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Last year all refuse collected by Shelbyville city services was incine

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Last year all refuse collected by Shelbyville city services was incine  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 06 Sep 2018, 03:38
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Last year all refuse collected by Shelbyville city services was incinerated. This incineration generated a large quantity of residual ash. In order to reduce the amount of residual ash Shelbyville generates this year to half of last year's total, the city has revamped its collection program. This year city services will separate for recycling enough refuse to reduce the number of truckloads of refuse to be incinerated to half of last year's number.

Which of the following is required for the revamped collection program to achieve its aim?


(A) This year, no materials that city services could separate for recycling will be incinerated.

(B) Separating recyclable materials from materials to be incinerated will cost Shelbyville less than half what it cost last year to dispose of the residual ash.

(C) Refuse collected by city services will contain a larger proportion of recyclable materials this year than it did last year.

(D) The refuse incinerated this year will generate no more residual ash per truckload incinerated than did the refuse incinerated last year.

(E) The total quantity of refuse collected by Shelbyville city service's this year will be no greater than that collected last year.

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 182: Critical Reasoning


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Originally posted by mba4me on 19 Sep 2004, 05:52.
Last edited by Bunuel on 06 Sep 2018, 03:38, edited 6 times in total.
Edited the question.
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Re: QOTD: Last year all refuse collected by Shelbyville city services was  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2017, 11:28
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The aim of the revamped collection program is "to reduce the amount of residual ash Shelbyville generates this year to half of last year's total." Let's examine the given information:

  • Last year, ALL refuse collected by city services was incinerated. Make sure you notice key modifiers such as "all" and think about how they impact the meaning. In this case, we know that 100% of the collected refuse was incinerated.
  • The incineration of that refuse generated a large quantity of residual ash. We aren't sure exactly how much residual ash was generated, but we know that it was a large quantity.
  • This year, city services will reduce the number of truckloads of refuse to be incinerated to HALF of last year's number. This information is given, so we don't need to worry about how much trash Shelbyville is going to produce, the proportion that will be recycled, etc. Regardless of those details, we can safely assume that city services will have HALF as many truckloads of refuse to send to the incinerator this year. We just don't know whether reducing the number of truckloads by half will also reduce the ash by half.
  • How will city services achieve this reduction in truckloads? By separating some unknown portion of the refuse for recycling. Again, we don't care about the details of the recycling/separation. All we care about is that the number of truckloads will be cut in half. But will that reduction in truckloads lead to the desired reduction in ash?

Which of the following is required if city services is going to reduce the amount of residual ash to half of last year's total?

Quote:
(A) This year, no materials that city services could separate for recycling will be incinerated.

Let's say (A) doesn't happen, and some material that COULD have been separated for recycling gets incinerated instead. This would be unfortunate, but it would not change the GIVEN information. We already know that city services WILL reduce the number of truckloads to half of last year's level. That reduction in truckloads will occur even if city services sends some recyclable material to the incinerator. Thus, (A) is not required and can be eliminated.

Quote:
(B) Separating recyclable materials from materials to be incinerated will cost Shelbyville less than half what it cost last year to dispose of the residual ash.

We are not concerned with the COSTS of the program. We are trying to determine whether reducing the number of truckloads by half will also reduce the amount of ash by half. Choice (B) is irrelevant and can be eliminated.

Quote:
(C) Refuse collected by city services will contain a larger proportion of recyclable materials this year than it did last year.

Again, we don't care how much refuse is collected or what proportion of that refuse is recyclable. We already know that city services will cut the number of truckloads in half. This will happen regardless of whether this year's refuse contains a larger proportion of recyclable materials. Choice (C) is also irrelevant and can be eliminated.

Quote:
(D) The refuse incinerated this year will generate no more residual ash per truckload incinerated than did the refuse incinerated last year.

We know that city services will send half as many truckloads to the incinerator, but will that reduce the amount of ash by half? If the refuse incinerated this year generates MORE residual ash per truckload than did the refuse incinerated last year, then reducing the truckloads by half will NOT reduce the amount of ash by half.

In other words, if each truckload generates, on average, more ash this year than it did last year, then we need to reduce the number of truckloads by MORE than half in order to cut the amount of ash in half. Choice (D) IS required if the program is going to achieve its goal, so hang on to this one.

Quote:
(E) The total quantity of refuse collected by Shelbyville city service's this year will be no greater than that collected last year.

Once again, we don't care how much refuse is collected. Regardless, the number of trucks will be cut in half compared to last year. Choice (E) can be eliminated.

(D) is the best answer.
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Re: Last year all refuse collected by Shelbyville city services was incine  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Feb 2005, 08:35
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I'll go with (D)

Examining the stem:

Last year:
All refuse (collected in N truckloads) --- incinerated ---> residue ash

This year:
All refuse --- separate for recycling ---> refuse to be incinerated (resulting in half the previous year's truckloads N/2) ---- incinerate this left over refuse ----> residue ash (which is half the last year's quantity)

Therefore, this year only half the amount of residue is being incinerated. So, unless each truckload generates less residue ash than it did last year, the objective cannot be achieved.
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Re: Last year all refuse collected by Shelbyville city services was incine  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Sep 2004, 09:55
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Will for D as well. I debated with myself whether A was right. However I discounted A because I reasoned that we don't have any info on how much ash the recyclable materials would produce. Also, I think the very reason why the recyclable materials are being separated because they are NOT to be incinerated. So there's no reason to assume they would be.

Can somebody enlighten me if this reasoning for eliminating A sounds ok?

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Re: Last year all refuse collected by Shelbyville city services was incine  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Dec 2009, 23:58
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ISBtarget wrote:
(A) This year, no materials that city services could separate for recycling will be incinerated.
(B) Separating recyclable materials from materials to be incinerated will cost Shelbyville less than half what it
cost last year to dispose of the residual ash. cost out of scope
(C) Refuse collected by city services will contain a larger proportion of recyclable materials this year than it
did last year. it's not about proportion, but about total amount
(D) The refuse incinerated this year will generate no more residual ash per truckload incinerated than did the
refuse incinerated last year. Ok. The program is to halve the number of trucks of refuse to be incinerated. Target is to halve the amount of ash. So, we have:
Last year (no of tracks)*(amount of ash per truck) = (total ash).
This year 1/2(no of trucks)*(amount of ash per truck) = 1/2(total ash)
Clearly, in order it to be true, amount of ash per truck have to remain, what D says

(E) The total quantity of refuse collected by Shelbyville city services this year will be no greater than that
collected last year. Looks tempting. But in fact it does not matter how many refuse is collected this year. The program is to halve the number of trucks of refuse to be incinerated. For example: Last year Total refuse = 100 kg, number of trucks = 10; This year: Total refuse = 200 kg, but the number of trucks = 5, other refuse goes to recycling.

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Re: Last year all refuse collected by Shelbyville city services was incine  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Feb 2013, 04:25
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ratinarace wrote:
Last year all refuse collected by Shelbyville city /services was incinerated. This incineration generated a large quantity of residual ash. In order to reduce the amount of residual ash Shelbyville generates this year to half of last year's total, the city has revamped its collection program. This year city services will separate for recycling enough refuse to reduce the number of truckloads of refuse to be incinerated to half of last year's number.

Which of the following is required for the revamped collection program to achieve its aim?

(A) This year, no materials that city services could separate for recycling will be incinerated.
(B) Separating recyclable materials from materials to be incinerated will cost Shelbyville less than half what it cost last year to dispose of the residual ash.
(C) Refuse collected by city services will contain a larger proportion of recyclable materials this year than it did last year.
(D) The refuse incinerated this year will generate no more residual ash per truckload incinerated than did the refuse incinerated last year.
(E) The total quantity of refuse collected by Shelbyville city service's this year will be no greater than that collected last year.

Can someone please explain C vs D Vs E


Hi ratinarace,

First, lets determine the question type. The answer choice has to be true for the conclusion to be true i.e. it is an assumption question.

Conclusion is that Shelbyville city service will achieve its aim.

In simple words the stimulus says that last year the incinerator produced a lot of residual ash. This year they want to reduce the residual ash by cutting to half the the refuse sent to the incinerator.

In more simpler words the author is assuming: reduction in refuse to half = reduction in residual ash to half .

If an answer choice states this assumption, we've got the answer. Even if you have not got this assumption initially you can run through the answer choices and check which one would make the conclusion/ aim true for sure.

(C) Refuse collected by city services will contain a larger proportion of recyclable materials this year than it did last year.


Does this has to be true for the conclusion to be true. If recyclable material is high then the incinerated material will be low, but it could still generate more ash per unit of refuse. So, it is not mandatory for (C) to be true for conclusion to be true.

(D) The refuse incinerated this year will generate no more residual ash per truckload incinerated than did the refuse incinerated last year.

Does this has to be true for the conclusion to be true. Yes, lets see why;

the amount of ash per unit refuse is less than or equal to the amount of as per unit last year. Therefore, the incinerator would generate less than or equal to the amount of residual ash produced last year. This has to be true for the conclusion to be true. So, it is our answer.

(E) The total quantity of refuse collected by Shelbyville city service's this year will be no greater than that collected last year.


This need not be true for the conclusion to be true. The quantity of refuse could be the same or greater but the proportion of waste that is incinerated be less than what it was last year. The Shelbyville city service could still achieve its aim without (E) being true.

Hope that helps,

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Re: Last year all refuse collected by Shelbyville city services was incine  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Aug 2013, 20:53
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pavan2185 wrote:
Hi ,

Please help me here.

I am not able to get why choice D is the correct answer. I was completely stumped.

Below is my analysis.

Which of the following is required for the revamped collection program to achieve its aim?

(A) This year, no materials that city services could separate for recycling will be incinerated.

Initial thought:
Completely lost among most of the choices and chose this just for the sake of choosing an answer since I had already taken about 4 mins.

Later evaluation.

This choice says no materials will be incinerated. The target is not to completely avoid incineration. Only portion of it is to be recycled. This is not the requirement / Assumption clearly.

(B) Separating recyclable materials from materials to be incinerated will cost Shelbyville less than half what it cost last year to dispose of the residual ash.

OFS. Cost is not the concern.

(C) Refuse collected by city services will contain a larger proportion of recyclable materials this year than it did last year.

The proportion of recyclable material to refuse is relevant but not the proportion of the recyclable materials between the two years.

(D) The refuse incinerated this year will generate no more residual ash per truckload incinerated than did the refuse incinerated last year.

Initial thought: I thought the Ash per truck load is not relevant since we care about the number of truck loads of refuse to be burnt.

Later revleation.

This is the correct answer. However, is a truck load of refuse to be burnt equal to truck load of ash? I am not able to understand this properly.

(E) The total quantity of refuse collected by Shelbyville city service's this year will be no greater than that collected last year.

The total quantity is not relevant. OFS. We are concerned with the number of truck loads of trash.


Hi Pavan,

Let me explain option D with an analogy here.

Let's suppose if a doctor makes the following suggestion to you.

You need to reduce your calorie intake to half the current levels. Therefore, you should eat half as much as you currently eat. (so if you eat say 20 units, now you should eat 10 units)

Now, for the doctor's suggestion to work (i.e. reduce calorie intake to half the current levels), you should not eat, say, oily foods which contain more calories per unit. If you do that, even though you may eat only 10 units of food but your actual calorie intake will not be half of your previous level since you are eating more oily foods now which are providing you more calories per unit.

Therefore, for doctor's suggestion to achieve its aim (reduce calorie intake to half), the amount of calories per unit of food should not increase from last year.

Do you get this?

Exactly parallel is the reasoning used in option D.

You want to reduce residual ash to half the amount. What you do is that you reduce the number of trucks to half. Would that achieve the objective.

The answer is yes but only if you don't load each truck with more residual ash than the year before.

Does this help?

Thanks,
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Re: Last year all refuse collected by Shelbyville city services was incine  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Sep 2013, 19:23
Lets see what choice E states:

Quote:
(E) The total quantity of refuse collected by Shelbyville city service's this year will be no greater than that collected last year.


The total quantity of ash collected is immaterial. Why!! because of the last line of the argument:

Quote:
This year city services will separate for recycling enough refuse to reduce the number of truckloads of refuse to be incinerated to half of last year's number.


It can be inferred from the above line that regardless of the amount of refuse collected, the city services will only send half the truckloads. Hence, the amount of refuse collected does not matter. Even if 10X the refuse is collected this year, still the # of truckloads sent for incineration will be half of last year's number.

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Re: Last year all refuse collected by Shelbyville city services was incine  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Mar 2016, 21:32
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mba4me wrote:
Last year all refuse collected by Shelbyville city services was incinerated. This incineration generated a large quantity of residual ash. In order to reduce the amount of residual ash Shelbyville generates this year to half of last year's total, the city has revamped its collection program. This year city services will separate for recycling enough refuse to reduce the number of truckloads of refuse to be incinerated to half of last year's number.

Which of the following is required for the revamped collection program to achieve its aim?

(A) This year, no materials that city services could separate for recycling will be incinerated.
(B) Separating recyclable materials from materials to be incinerated will cost Shelbyville less than half what it cost last year to dispose of the residual ash.
(C) Refuse collected by city services will contain a larger proportion of recyclable materials this year than it did last year.
(D) The refuse incinerated this year will generate no more residual ash per truckload incinerated than did the refuse incinerated last year.
(E) The total quantity of refuse collected by Shelbyville city service's this year will be no greater than that collected last year.


Responding to a pm:

Argument:

Last year all refuse was incinerated.
This generated a large quantity of residual ash.
Plan: Separate for recycling refuse to reduce the number of truckloads of refuse to be incinerated to half of last year's number.
Aim of the Plan: to reduce the amount of residual ash Shelbyville generates this year to half of last year's total.

The plan is to reduce the refuse to half of last year's.

If last year 100 truckloads were incinerated, this year only 50 should be incinerated. So even if we collect 150 truckloads this year, 100 should be separated to recycle and only 50 should be incinerated. Then the residual ash will be half of last year's.

There are some requirements for the plan to work:

- There should be at least this much recyclable stuff in the refuse collected. We must have at least 100 truckloads of recyclable stuff so that we are left with 50 truckloads to incinerate.

- Half the number of truckloads should produce half the residual ash. What if the residual ash amount depends on the kind of refuse? If certain refuse produces more ash and if that is the kind of refuse we have in 50 truckloads this year, it will produce more than half of last year's ash.

Look at the options now:

(A) This year, no materials that city services could separate for recycling will be incinerated.

This is not required. If all 150 truckloads are recyclable, we could incinerate 50 truckloads and our plan could work. It is not necessary to separate all recyclable stuff.

(B) Separating recyclable materials from materials to be incinerated will cost Shelbyville less than half what it cost last year to dispose of the residual ash.

Cost is irrelevant to the argument.

(C) Refuse collected by city services will contain a larger proportion of recyclable materials this year than it did last year.

Incorrect. The proportion of recyclable material compared with last year's proportion is immaterial. We don't have any data about the last year's proportion. Perhaps last year all refuse was recyclable. Then we don't need and cannot have a larger proportion. What we need is a large enough proportion of recyclable material but we don't necessarily NEED MORE THAN last year's proportion. This option is incorrect because of the comparison it makes.

(D) The refuse incinerated this year will generate no more residual ash per truckload incinerated than did the refuse incinerated last year.

This is one of our requirements. The second one. Hence this is correct.

(E) The total quantity of refuse collected by Shelbyville city service's this year will be no greater than that collected last year.

This is not necessary. In our example, we assumed that this year 150 truckloads was produced against 100 truckloads of last year.

Answer (D)
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Re: QOTD: Last year all refuse collected by Shelbyville city services was  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2017, 12:01
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Last year all refuse collected by Shelbyville city services was incinerated. This incineration generated a large quantity of residual ash. In order to reduce the amount of residual ash Shelbyville generates this year to half of last year's total, the city has revamped its collection program. This year city services will separate for recycling enough refuse to reduce the number of truckloads of refuse to be incinerated to half of last year's number.

Which of the following is required for the revamped collection program to achieve its aim?

(A) This year, no materials that city services could separate for recycling will be incinerated. -We already know this from the passage. Besides it doesn't help us in reaching our conclusion.
(B) Separating recyclable materials from materials to be incinerated will cost Shelbyville less than half what it cost last year to dispose of the residual ash. -Cost is out of scope
(C) Refuse collected by city services will contain a larger proportion of recyclable materials this year than it did last year. -Larger proportion doesn't mean that the ash generated from the residual waste will be lesser than ash generated last year.
(D) The refuse incinerated this year will generate no more residual ash per truckload incinerated than did the refuse incinerated last year. -Correct
(E) The total quantity of refuse collected by Shelbyville city service's this year will be no greater than that collected last year. -Out of scope
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Re: Last year all refuse collected by Shelbyville city services was incine  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Nov 2018, 16:42
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Okay, let's take this baby down. We are going to focus on the strategies behind this question that will help you answer this and many other GMAT problems. As with all Critical Reasoning questions, the first thing we need to do is a little research in the question stem. It asks us for something that would be required for the collection program to achieve its aim. Such phraseology tells us this is a “Plan/Strategy” question, a variation on the traditional “Strengthen” question type. This defines our strategy. With Plan/Strategy questions, we aren’t necessarily looking for a conclusion to strengthen, but we are looking for goals. Often, the logical gap we are looking for is between the elements of the plan and what the plan actually wants to accomplish.

According to the stimulus, the goal is to “reduce the amount of residual ash this year to half of last year’s total.” The plan is to separate recycling so that there are half the number of truckloads to be incinerated. Does half of the truckloads necessarily lead to half the ash? Not necessarily. Therein lies the logical gap. We need to show that the reduction of truckloads will lead to the commensurate reduction in ash. If not, the plan’s goals won’t be met.

The correct answer to this question is “D”. However, we are going to skip “D” for a little bit to look at the wrong answers. For those of you studying for the GMAT, it is just as important to know why an answer choice is WRONG as it is to know why an answer choice is correct. Let’s watch what the GMAT does here to test your critical-thinking skills.

Quote:
(A) This year, no materials that city services could separate for recycling will be incinerated.

Answer choice “A” doesn’t address the logical gap. Pay attention to what the question is asking: we are looking for a fact "required" by the argument to function. That is a pretty high bar. Is it necessary that "no materials" be incinerated if they could be recycled? No. The city could incinerate recyclable materials and still keep the truckload limit down to half of the total. While "A" adds the fact that the separated materials won’t be incinerated, it still tells us nothing about the amount of ash generated per truckload. "A" isn't required by the argument, and it doesn't tell us why half the truckloads leads to half the ash. If you picked answer choice "A", your brain inserted a lot of unjustifiable assumptions into the argument (such as recyclable materials supposedly generate the same amount of ash as non-recyclable materials.) But we don't know this. What if the recyclable materials take up large amounts of space in a truckload, but leave little ash? Answer choice “A” is not it.

Quote:
(B) Separating recyclable materials from materials to be incinerated will cost Shelbyville less than half what it cost last year to dispose of the residual ash.

Answer choice “B” is an example of a beautiful trap by the GMAT I call a “Distracting Detour.” Distracting Detours happen when the GMAT intentionally swaps out the initial goals or conclusion in a question for a different (possibly compelling) set of goals, tricking you into thinking that these alternate goals matter. However, the change doesn’t answer the question, plug the logical hole, or meet the goal. In the case of this question, the goal is to reduce ash, not reduce cost. Thus, cost is irrelevant. Answer choice “B” falls by the wayside.

Quote:
(C) Refuse collected by city services will contain a larger proportion of recyclable materials this year than it did last year.

Answer choice “C” also doesn’t focus on the logical gap. The stimulus states that the program will remove “recycling ENOUGH” to reduce the number of truckloads. Even if answer choice “C” were false, it would still be possible to say that we removed “ENOUGH” recycling for the logic to work. This is especially true since we don’t know relative amounts of recycling from last year to this year to even know if it would matter that the amount of recycling is increasing. Maybe it doesn’t matter. Answer choice “C” is out.

Quote:
(E) The total quantity of refuse collected by Shelbyville city service's this year will be no greater than that collected last year.

Answer choice “E” is very similar in nature to answer choice “C”. The plan is to remove “recycling ENOUGH” recycling that the number of truckloads to be incinerated is half of last year’s number. Thus, even if answer choice “E” were false, it would still be possible to remove “recycling ENOUGH” recycling. It could still be possible to have the total amount of refuse go up and still remove “recycling ENOUGH” recycling. We don’t need answer choice “E” for the plan to still function. Get rid of “E”.

Quote:
(D) The refuse incinerated this year will generate no more residual ash per truckload incinerated than did the refuse incinerated last year.

However, answer choice “D” is critical and focuses on the necessary logical gap. Remember, our gap is: “Does half of the truckloads necessarily lead to half the ash?” Answer choice “D” talks about the ash per truckload. If each truckload generated more ash, then we wouldn’t see a commensurate reduction in ash. By saying that each truckload doesn’t generate more ash than previous years, if we can reduce the amount of truckloads by half, we are reducing the amount of ash by at least one half. Answer choice “D” is it.

Now, let’s look back at this problem from the perspective of strategy. This problem can teach us several patterns seen throughout the GMAT. First, when a question asks you for additional information that is "required" for an argument to work, focus EXACTLY on what the problem is asking. Many people miss Critical Reasoning questions because they rush too quickly through the interpretation of the question and miss crucial leverage words. Remember that "required" information has a pretty high standard: you must look for information that is crucial for an argument to even function, not just for information that makes the argument sound better. Focusing on the exact logical gap keeps us from falling for distracting traps and detours. And that is how you think like the GMAT.
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Re: Last year all refuse collected by Shelbyville city services was incine  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Dec 2018, 04:40
How come THE NEGATION test doesn't work for Option D in this question. Isn't it necessary to negate an assumption and it destroys the argument?
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Re: Last year all refuse collected by Shelbyville city services was incine  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Feb 2019, 02:14
B can be eliminated right away. The cost of the program is irrelevant, we are talking about the amount of ash produced and the truckloads of trash collected. C can also be eliminated for irrelevancy. It doesn’t actually matter how much recyclable material is collected or in what proportion to the rest of the trash, we know that the number of truckloads being sent for incineration is going to be less than half in every circumstance. E is similarly irrelevant, it doesn’t matter how much refuse is collected, it has been definitively stated that Shelbyville will manage to cut the number of trucks down to half. A is a bit different but still unneeded information. Whether or not any of the recyclables end up going for incineration does not change the fact that the number of truckloads will be cut in half. D is the correct answer, once we know that the amount of trash going into the incinerator will be halved we still need to be sure that the same amount of trash burned will produce the same amount of ash. Of course, PoE also shows us that D is right.
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Re: Last year all refuse collected by Shelbyville city services was incine  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Feb 2019, 16:21
I'm still confused as to why the answer is not A. If any of the recycled products are incinerated, then this affects the total amount of residual ash which counteracts the intention of halving the amount of refuse to be incinerated does it not?
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Re: Last year all refuse collected by Shelbyville city services was incine  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Feb 2019, 20:59
maitealina wrote:
I'm still confused as to why the answer is not A. If any of the recycled products are incinerated, then this affects the total amount of residual ash which counteracts the intention of halving the amount of refuse to be incinerated does it not?

Your reasoning that, if any of the products separated for recycling are somehow incinerated rather than recycled, the city won't achieve its goal makes sense. However, (A) is not about products separated for recycling. (A)is about products that COULD BE separated but are not.

The passage says, "This year city services will separate for recycling enough refuse to reduce the number of truckloads of refuse to be incinerated to half of last year's number."

In the process of separating "enough refuse to reduce the number of truckloads ... to half of last year's number" the city may not separate all materials that could have been recycled, and so, some materials that could have been separated for recycling may be incinerated. All the same, as long as the city separates enough to reduce the number of truckloads by half, the city can meet its goal.

So, the success of the plan does not depend on what (A) says.

In Critical Reasoning, any word or detail can make a difference. In this case, the key detail that you have to notice in order to eliminate (A) is that (A) is not about material that has been separated but rather about material that "could" be separated.
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Re: Last year all refuse collected by Shelbyville city services was incine  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Feb 2019, 22:32
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thank you so much for your response. it was very helpful!
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Re: Last year all refuse collected by Shelbyville city services was incine   [#permalink] 25 Feb 2019, 22:32
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