Document Type


Date of Award

Fall 10-31-1996

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Engineering - (M.S.)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Raj P. Khera

Second Advisor

Taha F. Marhaba

Third Advisor

Sudhi Mukherjee


The most widely used method for the final disposal of solid waste is landfilling, which is also economical and simpler than most other disposal systems. Long term settlement in a landfill occurs mainly due to biodegradation of the refuse which is a very slow microbiological process. However, if the rate of biodegradation is enhanced, it may be possible to achieve early stabilization, faster settlement, consequently more capacity of the landfill to handle waste.

The objective of this research is to study the effects of enhanced biodegradation on settlement and to compare these results to other models used for predicting landfill settlement. To accomplish this, a laboratory scale confinement cell was set up using a typical municipal solid waste to study settlement and biodegradation. Results from this study indicate that secondary settlement is linear with respect to logarithm of time and that biodegradation does not have any effect on settlement over a short duration of time, but is predominant over extended periods.



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