of samples. 1997). 2005). Average waste composition was estimated using variance and confidence intervals. screens) (Bahu et al. and wrote waste streams (Bahu et al. Whole waste stream and individual materials It is important to consider both the sampling of individual materials.Random samples were collected. He/she should define how often or how much of a waste strewn should be sampled. 1997). 2003). whereby a restricted number of sites are selected at random. Sampling design errors can arise if available information on the waste is limited and if some sources of waste are not identified (Popek. On the other hand. some individual materials in a waste stream may carry a high market value. and information on the numbers and types of haulage vehicles was also obtained. the timing and order of visits to sites was randomly planned. Nevertheless. coat and the mass of the collected samples themselves. A researcher should consider the varying rates and sources of waste production. At each site.g. Cascadia Consulting Group Inc (2003) reported on a survey of landfill waste. especially if the purpose of the project is to select appropriate waste segregation equipment (e. The third and fourth sources of error are qualitative. and may be harder to measure. a recycling company will encounter tower capital costs from purchasing processing equipment. Waste Characterisation Literature Review. Researchers involved in waste characterisation use representative sampling (Bahu et al. both can therefore be controlled using an appropriate random sampling strategy.

illustrated in Figure 8 over-page. and. And analysed (i. Two examples of lasting methods and their analytical standards are discussed below: Testing hardened concrete (BS EN 12390) The compressive strength of concrete has been tested for many years using concrete cores. Replicates (at least duplicates) of samples should be processed and analysed using precisely the same method. and an accredited laboratory facility should be used. The storage. the method has its limitations: • most respondents will not answer long. 1996): • detection limit studies (and statistical methods of determining this). field visits and sample collection) with surveys. processed into an analyzable form. dimensions and other requirements of specimens: • producing and curing specimens.e. or interferences affecting the data output (Manahan. and. • proof that no cross-contamination has occurred. Waste material testing and analysis must produce results which are accurate. ideally at the same time. whenever possible. Copyright of LabSearch. 4. The results generated may be used as raw data. Waste Characterisation Literature Review. • studies into the predicton and bias of results. such as seasonal variation in the rate of production.g. The use of surveys can incur considerably lower costs. by crushing them using a core compressor. at least a few preparation steps may be taken before test results can be generated. and. • blank results to check for contamination in equipment and reagents. and which do not reflect contamination of the sample. detailed questionnaires – this reduces the quantity (and reliability) of the overall data gathered. in order to estimate waste production. • respondents often make rough estimates. a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013 . how reliable the analytical instrument is). preparation and analysts of samples must meet required standards. Data alongside sample results should include (US Dept of Energy. or may require one or more calculations in order to express results using specific units. • respondents may often discuss quantities In terms of volume. BS EN 12390 (2004) provides a comprehensive list of instructions which address: • the shape. Nevertheless. respondents will also understand the nature of the waste stream. The reliability of results depends on how carefully a sample is stored.2: Analytical methodology Once samples are collected. e. 2001). when compared with sample collection and laboratory analysis. converting such data into mass flows does not take the density of the materials into account.29 Sample data from surveys Yu and MacLaren (1995) compared the use of Direct Waste Analysis (DWA.

• the force Indicator on the machine must produce results with an accuracy error of less than 3% (maximum). Copyright of LabSearch. • pH measurements of the water (whereby the pH meter must possess an accuracy of ±0. and must stand perfectly straight.30 • assessing the compressive strength. and leachates are collected at set intervals during the experiment. Figure 8: a concrete core compressor machine (Qualitest. Waste Characterisation Literature Review. and calibrating the compressive strength testing equipment. a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013 . • specimen cubes must be characterised by a completely horizontal surface at both ends. and. >4cm). • replacing the water and collecting water samples at specific intervals. and immersing this in water over a period of 64 days (Figure 9. Analytical requirements for the experiment include: • specifications of sample size and dimensions (cube. and. concrete containing recycled aggregate). over-page as per the usual). Leaching of trace metals from waste materials A revised standard addressing leaching tests from solid waste material samples (or construction materials containing wastes) was recently published by the Environmental Agency (2004).g. 2006) Examples of requirements listed in BS EN 12390 include the following: • specimens must be tested for compressive strength al 20°C (±10 C): • specimens must be tested using a strain-gauged column which is 100mm diameter and 200mm high.05 units). • use of distilled water to minimise contamination. Trace metals teach into the surrounding water. The NEN7375 leaching lest involves preparing a sample cube (e.

The volatility of the market. questionnaires with potential buyers). there is a need to assess the price tag on recycled wastes if compared with materials readily available in the market. machinery. in addition to anticipation of early setbacks line product may not sell quickly at firsts and marketing methods may have to be improved. Most importantly. staff skills and budget should then be conducted. it may not a successful marketable product (WRAP.3: Marketing Marketing is often perceived to be the advertising. However.g. An internal audit of the company's resources. recruiting specialist staff) are needed (WRAP. promoting or sealing a new product or service. Figure 9: the NEN7375 leaching test in operation (Van der Sloot. a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013 .g. 2006). Waste Characterisation Literature Review. 4. and the attitudes of customers should be Investigated through background research and possibly by conducting surveys (e. financial and resources investment in the marketing process. These require time. this interaction with potential customers comprises only the final stage of a long and carefully co-ordinated strategy. 2006). Concrete cubes are immersed inside water tanks (towards the left). Copyright of LabSearch. in order to predict whether or not the business is capable of entering the market. if a recycled material is not significantly cheaper or higher quality than the equivalent conventional material. Marketing activities Marketing activities are needed to assess the level of organisational competition and the level of customer demand. and assessing whether or not their organisation is capable of meeting the challenge. The whole marketing process begins with a company manager (or management team) deciding what they are going to produce and sell. and what resources (e. Indeed. 2005).31 • checking that none of the equipment used releases trace metals into the water or sample (or absorbs metals).

evaluating and enhancing a recycling process (John and Zordan. the process of advertising. The Break-Even Point In order for a company to predict the profitability of reprocessing a waste material. the Break-Even Point needs to be estimated. WRAP. Copyright of LabSearch. 2000). 2006): Profits Break-even point Variable costs £ Fixed costs Time Figure 10: progression of sales towards the Break-even Point (Stenis. 2006). before increasing over lime. business tax. since sales will be modest at first. and fixed costs (rent. Successful marketing and its resulting profits depends on market's confidence. collected and recycled. As soon as the operation commences. depreciation of equipment).e. the profits generated should exceed the sum of both types of cost. (ii) investing in waste recycling and marketing projects. All interested parties should collaborate in developing. Its objectives include: (i) creating confidence in markets. It has been reported that several potentially successful recycling technologies and their emerging products may not become profitable. networking between recyclers and client companies and consumers. designing and producing the product. networking and demonstrating the product can be undertaken (WRAP.32 Once these studies prove lhat the company is capable of producing a marketable product. the more sales. Over time. Environmental and technical excellence alone may not lead onto creating a new market. 2000) Promotion of recycled products by WRAP The Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) is directly involved in developing new markets for recycled products in the UK. a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013 . the more labour and energy consumption required). an adequate budget must be assigned for promoting. the company might initially be incurring a loss. Reprocessing costs occur in two categories: variable costs (i. two examples are listed in Table 10 (over-page). as shown in Figure 10 (Stenis. research institutions and community groups can also be beneficial. and (iii) ensuring that waste materials are adequately sorted. Communication with government agencies. The organisation has funded a range of projects and worked with local councils. Waste Characterisation Literature Review. 2004. Thereafter.

• evaluate and characterise the waste material feedstock. in order to assess peoples' interest. given that survey and characterisation results are favourable. and . Using all the above data. in order to produce and sell plastic fencing posts for agricultural use. a product can tie successfully marketed. 2004). Copyright of LabSearch. • compare benefits of the new product with established products. The main stages are summarised in Figure 11: Figure 11: Methodology for marketing recycled plastic fencing (Pringle and Barker.33 Table 10: Examples of marketing activities undertaken by WRAP (2005) Marketing and product design of recycled plastics When developing and marketing a recycled product. 2004) Waste Characterisation Literature Review. a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013 . • examine all costs involved in recycling (Pringle and Barker. establish a price (which will attract customers). • get quotations on the recycling equipment needed. and evaluate the size of the market. it is necessary to: • acquire background knowledge on types and uses of a product. • conduct a market survey. Pringle and Barker (2004) described a marketing method of promoting the recycling of shredded HDPE.

information regarding waste quantities. Laboratory instruments can be used to assess waste materials: one example is the analysis of "dangerous substances' classified in the EU as hazardous. Computer models enable researchers to predict future scenarios (e. hence more waste mapping information will be captured through interviews across four sectors: plastic.1: Summary of findings in the literature review This report discussed the approaches. their present recycling status and/or recycling potential has been collected through waste mapping interviews. The next stage involves data collection in regard to the performance and economic aspects of waste materials So far.34 5: CONCLUSIONS AND FURTHER WORK 5. Sampling of waste materials must be carefully designed. These strategies were sampling. Waste streams and materials must be quantified. technologies and methodologies of waste characterisation. in order to bring a new recycled product to the attention of customers. Data may also be collected through surveys which are more cost-effective. Waste characterisation studies are dependent on technological tools. Waste characterisation approaches address the type of information which is required. computer models. Sample contamination. Issues regarding the economic and performance aspects of waste materials. but which may yield limited data (as potential interviewees may not be interested in participating). Copyright of LabSearch. a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013 . Three methodologies of waste characterisation were also addressed. since only a few representative samples from a large waste stream may be collected. and laboratory instruments. Further work Within the context of the Be-AWARE project. Their performance characteristics must also be studied. and the precision and accuracy of data generated. only nine waste mapping data sets of construction product manufacturers have been produced. along with the economic factors affecting their potential for being recycled and sold on the market. and analysed tor their physical and chemical composition. and the first Be-Aware workshop. need to be considered. Analytical techniques include sample preparation and analysis in the laboratory. that need to be addressed during the next Be Aware project stage include: Waste Characterisation Literature Review. classified. they can also be used to list and promote companies selling recycled construction materials. including computer databases. analytical techniques and marketing. and bricks and blocks. the economic changes if more recycling is conducted). A marketing strategy is also important. or to map waste stream movements. costs. timber and wood. contractors and other clients. cement and concrete.g. Databases can be used to assemble extensive information on waste streams and details such as composition. the accuracy of data output from the instruments.

These issues will be addressed through a waste characterisation survey and facilitated activities of the second Be Aware workshop (Workshop 2: Performance and Economic Assessment – which was held on 5th February 2007). o viability of acquiring and using certain recycling processes. o ease of segregating/retrieving material for recycling or reuse.35 • the existing and potential markets for recycled products in the UK. appearance). Copyright of LabSearch. Waste Characterisation Literature Review.g. o incompatible materials. o working lifetime of products.and costs of having a recycled product accredited as fit-for-purpose. o the limits to distance of transporting materials. limited technology. strength. o degraded properties (e. impurities. hazards. • economic factors affecting the reprocessing and sale of materials: o existing market opportunities for recovered materials. a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013 . • performance-based factors affecting the recycling and sale of reprocessed products: o contamination. o regulation and classification of materials as wastes . • the technologies used to reprocess or re-use waste materials. and.

Copyright of LabSearch.36 REFERENCES Note: websites are no longer accessible Waste Characterisation Literature Review. a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013 .

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Copyright of LabSearch. a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013 .39 Waste Characterisation Literature Review.

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a working title of Dr Malcolm Sutherland ©2013 .41 Waste Characterisation Literature Review. Copyright of LabSearch.