Quantification of disaster waste: Review of the available methods

Gaïa Marchesini, Hélène Beraud, Bruno Barroca

Quantification of disaster wastes has been considered only recently by emergency planners or waste managers, thus only few works exist on the subject. However, we can see an increase of interest in the subject during the past five years. This review aims at presenting an overview of the methods of quantification of disaster wastes that have been developed since the 90s, in order to help when setting a method. The present work analyses and compares 22 methods that quantify construction and demolition debris, vegetative debris and household good wastes, by focusing on the resources and data needed, on operational criteria and on the precision and uncertainties relative to each approach. Several criteria are scrutinized to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the methods.

The review enables to distinguish three types of methods considering the resources associated: the “historical data” methods, based on historical data from past disasters, the “databased” methods, using national, regional or local databases (on household goods, building types, etc.) and the “imaging” methods that quantify solid wastes through the use of aerial, satellite or radar images.