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Optimizing landfill site selection by using land classification maps

Eskandari, M., Homaee, M., Mahmoodi, S., Pazira, E., Van Genuchten, M. Th.
Environmental science and pollution research international 2015 v.22 no.10 pp. 7754-7765
databases, irrigation, land classification, land evaluation, land productivity, landfills, municipal solid waste, stakeholders, Iran
Municipal solid waste disposal is a major environmental concern throughout the world. Proper landfill siting involves many environmental, economic, technical, and sociocultural challenges. In this study, a new quantitative method for landfill siting that reduces the number of evaluation criteria, simplifies siting procedures, and enhances the utility of available land evaluation maps was proposed. The method is demonstrated by selecting a suitable landfill site near the city of Marvdasht in Iran. The approach involves two separate stages. First, necessary criteria for preliminary landfill siting using four constraints and eight factors were obtained from a land classification map initially prepared for irrigation purposes. Thereafter, the criteria were standardized using a rating approach and then weighted to obtain a suitability map for landfill siting, with ratings in a 0–1 domain and divided into five suitability classes. Results were almost identical to those obtained with a more traditional environmental landfill siting approach. Because of far fewer evaluation criteria, the proposed weighting method was much easier to implement while producing a more convincing database for landfill siting. The classification map also considered land productivity. In the second stage, the six best alternative sites were evaluated for final landfill siting using four additional criteria. Sensitivity analyses were furthermore conducted to assess the stability of the obtained ranking. Results indicate that the method provides a precise siting procedure that should convince all pertinent stakeholders.