Lead-Acid Batteries

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Standard Recycling Rate excludes batteries from aircraft, military vehicles, boats, heavy duty trucks, and tractors.   For these calculations, only batteries from passenger vehicles (including light trucks), busses, recreational vehicles (RVs), all terrain vehicles (ATVs), motorcycles and tricycles were included.  The average weight for each battery was estimated at 40 pounds each.  A local recycling center was consulted to determine this weight. Motorcycles, tricycles and ATV batteries are substantially smaller than found in the other vehicles listed. The average weight for the smaller batteries was estimated at 10 pounds each.

As of December 31, 1998, there was a total of 3,509,930 registered passenger vehicles, buses and RVs, along with 112,011 ATVs, motorcycles and tricycles in Missouri 1 .  For determining the total weight of batteries the following assumptions were made.

A. Each battery had a life expectancy of three (3) years.
B. Lead-Acid battery recycling rate of 96.5 percent. 2

For large batteries:

3,509,930 ÷ 3 years = 1,169,977 batteries disposed of per year.
1,169,977 X 40 pounds = 46,799,080 pounds
46,799,080 pounds ÷ 2,000 = 23,400 tons

23,400 tons X 96.5 percent recycling rate = 22,581 tons large batteries recycled

For small batteries:

112,011 ÷ 3 years = 37,337 batteries disposed of per year.
37,337 X 10 pounds = 373,370 pounds
373,370 pounds ÷ 2,000 = 186.7 tons

186.7 tons X 96.5 percent recycling rate = 180 tons small batteries recycled

Total batteries recycled equals:

22,581 tons
+ 180 tons
22,761 tons

Major Appliances

Major appliances were banned from Missouri landfills in 1992. Consequently, the total amount of appliances are unavailable for landfill waste characterization studies conducted in Missouri since 1992. The following procedure was used to determine the amount of major appliances generated for Missouri.

The per capita MSW generated within the United States in 1997 is estimated 4.4 pounds per day or .8 tons per person per year 3 .  The U.S. population in 1998 is estimated at 270,002,000 4 . Multiplying the annual waste generation by the population yields an estimated 216,001,600 tons of MSW generated in 1998.  Major appliances comprised approximately 1.6 percent of the waste stream in 1996 5 . Multiplying the amount of MSW generated by 1.6 percent provides the tonnage for major appliances in the U.S., approximately 3,456,026 tons. The 1998 estimated population for Missouri is 5,438,559 6 , or 2 percent of the nation's population.  Multiplying the major appliance tonnage by 2 percent provides the estimated tonnage of major appliances generated in Missouri, 69,121 tons.  This amount is then multiplied by 81 percent, the estimated recycling rate for major appliances 7 .  The total tons of major appliances recycled in Missouri is estimated to be 55,988 tons.  It is not known how the remaining 19 percent of major appliances are disposed of. A portion of the appliances may be disposed of illegally, transported out-of-state, or it is possible that due to the landfill ban there may be a greater percentage of major appliances being recycled.

Waste Tires

The Solid Waste Management Program estimates that approximately 4,000,000 waste tires are generated yearly.  The average weight attributed to waste tires is 20 pounds per tire with the calculated weight for waste tires generated per year being 40,000 tons.   It is estimated that 75.6 percent of the tires, 30,240 tons, are recovered through recycling or tire derived fuel (TDF) 8 .  In 1998 approximately 12,268 tons of tires were ground into crumb rubber for playground cover 9 .  The remainder, 17,972 tons was used as TDF.  Since Missouri law bans from landfilling only whole waste tires, it is assumed that the remaining 24.4 percent of the tires have been landfilled or illegally disposed.

Yard Waste

Yard waste comprised 8.29 percent of the waste stream in 1987 10 .   The waste characterization study conducted by Environmental Imporvements Energy Resource Authority (EIERA) in 1987 was also used to estimate the total amount of waste generated in 1990.  The year 1990 was the starting point for waste diversion.   In 1990 an estimated 6.8 millions tons of waste was generated.  Multiplying this amount by the 8.29 percent yard waste gives an estimated value of 563,720 tons yard waste generated in 1990.  The population in Missouri in 1990 was estimated at 5,117,073.  The amount of yard waste generated by each person is estimated at 220 pounds.

The estimated population for Missouri in 1998 is 5,438,559.  Multiplying the 1998 population by 220 pounds equals the total yard waste generated in 1998, or 598,241 tons.

In 1996, 271 communities, with populations over 500, had yard waste collection services.  In 1998, there are 475 Missouri communities with populations over 500.   Dividing the total communities by those having yard waste collection services shows an estimated 57 percent of the communities in Missouri have yard waste collection services.

Multiplying the estimated yard waste generated in 1998 by 57 percent provides an estimated 340,998 tons of yard waste being recycled by composting or mulching.  It may be assumed that the remaining yard waste is source reduced through home composting and or grass-cycling by using mulching mowers.

1Source:  MO Dept. of Revenue, Div. of Information systems, Technology Services Group
2Source:  Battery Council International
3Source:  U.S. EPA, Reusable News, Fall 1999
4Source:  U.S. Bureau of the Census
5Source:  U.S. EPA, Characterization of Numicipal Solid Waste in the U.S.: 1997 Update
6Source:  Missouri Office of Administration, Division of Budget and Planning
7Source:  Steel Recycling Institute
8Source:  Scrap Tire Management Council
9Source:  Recycled Rubber
10Source:   EIERA, 1987 Waste Characterization Study