Sorting Areas

A sorting area is established at the beginning of the field work and should have the following characteristics:

• A paved surface approximately 1000 sq ft in area and at least 16 ft wide

• Accessibility to vehicles

• Protection from precipitation and strong winds

• Heating in cold weather

• Separation from traffic lanes and areas where heavy equipment is used but within sight of arriving trucks

A typical sorting operation might use two sorting boxes and a crew of ten to twelve. The crew includes two sorting teams of four or five persons each, a supervisor, and a utility worker. The basic sorting sequence, starting when collection of the sample is complete, is as follows:

1. The sample is transported from the sampling point to the sorting area. A pickup truck or front-end loader can be used for this purpose.

2. The sampler gives the sorting supervisor a copy of a data form.

3. The sample is unloaded onto the surface of the sorting area.

4. Large items (e.g., corrugated cardboard and wood) and bags containing a single waste category (most often yard waste) are removed from the sample and set aside for weighing, bypassing the sorting box.

5. The remainder of the sample is transferred by increments into the sorting box, using broad-bladed shovels to transfer loose material.

6. The waste is sorted into the containers surrounding the sorting box.

7. The containers are brought to the scale, checked for accuracy of sorting, and weighed.

8. The gross weight of the waste and container and a letter symbol indicating the type of container are recorded on the data form.

9. If required, the waste in the containers is subsampled for laboratory analysis.

10. The containers are dumped in a designated receptacle or location.

The supervisor must ensure that each sample remains matched with the correct data form and that waste does not cross between samples.

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