Municipal solid waste composition determination supporting the integrated solid waste management system in the island of Crete

A one-year survey was conducted in the greater region of Crete (located at the lower region of the Aegean Sea) for the purpose of identifying waste composition (including chemical and physical characterization), as well as any seasonal variation. The investigation was carried out repeatedly at seven landfills and one transfer station in Crete, in four phases. Each sampling phase corresponded to a season (autumn, winter, spring, summer). ASTM D5231-92(2003) standard method and RCRA Waste Sampling Draft Technical Guidance were used. Hand sorting was used for classifying the collected wastes into the following categories: plastics, paper, metals, aluminium, leather-wood-textiles-rubbers, organic wastes, non-combustibles and miscellaneous. Further analysis included proximate and ultimate analysis of combustible materials. Metals such as lead, cadmium and mercury were also investigated. The results show that there has been a significant decrease of organic wastes during the last decade due to the increase of packaging materials, as a result of a change in consumption patterns. Three main waste categories were determined: organic wastes, paper and plastics, which combined represent 76% of the total waste in Crete. Furthermore, a high fraction of glass and a seasonal variation of aluminium indicate a strong correlation of waste composition with certain human activities, such as tourism. There is also a variation between the municipal solid waste (MSW) composition in the region of Crete (2003-2004) and MSW composition suggested in the National Solid Waste Planning (2000) [National Solid Waste Planning, 2000. Completion and particularization of Common Ministerial Act 113944//1944/1997: National Solid Waste Planning, June 2000]. The results of this survey are to be utilized by the regional solid waste authorities in order to establish an integrated waste treatment site, capable of fulfilling the regional waste management demands. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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