A decision support system for integrated solid waste management
Solid waste management planners are faced with a system that involves a variety of factors including financial costs, recycling rates, land use, labor needs, energy use, pollution generation, and equity in the number and demographics of people effected by a policy. In making decisions, the trade-offs among these factors are a central concern. This leads to a large amount of data and information that must be considered. Unfortunately, most municipal solid waste planners do not have the resources needed to analyze all of the information that is relevant to a proposed policy. In most cases, only the financial cost borne by the municipality is considered. Effects on air and water, and environmental equity are only considered when a crisis with the public develops, or when regulations are imposed. To assist in improving the solid waste decision making process, a decision support system (DSS) has been developed to address the multi-attribute, and geographical nature of solid waste systems. This is done by providing analytical tools for developing and evaluating materials management and disposal policies. The system can follow two different paths, depending on the decision maker's task. The first evaluates previously developed policies. The second assists in determining material flow and disposal policies by applying a set of optimization models corresponding to the planner's goals. The four available models minimize economic cost, energy, labor, or water use. The DSS includes expert systems and model management capabilities to supply, organize and analyze relevant data. Since this information can be distributed over a large geographic region, a GIS is included to help the planner understand how a particular policy may impact the public and environment. These tools are used to determine the magnitudes of resource needs and potential environmental impacts, and a multi-criteria decision making procedure is applied to assist in choosing an appropriate waste management program. The result of this research is an interactive, computerized tool which allows solid waste planners to consider more options more thoroughly, thus enabling them to improve upon, or at least understand, the status quo.
|Year of publication:||
|Authors:||MacDonald, Marianne Langrid|
|Type of publication:||Other|
Dissertations available from ProQuest
Saved in favorites
Similar items by subject
Find similar items by using search terms and synonyms from our Thesaurus for Economics (STW).