UK Quarterly Project/2021/2021 Q4 Project: Waste and Recycling

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NPS recycling.svg


We all produce waste and (hopefully) try to reduce amount of it and recycle as much of it as possible. What happens to that waste can be a bit of a mystery. This quarterly project looks at mapping the places involved and perhaps joining up some of the waypoints on the waste journey from your house to incinerator/landfill/export/re-use/whatever.

Equally, OSM has matured, and Councils no longer seem afraid to use it. Wouldn't it be great if they could update and publish information via the map?

Things to focus on

  • Can we get a 100% coverage of Household Waste Recycling Centres?
  • Where does your waste actually go? What happens when the bin lorry takes away your rubbish?
  • If you had something to recycle, where would you take it?
  • If you had furniture to donate, who/where would it go?
  • How are waste incinerator power generators tagged?
  • Can we get the Environment Agency (EA)/Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)/Natural Resources Wales (NRW)/Northern Ireland Environment Agency Household Waste Recycling Centre licence numbers onto Wikidata?...and hence what further data can be linked to (capacity inputs and outputs, etc.)?

Potential sources and tools

  • StreetComplete asks about (see StreetComplete/Quests)
    • what can be recycled - if information is old or missing ("What can be left here for recycling? ")
    • about recycling point type - if missing ("What type of recycling facility is this?")
    • is waste basket still present - for old amenity=waste_basket ("Is this still here?")
    • "Can only glass bottles and jars be recycled here, or any type of glass?" - for places tagged as allowing leave any type of glass, including mirrors/windows/cookware usually ineligible for recycling
    • "Who accepts donations for this clothing bin?"
  • OpenWasteMap is an ongoing project as part of Code The City hack weekends in Aberdeen. The project is being built to encourage local authorities to use OSM to store information about the waste and recycling capabilities. Data is linked to Wikidata.
    • use the to see which centres we've looked at and compare to an independent list on Household waste in the United Kingdom
    • tag Household Waste Recycling Centres with recycling_type=centre and ownership=municipal to make them appear on the map
    • add the site's Wikidata Id (wikidata=*)
    • add operator=* info (the name of the company that appears at the site, like Veolia)
    • add Owner info (like 'West Sussex County Council')
    • add opening times
    • add accepted (and specifically rejected) recycling and waste types
    • map points as polygons (TODO: which tags? add an overpass query link)

Useful Wiki Pages