Residential waste comes from residential areas with multi-family and single-family housing and includes four types of waste: household waste, garden waste, bulky waste and household hazardous waste. Typical unit generation rates, material composition, chemical composition and determining factors are discussed in this chapter. Characterizing residential waste is faced with the problem that many residences already divert some waste away from the official collection systems, for example performing home composting of vegetable waste and garden waste, having their bundled newspaper picked up by the scouts twice a year or bringing their used furniture to the flea markets organized by charity clubs. Thus, much of the data available on residential waste represents collected waste and not necessarily all generated waste. The latter can only be characterized by careful studies directly at the source, but such studies are very expensive if fair representation of both spatial and temporal variations should be obtained. In addition, onsite studies may affect the waste generation in the residence because of the increased focus on the issue. Residential waste is defined in different ways in different countries, which makes a comparison among countries difficult. In addition the statistical base may vary among countries. The difficulties in comparing data from various European countries are clearly described by Fischer and Crowe (2000). The data presented in this chapter therefore should be used with care.
Solid Waste Technology and Management, 2011, p. 85-96