Waste Sort Data

Waste Sort Data 2016 to 2017

In October 2016 and April 2017 Orange County conducted its sixth waste composition study since 1990. The latest study of 101 samples showed the overall amount of conventionally recyclable material in the waste stream at 21% with another 10% being clothing, scrap metal, plastic bags and electronics that are readily recyclable in other local programs. 

Another 45% of the waste landfilled was found to be commercially compostable including not only food scraps but low grade paper, wood and yard waste. Phone books have virtually disappeared while plastic bottles hold steady at 3% of waste discarded. Overall we estimate that over 76 million cans and bottles that came from Orange County were landfilled last year or an average of 550 per person.

Waste Sort Data 2010

In April of 2010, Orange County conducted its fifth waste composition study since 1990. The latest study showed the amount of recyclable material being thrown out has declined 31% in the residential sector, 22% in the commercial sector and 11% in the multifamily sector since the previous waste sort in 2005. Of the 47,300 tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) landfilled last year, more than 10,400 tons are readily recyclable cans, bottles and paper. 

Another 3,800 tons are materials that could be recycled at all drop-off sites such as rigid plastic, or recycled just at the landfill or convenience centers such as clean wood, scrap metal and electronics. Capturing half of this could push the County’s waste reduction rate close to 58%. The County has conducted a waste sort every five years to help focus its solid waste planning work and see how well recycling programs are working in the various sectors. 

The data provided shows the time series data (in pdf file format), from these sectors and annual data by geographic sector.

Waste Sort Data 2005

In April of 2005, Orange County conducted a waste composition study that showed the amount of recyclable material being thrown out has declined 11% since the last waste sort was conducted in 2000. Of the 57,000 tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) landfilled, more than 22,000 are readily recyclable, down from 24,900 five years ago.

The County has conducted a waste sort every five years since 1990 to help focus its solid waste planning work and see how well recycling programs are working in the various sectors. The data (in pdf file format), from these sectors can be accessed with the resources we have provided.