Computational modeling and simulation of municipal waste generation and risk assessment during COVID-19

Ng, Kelvin Tsun Wai | $50,000

Saskatchewan The University of Regina 2020 NSERC Alliance COVID-19 Grant

A deviation in the production of municipal solid waste has been observed in the City of Regina since the beginning of the COVID‑19 pandemic began, and during the time control measures were put into place by the City and the Government of Saskatchewan. The change in waste generation rates could begin to impact the daily operation of the City’s municipal waste collection and disposal service, as well as the safety of the solid waste collections and operations staff. Proper waste collection and disposal is vital to health and safety of the residents at any time, let alone during the COVID‑19 pandemic.

Our municipal partner states that the elevated waste quantities has slowly begun to impact the revenue stream in the past few weeks. The goals of the project are to (i) conduct temporal analysis of municipal waste generation before and during the outbreak, and (ii) develop various scenarios and generate different forecast models for waste generation during and after the outbreak. Accurate waste data forecast helps the city to better manage its budgetary resources and plans their collection and disposal services accordingly. The proposed models will also be used to estimate the demand of the sanitation workers’ personal protective wears. It is believed that the said simulation models will be useful to other cities and towns of similar socio-economic conditions as Regina. No tool is currently available to forecast waste generation during and after a pandemic, and we would like to work with City of Regina team to fill the gap in literature. The proposed models will be of great benefit to the City in maintaining its leadership in sustainable waste management and evidence-based waste policy. It is also of interest to the City to assist in the growth of this market segment, both within Canada and abroad.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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