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Analysis of Family Misuse Production


Waste generated in my own home

Andrew Connor Cowan

What is the amount of waste produced by my household

Over 42 million cubic meters of standard waste is generated every year in the united states, with the largest proportion coming from Gauteng (42%). Furthermore, more than 5 million cubic meters of harmful waste products are produced each year, usually in Mpumalanga and KZN due to the increase of mining activities and fertilizer development.

The amount of waste materials generated by the average South African is ± 0. 7 kg's. This means the average 4 person people produces ± 2. 8 kg's each day. But the most significant contributors to the stable waste stream probably is mining waste products (± 72. 3%), accompanied by pulverized energy ash (± 6. 7%), agricultural misuse (± 6. 1%), urban waste (± 4. 5%) and sewage sludge (± 3. 6%).

Estimated decomposition rates of all debris within landfills are:

  • Foamed vinyl cups: 50 years
  • Plastic drink holder: 400 years
  • Disposable diapers: 450 year
  • Plastic bottle: 450 years
  • Fishing brand: 600 years.
  • Glass bottle 1 million years
  • Aluminum can: 80-200 years
  • Plastic beverage containers: 450 years
  • Boot only: 50-80 years
  • Tin can: 50 years
  • Leather: 50 years
  • Nylon fabric: 30-40 years
  • Plastic film canister: 20-30 years
  • Plastic tote: 10-20 years (???)
  • Cigarette filtration system: 1-5 years
  • Wool sock: 1-5 years
  • Plywood: 1-3 years
  • Waxed dairy carton: 3 months
  • Apple central: 2 months
  • Newspaper: 6 weeks
  • Paper: 2 to 5 months
  • Banana peel: 2-5 weeks
  • Orange peel: 6 months
  • Paper towel: 2-4 weeks
  • Batteries: 100 years

[shape 1. 1 in appendix 1]

The percentage contribution of every waste products stream to the composition of general waste materials is illustrated in Amount 1 [Appendix 3]. Non-recyclable municipal waste material contributes 34% (by weight) of the entire general waste, development and demolition throw away, 21%, accompanied by metals (14%), organic and natural waste 13% and mainline recyclables (including paper, plastics, glass and tyres )(18%). See reference page Ref. . . . for sourcing


My family produces a average amount of waste material.


The goal of this test is to see and record my homes daily waste technology and compare it to the common waste development of the average South African family.


  • Kitchen scale
  • Bag (for measuring weight of carrier not contained in results)
  • Paper (saving results)
  • Pen (recording results)


  1. Independent Variables
    1. The amount of men and women in my household (does not altered by choice)
  2. Dependent variables
    1. The amount of waste products made by my household
  3. Fixed variables
    1. The handbag used to adopt measurements
    2. When I take the measurements


  1. Take the trash and dived it into 6 different categories (a glass, plastic, tin, paper & cardboard, organics and non-recyclables).
  2. Weigh each category separately and record the results
  3. Calculate the full total for the day
  4. Repeat daily for weekly calculating the full total by the end of the week as well as the averages of every category
  5. Repeat for 3 weeks

See appendix 2 for results


I have to say that my results are inconclusive because my findings fluctuate and I was unable to undertake more exams.

To improve my results I'd Extent the assessment period to about least 5 calendar months instead of 3 weeks to see if the results change relating to season

My household recycles ± 95% of all of its recyclable materials and everything organic and natural materials are either given to the animals or are thrown onto a compost heap (apart from bones)

My family will soon institute a policy of reducing the quantity of Non-recycleable materials purchased

Figure 1. 1: Johannesburg city landfill

The following desks support the results of the experiment all measurements are in kilograms

Figure 3. 1 [The waste composition for basic waste products, 2011 (ratio by mass), other, which is principally biomass waste from industrial options) ] See reference page Ref 1 for sourcing

  1. Graph and percentages have been designed from the countrywide misuse information baseline report draft 6, 5 September 2012 Published by: Office of Environmental Affairs
  2. Monkeyland: Southern African throw away facts http://www. monkeyland. co. za/index. php?comp=article&op=view&id=2790
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