The purpose of this paper is to compare the recycling performance for some waste fractions selected including food waste, bulk waste, paper, metal products, plastics/rubber and glass products and then to develop some directions for the future improvements. The priority of each waste fraction for recycling is also analyzed by using an importance-performance analysis. Traditionally, the recycling rate that is calculated by the ratio of waste recycled to waste collected is used as an indicator to measure recycling performance. Due to a large variation among waste fractions in municipal solid waste (MSW), the recycling rate cannot reflect the actual recycling performance. The ceiling of recycling rate for each waste fraction estimated from the diffusion models is incorporated into a model to calculate recycling performance. The results show that (1) the diffusion effect exists significantly for the recycling of most recyclables but no evidence is found to support the diffusion effect for the recycling of food waste and bulk waste; (2) the recycling performance of waste metal products ranks the top, compared to waste paper, waste glass and other waste fractions; (3) furthermore, an importance-performance analysis (IPA) is employed to analyze the priority of recycling programs and thus this paper suggests that the recycling of food waste should be seen as the most priority item to recycle.
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