Saturday, April 6, 2024

Garbage in, Garbage out

At the Nova Scotia open data portal there is a summary dataset called Municipal Solid Waste Disposal Totals, which probably comes from a database called DataCall.  I believe every tipping weight at Municipal facilities is supposed to be entered.  Like many datasets on the open portal, it is out-of-date; data is from 2014-04-01 to 2022-03-31. It's unclear whether private dumps are DataCall users but this note from page 2307 of our FOIPOP indicates 'Yes':

But they are probably not included at the open data portal.  And why not?  NSECC does't want people to know how much hazardous waste is being delivered next door.  Remember, NSECC is in the pollution business, always favoring polluters over public interest.

Oddly, the existence of DataCall information never surfaces directly in any NSECC documents.

The description on the open data portal is:
Tonnages landfilled (residential, ICI (industrial commercial, institutional) C&D construction demolition), in totals and per capita (383kg/person for NS for 2014/1%)
Last UpdatedDecember 11, 2023

Here is the summary of all types of waste by region:

No real surprises - big totals in places with the most people.  Interestingly, the summary on the open data site includes per capita figures.  Here they are for C&D 

and ICI waste

HRM looks pretty good, but it's important to note that HRM allows export (since 2011, well before this data starts).  HRM produces a lot of waste, but by sending ICI and C&D waste out of county, figures elsewhere are artificially high and misleading.

This summary dataset is pretty useless.  There are lots of missing values.  It needs clarification as to whether private dumps are included.  There is probably an underlying database of individual transactions that should be made public.

Outdated, incomplete, inadequately referenced, unhelpful.  Typical half arsed effort.