Factors determining waste generation in Spanish towns and cities

  • Miriam Prades
  • Antonio Gallardo
  • Maria Victoria Ibàñez


This paper analyzes the generation and composition of municipal solid waste in Spanish towns and cities with more than 5000 inhabitants, which altogether account for 87 % of the Spanish population. To do so, the total composition and generation of municipal solid waste fractions were obtained from 135 towns and cities. Homogeneity tests revealed heterogeneity in the proportions of municipal solid waste fractions from one city to another. Statistical analyses identified significant differences in the generation of glass in cities of different sizes and in the generation of all fractions depending on the hydrographic area. Finally, linear regression models and residuals analysis were applied to analyze the effect of different demographic, geographic, and socioeconomic variables on the generation of waste fractions. The conclusions show that more densely populated towns, a hydrographic area, and cities with over 50,000 inhabitants have higher waste generation rates, while certain socioeconomic variables (people/car) decrease that generation. Other socioeconomic variables (foreigners and unemployment) show a positive and null influence on that waste generation, respectively.


Waste generation Waste composition Homogeneity Linear regression models 



Firstly, we would like to thank all the town councils that so willingly provided us with their data, since without their collaboration it would not have been possible to conduct this study. Secondly, we are grateful to the Spanish Ministry of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs for funding the projects Study of the different models of selective collection of RSU implemented in Spain, Determination of evaluation indicators (Estudio de los diferentes modelos de recogida selectiva de RSU implantados en España, Determinación de indicadores de evaluación) (Number 279/2006/2-2.1) and Study of the different models of selective collection of RSU implemented in Spain, Determination of evaluation indicators, Second phase (Estudio de los diferentes modelos de recogida selectiva de RSU implantados en España, Determinación de indicadores de evaluación. Fase segunda) (Number AA228/2007/1-02.1), and Designing a model for the management of the municipal waste collection in Spanish populations (Diseño de un modelo para la gestión de la recogida de residuos urbanos en las poblaciones españolas) and to the University Jaume I, by the UJI project P11A2011-11.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miriam Prades
    • 1
  • Antonio Gallardo
    • 1
  • Maria Victoria Ibàñez
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical Engineering and ConstructionUniversitat Jaume ICastellónSpain
  2. 2.Department of Mathematics, Institute of Mathematics and ApplicationsUniversitat Jaume ICastellónSpain

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