Contribution 14

Submitted by: Dimitrios Zekkos, University of California at Berkeley, USA

Slide showing with annotated photographs the in situ measurement of Unit Weight of Municipal Solid Waste


Sample Description

(1) Course Name/Type: CE 176: Environmental Geotechnics, upper level elective course in a 4-year civil and environmental engineering curriculum

(2) Course Emphasis: solid waste management, landfills, remediation

(3) Descriptive Title of Sample: Slide showing with annotated photographs the in situ measurement of Unit Weight of Municipal Solid Waste

(4) Brief Teaching Note:

The Unit Weight of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) is a very important property because it is involved in most analyses performed for landfills, including landfill capacity and settlement (for a complete list of engineering properties and analyses see Table 6.1 in Qian et al., 2002). Although the unit weight is not typically a parameter we worry about too much in soil mechanics and one can estimate it relatively reliably, this is not the case for the MSW unit weight, which can vary by a factor of 3 (see scatter of unit weight values in Zekkos et al., 2006, Figure 2). Conducting large-scale unit weight measurements is the most reliable way to derive a site-specific unit weight. As described in Zekkos et al. (2006), this approach gives the best results because it is large-size, in-situ and can capture the potential variation of unit weight with depth.

Once the unit weight close to the surface is measured with a large-scale test, the unit weight profile with depth can be estimated using the model developed by Zekkos et al. (2006), which is informed by actual measurements of unit weight with depth (Fig. 3).

5) References: Qian, X., Koerner, R.M. & Gray, D.H. (2002). Geotechnical Aspects of Landfill Design and Construction, Prentice Hall.

Zekkos, D., Bray, J. D., Kavazanjian Jr, E., Matasovic, N., Rathje, E. M., Riemer, M. F. & Stokoe, K. H. (2006). Unit weight of municipal solid waste. Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 132(10), 1250-1261.


Download Sample

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.