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Revisiting estimates of municipal solid waste generation per capita and their reliability.

  • Academic Journal
  • Journal of Material Cycles & Waste Management; Jan2016, Vol. 18 Issue 1, p1-13, 13p
  • Per capita municipal solid waste (MSW) generation, a core indicator of environmental pressure, is a useful measure for evaluating the intensity of waste generation over time and comparing the intensities among cities or countries. We provide an overview of global data on MSW generation per capita at the national and local levels. Although the legal definition of MSW varies from country to country, we conceptualize MSW simply as the waste managed by or for municipalities as a public service. We note the current challenges in estimating MSW generation per capita in developing countries, including a lack of equipment (e.g., weighbridges), lower rates of MSW collection efficiency, and rural-urban migration, all of which may have negative effects on data reliability. Incomplete data compilation systems at the national level also result in lower reliability and reduce the comparability of national data. We suggest technical solutions for estimating MSW generation per capita at the local and national levels to improve reliability and comparability of data. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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