Solid waste management is an integral component of civil infrastructure that must be addressed by virtually every municipality. Solid waste management is a highly visible and high-impact target for enhancing environmental sustainability. Appropriate selection of waste processing technologies and efficient waste management strategies can cost-effectively minimize environmental impacts, particularly through energy generation and materials recovery. Specific issues include cost, waste diversion programs, regulatory compliance, energy recovery, landfill capacity, and public opinion.
This course will cover all aspects of municipal solid waste management including refuse generation, source reduction, collection, transport, recycling and resource recovery, burial in landfills, biological treatment, and combustion. The environmental and economic advantages and disadvantages of each process will be discussed. Regulations and policy relevant to municipal solid waste will also be presented and analyzed. Students are expected to integrate economic, environmental, regulatory, policy, and technical considerations into the development of engineering designs of solid waste processes and systems. The course will emphasize both engineering design and policy alternatives.