2019 Solid Waste Design Competition Problem Statement and Protocol

This page is designed to help you be successful in preparing the Solid Waste Design Competition Problem Statement. If you don’t find the answer you are seeking on this page, please submit your question to Shelby Truxon, who will be your staff contact for your project.

The baseline year for the design project is 2018 and the recycling rate for any year should be determined using the data provided within the Excel file using each of the methodology/models.

Typically, recycling rates for any year are determined independently from the baseline year and the baseline year is used as a benchmark to assess performance and goals. Please inform the contacts provided in Section 11 of the Problem Statement and Protocol should you find a methodology/model that indicates otherwise.

Please note, states have used waste generation and recycled materials data from their cities and counties to determine their goals, baselines, etc. and should not be used within the design project. Recycling rates can and do drastically differ from cities and counties within the same state using the same methodology due to aspects such as household/commercial participation, education programs, and collection programs. States then assess this data to develop values representative of the state as a way to develop state metrics and assess future performance based on the baseline year. As a result, Counties and Cities typically do not use state level data do determine the performance and future programs and facilities to service their customers.

Population projections have been provided within the Word file “2019 SDC – Additional Data” sent on March 27, 2019 and do not need to be calculated. Determine waste projections using the population projections using a method at your own discretion.

Please note, determining the waste projections is not intended to be an onerous task but an exercise as waste professionals and consultants often perform this task. Data from prior years has been provided to allow teams to assess historical trends and aid in determining scenarios within Task 3, should they wish to do so.

Please submit questions and clarifications to the contacts provided in Section 11 of the Problem Statement and Protocol.

The models have different requirements for every waste stream — if that waste stream can be considered “recyclable” for credits. Because of this reason you have to make reasonable assumptions. Your assumptions and the model you are using will dictate how each waste fraction should be treated. What’s currently shown are “typical” factors used for recycling credits and tonnage associated with these typical recycling credits. You have to project each waste stream and look at the model you are using to determine whether that waste stream (such as yard waste) is recyclable or not, and if so, what are associated credits (if any) and how those credits can be achieved.

Additionally, the use of Yard Trash as Landfill Cover may not count as recycling in all 4 models. If this is the case, then to have a more accurate model you would need to remove the associated tonnage (cell B61 in the Excel file) from the recycled value (cell C12) and add it to the disposed value (cell D12).

Yes, the PowerPoint will be made available to students and posted the SWDC website.

The progress meeting in June/July 2019 is intended to help students stay on track with the project and allow students to ask additional questions if they are stuck on a certain task. The meeting will also go into more detail about WASTECON® and the presentation schedules, and how to receive funding for travel and accommodations at WASTECON.

The UK was simply referenced since the model is in English. Students can use another European country’s model if desired. Students should focus on the model/methodology, not on the political or social aspects happening in the county at the time.

Think of the task as a government considering changing its methodology for determining recycling. To do so, it is evaluating methodologies that others are currently using and how these methodologies would impact their metrics.

Students should use the data provided in the Excel file and Word document.

Students should calculate recycling rates using ALL four (4) models. At the end of the project, students should pick the best model that will help the county reach their recycling goal. Additional models may be used for reference or insight, but should not be used as the solution for the county to reach their recycling goal.

The additional data Word and Excel files provide data on Valley County’s integrated solid waste management system and the processing capability of each facility. Population projections are provided and can help students estimate how much material is anticipated to be processed for a given year. Students will be required to make assumptions and must be able to defend why these assumptions were made. Students should research different types of solid waste management facilities and equipment providers to help in determining capital costs, operational costs, capacity usage, etc.

Since the models are provided this year, it is recommended that the students pick one of the four models for their final recommendations. If students feel that the chosen model can be improved by tweaking a certain aspect of the model, that is acceptable as a fifth option but is not required. Students will need to explain why modifications were made and how they improve the model.

It is recommended that students reach out to faculty, mentors, local consultants, local recycling and waste management facilities, and different equipment manufactures to determine capital and operational costs. Students should also decide if the county will benefit from updated collection, disposal, educational/outreach programs, etc. and determine costs associated. Again, students will be required to make assumptions and be able to defend those assumptions. Judges will be picked from a wide range of solid waste management backgrounds and each will ask pointed questions during the presentations at WASTECON®.

There is no deadline to request a mentor but the sooner the better! If your group needs a mentor, reach out to the contacts provided in Section 11 of the Problem Statement and Protocol and we will work on finding your group a mentor that is within your SWANA region.

In 2018 the county increased the processing of yard trash at the landfill for landscaping/agriculture use to improve recycling goals. There is no definite reason for the steel can rate increase.

The Additional Data Word document states “Some multi-family units are collected within the residential program”. Most multi-family units do not fall into the residential curbside recycling collection program as each unit is not provided individual waste and recycling bins but rather the each complex coordinates waste/recycling collection through a commercial provider. Each team will need to make assumptions regarding multi-family collection.

County residents are not charged at the Citizens Convenience Center for recyclables. The single and multi-family assessments still apply.

SRP is the acronym for Sorted Residential Paper, which includes newspaper, HDPE-N is natural bottles meaning non-pigmented, HDPE-C is color bottles that are pigmented or opaque. Descriptions and details on the products and recycling can be found in the ISRI (Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries) Scrap Specifications Circular.

Harris Equipment
SSI Shredding Systems
Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc.
TBI Roll-off Covers
Ruble Truck Sales

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Recognition opportunities

Your company name and logo on event-related marketing materials and signage.