Determination of Optimal Sites for Municipal Solid Waste-to-Value-Added Facilities for Canada through Geographical Information System Modelling

  • Author / Creator
    Islam, Mohammad Shafiqul
  • Sustainable management of municipal solid waste (MSW) is one of the biggest challenges faced by economies worldwide. Rising waste generation rates, limited land resources, and environmental and public health issues raised by conventional land disposal have shifted the focus of decision-makers towards alternative treatment and disposal techniques. Energy and material recovery from MSW have hence recently emerged as a necessary element of integrated solid waste management in Canada. The growing market for sustainable energy has further increased the prominence of waste-to-value-added (W2VA) technologies in sustainable waste management. The quantification of feedstock potential and identification of optimal locations, while ensuring compliance with environmental, social, and economic factors, are the key issues in setting up any sustainable W2VA facility. In the existing waste transportation framework, MSW is transferred from municipalities to existing transfer stations (TSs) for segregation of material and energy recovery operations and finally remaining portion is disposed of at different landfills.

    This study focuses on the quantification of the MSW potential, analyzes geographical point source locations for the distributed MSW feedstock, determines the optimal locations for W2VA facilities across Canada, and prioritizes these sites. A quantification model was developed based on the Thiessen polygon approach to calculate MSW potential at each TS. In 2016, the annual MSW potential in western Canada (includes British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba) and eastern Canada (includes Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island) were around 8.7 and 16.2 million wet tonnes that have 15% and 50% moisture content, on average, for thermal and biodegradable portion, respectively . In order to minimize adverse environmental, economic, and social impacts and ensure the shortest possible waste transportation distance from TSs to W2VA facilities, careful identification of optimal locations for W2VA facilities is essential. A four-stage decision-making model comprising exclusion analysis, preferential analysis, suitability analysis, and network analysis was developed to determine ten and fifteen optimal sites for W2VA facilities in western Canada and eastern Canada, respectively. Analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and fuzzy logic were used with geographic information systems (GISs) in an integrated decision-making network to prioritize the preference factors in the determination of a land suitability map (LSM). Subsequently, candidate sites identified from the LSM were used in a network analysis with road and rail network to select and prioritize optimal sites based on the shortest between the facility and existing TSs.

    The method outlined in this study was used to determine optimal sites for W2VA facilities in compliance with social, environmental, and economic factors. The adaptability of the applied decision-making model, the competency of the developed LSM, and the flexibility of the network analysis provide a competent supporting tool for the authorities in siting optimal locations of W2VA facilities and improving their sustainability.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2020
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.