Graduate Student, Jared Starr Investigates Recycling Rates in Video
The Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) research deals with the disposal side of our consumer economy. Specifically, Jared analyzes complex “waste” management systems in order to quantify and optimize their triple bottom line (TBL). In Starr and Nicolson 2015, the conducted the longest and most comprehensive analysis of factors influencing recycling rates within a state. Using Commonwealth of Massachusetts MSW data for 2000-2012, they investigated how various waste management policies, program designs, and socioeconomic factors influence recycling rates over time. This study provides practical guidance to municipal officials and policymakers looking to increase recycling rates. More recently, Jared started investigating and modeling the UMass Amherst waste system as an adviser to a team of staff and undergraduates. By modeling MSW tonnage, cost, and CO2 impacts of different scenarios they’ve creating a more comprehensive decision making framework. They expect to publish their results and share their model later this year.