Performance-based landfill design: development of a design component selection matrix using GIS and system simulation models

Designing environmentally safe and economically feasible landfills can be a challenging task due to complex interactions that need to be taken into account between landfill size, waste and site characteristics. The main focus of this study is, by interfacing the geographic information systems (GIS) with system simulation models (SSM), to develop a methodology and a landfill design component selection matrix that can enable the determination of landfill design components providing the desired performance with minimal design details. In this paper, the conceptual framework and applications of the developed methodology demonstrating the selection of landfill design components that are suitable for the existing site conditions are presented. The conceptual model defines design variables, performance criteria and design components of a landfill. GIS and SSM are used to handle the site-specific data and to evaluate the landfill performance, respectively. Results indicate that the landfills having the same design characteristics show different performance under different site conditions; therefore, a landfill design that is technically and economically feasible should be selected on the basis of performance.