City of Philadelphia, Solid Waste Management Program Economic Model

Posted on June 18, 2015

Client: City of Philadelphia
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Project Type: Solid Waste Management Program Economic Model
Project Period: 1994 - 1995
Project Cost: $55,000

Project Description

The City of Philadelphia collects trash and recyclables from residences using its own crews and equipment. The City collects more than 650,000 tpy of trash and more than 45,000 tpy of recyclables from twelve (12) sanitation districts. Trash is transfer-hauled to landfills outside the City limits. Recyclables are processed at a Materials Recovery Facility within the City.

The City is continually seeking to improve the efficiency of its services. This includes the recycling program, which has fallen short of goals for waste diversion, as established by the City and the State of Pennsylvania. In order to improve the recycling program, the City has begun the transition from a dual stream to single stream recyclables collection and processing. In addition, a pilot program has been initiated for an innovative “incentive-based” recycling promotion program developed by RecycleBank. The incentive-based program was tested in selected sanitation districts.

D&B Project Responsibilities

D&B was engaged by the City of Philadelphia to prepare a Program Economic Model for the City’s recycling program and rubbish collection services. The Program Economic Model provides the City with a tool for modeling the collection costs for recycling and rubbish collection within the various sanitation districts within the City and for modeling costs on a citywide basis. The Model was used to project the costs and diversion rates of the City’s ongoing recycling pilot programs. The City was investigating the costs, system impacts, and diversion rate associated with various recycling program improvement scenarios, including dual and single stream collection and expansion of the City’s nationally recognized incentive based recycling program.

The Program Economic Model developed by D&B provides a detailed basis for evaluating all aspects of Philadelphia’s recyclables and trash management practices and costs, including collection, hauling, transfer, processing, and disposal. The Model incorporates the key parameters affecting program costs and efficiencies, including set-out volumes, time per stop, crew sizes, vehicle capacities, labor rates and vehicle operating costs, route sizes, distance to transfer stations and the materials recovery facility, recyclables market revenues, and disposal costs. The Model can be operated in either a sanitation district or citywide mode for developing cost estimates and system efficiency impact projections.

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