Yash Mansharamani's Research
An investigation of wood pallets landfilled and recovered at US municipal solid waste facilities in 2021
Yash Mansharamani is from Montego Bay, Jamaica. He chose CPULD's graduate program because "of the work being done at CPULD and the way it connects with the industry." Yash plans to use the knowledge he gains thru his Masters degree, along with his work experience in the packaging field, to open his own business someday in the future.
The purpose of this research is to investigate the total number of pallets that end up in landfills in the United States, as well as to gain a better understanding of the overall waste stream.
This research will be conducted by mailing licensed Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) facilities in the continental United States a questionnaire that includes the option to complete the survey online. This questionnaire is built upon previous surveys conducted by researchers at Virginia Tech in 1995, 1998 and 2016. The previous study results, for 2016, indicated that an estimated 249 million tons of MSW was received at landfills nationwide. This was an increase from the 239 million tons of MSW in 1998. But, only 13.1 million pallets were landfilled in 2016, which was over a 90% decrease from the 138 million pallets landfilled in 1998. At the same time, approximately 15.9 million pallets were recovered, repurposed, or reused at the surveyed MSW facilities, which was a decrease from the 22 million pallets recovered in 1998.
The results of this continued research, for 2021, will hopefully indicate that even fewer pallets are making their way to landfills, and that a greater proportion of pallets reaching MSW facilities are being recovered.