Williams Cole 2013 The impact of alternate weekly collections on waste arisings.pdf (633.86 kB)
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The impact of alternate weekly collections on waste arisings

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journal contribution
posted on 17.09.2018, 10:24 by I.D. Williams, Christine Cole
Residual waste is commonly collected separately from recyclable and organic materials. Different forms of collection and disposal are used internationally since regional or municipal authorities have to adapt to their own circumstances. Many authorities have adopted an alternate weekly collection (AWC) of residual waste and recyclables to force/encourage householders to recycle; however, the degree to which they achieve waste reduction has yet to be reliably quantified. This study reports on how the introduction of AWCs affects household waste arisings. The paper evaluates single and dual stream collection methods and compares their performance with the previous system. Household waste collection trials were conducted between March and June 2009 in England (Lichfield). The trials examined changes to frequency of collection, type of container issued, amounts of sorting required of residents, household participation and productivity levels. A survey of households was completed before any changes were implemented. The quantity of recyclates collected was examined for 2008/2009 and 2009/2010. The study showed that the AWC scheme positively impacted on recycling rates and household behaviour, with no adverse impacts on public participation, household waste arisings or the local environment. No public health problems were reported. Both trials saw an increase in the quantities of recyclates collected per household during the trial period compared to the same period of time in the previous year. The dual stream performed better than the single stream, collecting an average of 5.94 kg/hh/week compared to an average of 5.63 kg/hh/week. The single stream system showed a greater increase in the weight of material collected (0.53 kg/hh/week vs. 0.48 kg/hh/week). Participation and set-out rates showed an increase during the trial period. The single stream option (comingled materials in one container) outperformed the dual stream service. The reduction in costs and improved productivity were the principal reasons used for extending the trial and making changes to the district's waste collections. The study clearly demonstrates the benefits of local authorities and universities collaborating and identifies practical logistical and operational issues that need to be anticipated.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Published in

Science of The Total Environment




29 - 40


WILLIAMS, I.D. and COLE, C., 2013. The impact of alternate weekly collections on waste arisings. Science of The Total Environment, 445-446, pp.29-40.


© Elsevier


VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date



This paper was published in the journal Science of The Total Environment and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.12.024.