Sampling & Data Collection for Waste Characterization Studies


Planet People Waste Insights offers a stand alone waste sampling and data collection service. Our experienced team will conduct the field work component of waste characterization studies for consulting firms, municipalities, haulers, and other organizations.

To be able to make effective policy decisions or program design changes that maximize source reduction, recycling, and landfill diversion rates, municipalities or businesses must first determine the composition of their waste. Planet People Waste Insights collects the raw data necessary for detailed analysis of a waste stream. Our work helps to produce actionable insights that serve as the basis for creating effective, data-driven waste reduction programs. We operate in accordance with all ASTM and industry standards for waste characterization studies.

Why choose us?

  • Our Experience

    • What distinguishes our service from others is our team’s collective decades of experience specifically in waste handling and sorting roles. Our sort team consists of passionate individuals who have long been actively involved in various pursuits within the burgeoning “zero waste” movement, many at the professional level.

    • Having a sort team with this level of engagement in the industry equates to a shared understanding of the “big picture”, which in turn fosters a strong desire for producing quality work and accurate data that we know will contribute to the creation of effective waste reduction solutions.

    • Through years of working in direct contact with waste in a variety of localities, we’ve gained an intuitive understanding of the many subtleties and nuances present in the materials that make up varied waste streams. We’re intimately familiar with municipal solid waste streams on a granular level. This makes us particularly adaptive to client study specifications that require differentiating into a multitude of material categories and sub-categories.

    • We are sensitive to our clients’ need for precise, accurate data and will work closely with the client to ensure quality control throughout the sampling process.

  • Safe Operations

    • We operate in accordance with CalRecycle’s “Health and Safety Guidelines for Waste Characterization Studies” and each team member is thoroughly trained and familiarized with these guidelines before any work begins.

    • Each shift begins with a review of safety protocol that includes consultant and facility specific requirements. Safety issues that arise during the shift are addressed and corrected immediately. Each day ends with a review of any safety issues that may have arisen during the shift.

    • Strict adherence to safety protocol is enforced at all times by a designated Site Safety Officer.

  • Streamlined Operations

    • Using an experienced sort team avoids several issues. An inexperienced crew may find it difficult to identify, and therefore properly sort, material types. Our team understands the subtle differences present in materials that are easily overlooked by someone with less experience. We can accurately identify and differentiate between material types quickly. This equates to less time spent on quality control needed to correct sorting errors. We get it right the first time.

    • People who’ve never handled municipal solid waste experience a shock (the ick-factor) that affects productivity. This is, of course, because most people don’t find sorting through trash nearly as fun as we do. We got past that years ago, so there’s no acclimation period with us. We’re effective right out of the gate.

    • Using our service allows clients to avoid a lengthy and potentially costly individual hiring process that may or may not yield effective and experienced applicants who are willing to do the work. Our sort team’s previous experience also means less resources spent on training new hires. We come as one experienced package.

    • As a team that has worked together in this industry for years, the sum of our parts is greater than the whole. As opposed to a randomly assembled team whose members have never worked together, our team communicates well and works together efficiently as one cohesive unit.

    • We give our clients consistency, reliability, and the confidence that comes with knowing that they’re getting the best people for the job, every time.

  • Complete Package

    • We offer our clients a one-stop shop, turnkey solution for their waste sampling and data collection needs.

    • Our service includes the option to provide everything needed to complete the field work component of a waste characterization study. In addition to providing labor, we can furnish and transport all of the equipment necessary to set up a sorting station, from scale, containers, and sorting table, to shade structures, PPE, and water coolers.

    • We can provide customized solutions based on a client’s unique requirements and project specifications. For example, to obtain consistent results a project might require a sorting table that only allows fines or residue of a certain diameter to pass through. We can build a sorting table according these specifications.

  • Local & Mobile

    • Planet People Waste Insights is based in Southern California, which makes our services an attractive option for local municipalities or consultants serving municipalities in this region. However, our operation is also very mobile and we are willing to travel to different areas of California and beyond. In particular, we maintain strong ties to the San Francisco Bay Area and can offer services and staffing assistance as needed there.