Development of a Recycling Master Plan / Waste Composition Analysis (Lexington Fayette Urban County Government, Kentucky)

The Lexington Fayette Urban County Government (LFUCG) operates an integrated solid waste system, serving more than 250,000 residents as well as numerous businesses and institutions, including the University of Kentucky.  Through its Division of Waste Management, the system includes waste and recycling collection from residences, a transfer station, a compost facility, a materials recovery facility (MRF), and a landfill.  The LFUCG assigned development of a Recycling Master Plan, to identify strategies for the future, to the GBB Project Team which included staff from GBB and subconsultants RRT, MSW Consultants, and J.R. Miller & Associates.  The project included several tasks, that, when implemented, would provide for greater effectiveness for diversion from landfilling and produce competitive materials for its markets.

The GBB Project Team conducted a two-season waste composition analysis, including field sorting of waste over a five day period.  Waste was sorted into 55 categories, including 11 for construction and demolition materials.  For the MRF, the GBB Project Team assessed the physical plant, the site, and ongoing operations.  This task identified whether the LFUCG would need a new site and MRF should significant revisions be needed for the process system.  In another task, materials produced by the MRF were assessed for grade and specification and current markets were assessed.  The need for revising the collection system to improve the quality of collected recyclables or to revise the processing system for the same reason was assessed.  Also, strategies for increasing the quantities of materials recycled by the residential, commercial, and institutional sectors were identified.  Imposing mandatory participation, further public outreach and information, addressing the ease of collection, and revising collection to facilitate similar collection among generator classes were considered.  Also, adding materials were considered.

New programs, to include C&D materials, additional organics beyond yard waste, and e-waste were considered.   Future building, process system, and land needs were assessed, given implementation of key program elements identified in the Plan, and a comparison of those needs with the existing MRF, were made.  Finally, a cost model was set up to estimate future system costs.