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Before the overall composition can be calculated in this way, the weight of each load must be estimated. If the facility has a scale, environmental engineers can determine the actual weight of the observed loads by matching the field notes for each load with the corresponding entry in the facility log, based on the time of arrival and information about the truck and the load. The time of arrival recorded in the facility log is the time when the truck was logged in rather than the time when the load was discharged. Field personnel must determine the difference between the two times.

If the facility does not have a scale, environmental engineers must estimate the weight of each component and the total weight of the load by converting from cubic yards to tons. The following procedure is suggested:

The total volume of the load is distributed among the components of the load based on the field notes. The weight of each component is estimated based on its volume and density. Table 10.3.3 shows density ranges for certain waste components. The estimated component weights are added yielding the estimated total weight of the load.

The cost of a study can be reduced if the same person collects MSW samples for sorting and performs visual characterization of bulky waste during the same period of field work. This technique is feasible if loads of MSW and bulky waste are dumped in the same part of the facility and if a quick method is used for collecting MSW samples.

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