Waste Sort as Part of Development of Long-Term Waste Management Plan (Lee County, Florida)

GBB performed a waste sort for Lee County, FL as part of a wide-ranging Integrated Waste Management System (IWMS) Expansion Project. The County encompasses approximately 780 square miles and has a population of slightly over 700,000, including the municipalities of Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Estero, Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel. In all, the disposal system handles more than 900,000 tons of waste each year. With estimated increases of solid waste at 3-7% per year, additional waste management capacity of 24,000 to 56,000 tons per year (TPY) may be required; a combined additional capacity requirement that may approach 1,000,000 TPY or 3,000 tons per day (TPD).

With current trends in mind and a 75% recycling goal in Florida, the County had a waste characterization study conducted by GBB to help plan and implement improvements to the County’s solid waste management system. The study quantified the solid waste composition in County single family residences, multi-family residences, commercial business, institutions, and from the County’s single stream recycling program. The study was performed in the “warm” season which is also the “off” season as the County’s population is lower in the warm season as compared to the flocking of snowbirds to Lee County in the winter. Conducted over nine total days of physical sampling and sorting, the study successfully collected data on single stream recyclables and solid waste that was then processed at the County MRF and RRF, respectively.

At the completion of the study, the sort team sampled from 77 waste trucks, sorting a total 19,819 pounds of waste material. This result exceeded the target goal of 10,319 pounds by 9,500 pounds achieving a 90% level of confidence according to the ASTM Standard. Besides characterizing the County-wide waste stream disposed at the Solid Waste Complex, the waste data was analyzed to understand the waste characterization by generator type – residential, commercial and RV parks/gated communities – and generator location within the County. The sort team also sampled from 38 recycling trucks, sorting a total of 5,167 pounds of single stream recycling.

Waste Sort - Lee County, FL