Abstract of PhD Thesis

An objective comprehensive decision making approach for designing a land treatment strategy for municipal and other organic wastes

Mebrate Taffese Tanto, University College Dublin(2011)

The European Union’s Landfill Directive (1999/31/EC), requiring that biodegradable (organic) waste be diverted from landfill, challenges the way municipal solid wastes traditionally have been managed in Europe generally, and in Ireland, particularly. Organic wastes can be recycled through land. Ensuring the sustainability of this strategic direction requires a systematic decision making approach based on sound science. A technical assessment of the Irish land base capacity was made, and a cross-section of stakeholders was queried regarding attitudes to land application of wastes. A decision support system (DSS) was developed to identify optimal waste load distributions, as well as configure logistical designs to satisfy environmental and economic objectives, and stakeholder attitudes. In Ireland, soil phosphorus will limit the national land capacity for organic wastes to less than 70% of the municipal and industrial organic wastes anticipated. A “one-size-fits-all” approach is not optimal for establishing land as a waste management strategy in Ireland.