Waste composition studies can provide meaningful data for design and operation of resource recovery processes. However, relatively limited attention has been devoted to energy recovery predicted by waste composition analysis, despite increasingly detailed analysis of various subsets of the municipal solid waste stream. Further, global economic conditions and markets have dramatically altered since 2008, resulting in significant changes in corporate, institutional and consumer spending patterns. Associated with these shifts in spending, as well as with longer-term trends in packaging and advances in residential and commercial recycling, the quantity and makeup of discarded materials has changed. The authors present data resulting from recent waste composition studies, and discuss potential impacts on the design and operation of material recovery systems.

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