Resource Recycling December 1995

Everything You Wanted to Know About Waste Sorts ... But Were Afraid to Ask
WasteSort Software Program

From RecycleWorlds Consulting comes a new "how-to" book and software program that promises to make waste sorting studies easier to conduct. A review of these materials concluded that the manual should be required reading and that the software program would be helpful to many...

The WasteSort program provides a prepackaged solution to the nightmare of determining the statistical meaning of your labors. Perhaps most importantly, the software is easy to use. Because I have worked with clients spending many, many hours developing and trouble shooting their own data base systems, I can appreciate the convenience of an off- the-shelf program. The software does a good job of covering the basics, although there are some small tradeoffs in flexibility.

In addition to handling data on the number of pounds of rotting food waste, the software program will take the lucky trash sorter through the entire process of planning the project design, choosing random numbers for sampling purposes and other critical details.

Setting up a project using this software from the start would be the best way to go, or else you may run into irksome problems if you try to bend the program or your project to fit together. The software was slow and balky on a 386, so I recommend using at least a 486. You can test it on your own computer using a demo version of the software, available for $5.

In conclusion, neither the book nor the software is going to help you with the nitty-gritty of sorting waste-when you've just popped open a bag filled with diapers of somebody's leftover fried chicken - but both will help greatly with the activities before and after that point.

The book is an excellent source of information and a super buy at $38. At $395, the software is also a good buy, saving businesses and agencies the time of setting up discreet database and entry systems and ensuring that the complex statistical calculations are done correctly.

Richard Hlavka