Solid waste management is an increasing problem

Solid waste management is an increasing problem, both because of rising waste generation and a declining supply of adequate disposal sites. To deal with the problem waste management methods aim at waste reduction and waste diversion, through increased recycling, composting, and incineration, and changes in consumer behavior. The project develops an integrated solid waste management (ISWM) model that extends existing models in several ways. First, it uses a more realistic formulation of cost functions allowing economies of scale in waste collection, facility development, and facility operation, but allowing diseconomies associated with separate collection of yard waste, recyclables and mixed waste. Second, it allows for the promotion of recycling and hence, the modification of consumer’s propensity to recycle, and it permits these policies to be applied in a spatially differentiated way. As an initial step, the project develops an analytical model that uses control theory to solve for optimal waste management policies. The system operates in a single waste collection area a university to be particular, has a single disposal site, and waste is either recycled or deposited at the landfill site. The model is solved for different assumptions about cost, including economies of scale.