Main data sources

  • Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) : South West Waste Audit 2000/01 (EA & RTAB, 2004).
  • Commercial & Industrial (C&I) : Strategic Waste Management Assessment 2000: South West (EA, 2000).
  • Construction & Demolition (C&D) : Survey of Arisings and Use of Construction and Demolition Waste 2001 (Symonds Group, 2003).

Data availability and quality

South West Waste Audit 2000/01 (EA & RTAB, 2004) data was the most reliable for the region. The study not only looked at waste generated by source, but also reviewed waste management by waste type.

Up-to-date Commercial & Industrial waste (C&I) data was difficult to obtain. Some recent reports published by the Environment Agency covered C&I waste management volumes by region, but did not report arisings. For this reason, 2001 data was incomplete, so C&I data reported in Strategic Waste Management Assessment 2000: South West (EA, 2000) was used even though it only covered 1998/99. The decision to use older data was approved by the project Advisory Group.

Construction & Demolition waste (C&D) was extremely inconsistent. Figures reported by different studies varied significantly. The Symonds Group (2003) study was used because it contained the most detailed data at a regional level, covering waste arisings and management methods.

Overall, waste data for the South West was reliable. Furthermore, it was encouraging to find that data was available regionally rather than nationally, avoiding the need for proxies and assumptions on waste arisings.

Data recommendations

  • Waste surveys tend to be carried out by many different organisations. As a result data is reported at different levels and often does not correspond. For a more unified or simplified approach to reporting, it would help if a single agency such as DEFRA reported on all three main categories of waste.
  • C&I waste is no longer recorded at a regional level, and this gap in information will hinder understanding and better management of this sector.