The goal of this research is to model the effect of greenhouse gas mitigation policies on management of municipal solid waste (MSW) and to determine the MSW management practices that reduce greenhouse gases most cost-effectively without increasing other environmental impacts. In the US, solid waste management represents 13% of non-energy related greenhouse gas emissions and landfills are the second largest source of anthropogenic methane. The research approach integrates cost aspects of solid waste management, environmental life-cycle impacts of solid waste management, and greenhouse gas mitigation policies. This problem is complex, and the approach is a comprehensive blending of the science and engineering of solid waste management and the economics of GHG mitigation policies. Results will have broader impact through the release of the models via the World Wide Web.
Bruce K. Hamilton 6/28/10