Sorting and Weighing Samples of MSW

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In most cases, sorting solid waste should be viewed as an industrial operation, not as laboratory research. While accuracy is essential, the appropriate measure of accuracy is ounces rather than grams or milligrams. Insistence on an excessive level of accuracy slows down the sorting process, reducing the number of samples that can be sorted. This

Number of Samples (200 to 300 lb)


Number of Samples (200 to 300 lb)


2 Categories - 18 Categories

8 Categories 27 Categories

FIG. 10.4.1 Effect of the number of samples and the number of waste categories on weighted-average precision level (derived from Table 10.4.1).

reduction, in turn, reduces the statistical precision of the results. In the context of an operation in which a 10% precision level is a typical goal, inaccuracy of 1% is relatively unimportant.

The principles of industrial operations apply to solid waste sorting, including minimization of motion and maintenance of worker comfort and morale.

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