Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Marty E. Tittlebaum


A practical methodology has been developed to analyze the cost of integrated solid waste management, which is defined as the selection and application of suitable techniques, technologies and management programs to achieve specific waste management objectives and goals, using some combination of recycling, composting, transfer to remote disposal, waste-to-energy, and landfills. The cost of both integrated and non-integrated solid waste management systems can be accurately analyzed by the methodology. Regional waste management scenarios can also be evaluated and the resulting cost estimates compared to the cost of current local waste management. A computer model has been written to execute the analysis, making sensitivity analysis of cost estimates possible. While the model is designed to incorporate all available data on local waste characteristics and management cost, default values based upon national and regional data are included throughout the program. A new extension of the shift-share technique has been developed to more accurately estimate certain parameters such as waste generation rates and composition in terms of both weight and volume. Interpretation of the cost analysis is accomplished by use of the discounting function, amortization of capital cost, and generally accepted accounting principles to rationalize the results. Metropolitan New Orleans was chosen as a study area in which to test the methodology. It was concluded from the test results that the shift-share analysis of waste generation could be used to generate more accurate predictions of future waste generation and composition. The method of financial analysis gave an accurate comparison of the cost of local versus regional waste management. Based upon the local cost assumptions for this study area, it was concluded that waste management by landfill would result in the lowest cost and that regionalization would only marginally reduce the total cost. While this method was tested using a specific study area, it is applicable to any area or region in the United States.