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Data Set #038

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About the Data

About 1998 Oregon solid waste

    The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for the State of Oregon has compiled data on the amount of solid waste generated, recovered and disposed for each of the 34 counties in Oregon (plus the Portland metropolitan area or Metro). Counties and Metro are referred to as "wastesheds" by the DEQ, a term analagous to watershed in hydrology; a wasteshed collects solid waste into a concentrated waste stream. Solid waste monitored by the DEQ includes both household waste (garbage, recyclables, etc.) and some industrial waste such as construction debris, but apparently does not include industrial wastes from manufacturing, agricultural processing, petrochemical plants, etc.

    Data are given on the population and tons of solid waste disposed in 35 wastesheds in Oregon in 1998. Disposal takes place by both landfilling and incineration. Though not stated, operators of these two types of disposal facilities presumably monitor the disposed tonnage and report these values to the DEQ.

    The amount of solid waste disposed each year depends upon the amount generated or produced and the amount recycled or recovered. The production rate is probably strongly correlated with population, whereas the recycling rate depends upon a large number of factors, including the proportion of recyclables in the waste stream, ease of recycling, education programs, etc.

    Population size is most likely the dominant variable in waste disposal, and the graph supports this assumption, showing a strong positive correlation between population and solid waste disposed in 1998. The relationship between people and waste disposed is linear, with a very high correlation coefficient. The slope of the regression line gives a typical "disposal rate" of a bit less than 1 ton of solid waste per citizen per year. Note that the Y-intercept is not zero; what is the significance, if any, of a non-zero intercept?

    The datum for the Portland metropolitan area has been excluded from the graph, to better view the majority of data points. Is the Metro datum an "outlier"? Students could run regressions both excluding and including this datum; how different are these regressions?

Reference: Oregon State Department of Environmental Quality, Solid Waste Program. Data available at: http://www.deq.state.or.us/wmc/solwaste/data/percapdisposal1998.html

     
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Solid Waste Disposed in 1998 by Wasteshed

State of Oregon

       

Wasteshed

Population

Disposed

Per capita

 

(people)

(tons)

(tons/person)

Baker

16,700

12,376

0.741

Benton

71,860

45,551

0.634

Clatsop

34,700

30,716

0.885

Columbia

42,300

23,004

0.544

Coos

61,400

37,434

0.610

Crook

16,650

14,232

0.855

Curry

22,000

12,264

0.557

Deschutes

104,900

101,313

0.966

Douglas

100,300

86,369

0.861

Gilliam

2,100

1,320

0.629

Grant

8,000

3,174

0.397

Harney

7,600

1,794

0.236

Hood River

19,500

14,931

0.766

Jackson

172,800

136,337

0.789

Jefferson

8,709

8,709

1.000

Josephine

73,000

40,518

0.555

Klamath

62,000

62,603

1.010

Lake

7,400

6,361

0.860

Lane

313,000

261,958

0.837

Lincoln

43,200

41,127

0.952

Linn

107,090

75,807

0.708

Malheur

29,200

20,052

0.687

Marion

271,750

237,166

0.873

Metro

1,363,100

1,196,486

0.878

Milton-Freewater

6,500

5,586

0.859

Morrow

9,400

5,893

0.627

Polk

58,940

36,790

0.624

Sherman

1,900

1,092

0.575

Tillamook

24,000

15,063

0.628

Umatilla

60,600

52,484

0.866

Union

24,400

15,610

0.640

Wallowa

7,200

4,526

0.629

Wasco

22,600

17,997

0.796

Wheeler

1,600

359

0.224

Yamhill

82,460

68,901

0.836

       

Total

3,258,859

2,695,903

0.827

 

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