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Solid Waste Management: Comparison Of Methods

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.499.1 - 3.499.11



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Bahador Ghahramani

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3151


Bahador Ghahramani, Ph.D., P.E., CPE

Engineering Management Department School of Engineering University of Missouri - Rolla Rolla, Missouri 65401-0249 (USA) Tel: (573) 341-6057 Fax: (573) 341-6567


This paper analyzes the adverse impact of solid waste disposal on the environment using the relatively new “Tragedy of the Commons” paradigm. The “Tragedy of the Commons” paradigm is rapidly becoming popular as scientists and environmentalists predict that natural resources will soon become scarce. The tragedy of the commons is based on the assumption that an environment that permits perfect and unrestricted freedom of action in activities that are adversely impacted common well-fare, well-being and properties was eventually doomed to failure. In addition, we are exponentially polluting the environment with tons of solid waste. Solid waste disposal is destined to be one of the critical issues in the twenty-first century and will soon be on the forefront of our global agenda. The environmental scientists and other concerned groups are gaining strength and publicity -- they are becoming more vigilant in addressing this highly sensitive issue. The issue at hand is the proper disposal of solid waste and the maximization of recycling to reduce the consumption rate of the world’s natural resources.


Municipal solid waste (MSW) is defined as waste from residential, commercial, institutional, and some industrial sources. While our population continues to grow, so does the total amount of MSW that we generate each year. In fact, the total MSW increased upwards of 250 percent in the past 35 years, from 88 million tons 1960 to over 210 million tons in 1995 that is discussed in Figure 1.

Ghahramani, B. (1998, June), Solid Waste Management: Comparison Of Methods Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/1-2--7413

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