Municipal Solid Waste Suitable Disposal Site Selection, Case Study, Wolkite Town, Ethiopia
Yenenesh Hailu*, Terefe Hanchiso and Abreham Bereta
Department of Natural Resources Management, Wolkite University, Ethiopia
Submission: July 10, 2019; Published: July 30, 2019
*Corresponding author: Yenenesh Hailu, Department of Natural Resources Management, Wolkite University, Ethiopia
How to cite this article: Yenenesh Hailu, Terefe Hanchiso, Abreham Bereta. Municipal Solid Waste Suitable Disposal Site Selection, Case Study, Wolkite Town, Ethiopia. Int J Environ Sci Nat Res. 2019; 20(4): 556044. DOI:10.19080/IJESNR.2019.20.556044
Solid waste disposal area is a matter of public health concern. selection of an appropriate site would minimize environmental impact and forms a sound basis solid waste management, this study conducted with the aim of locating suitable land fill site for the case wolkite town, thus in order to Locating new solid waste landfill area multiple aspects, such as land use/land cover, soil and slope were used as factors. Moreover, proximity from surface water such as: rivers/streams, groundwater supply well point, road, public facility such as: schools, health centers, administrative offices, churches, mosques, other built up areas, and cultural sites were considered as landfill sitting constrains, data analysis were conducted through GIS software finally candidate land fill site were identified ,thus the municipality recommended to use the indicated land fill site rather than the former unsuitable land fill.
A landfill is a method of solid waste disposal that functions without creating hazard to public health or safety. Land filling is necessary for municipal solid waste disposal, but every landfill has its own finite capacity. The most common approach to extending the life of landfills is to introduce recycling, composting, and incineration into the solid waste disposal system .
In most cities and towns of developing world, inappropriate handling and disposal of municipal solid waste is the most visible cause of environmental degradation, i.e., air pollution, soil contamination, surface and ground water pollution, etc., resulted from improper disposal of municipal solid wastes .
Shortage of land for waste disposal and inappropriate landfill site is one of the biggest problems in most of large urban areas in the world which has its negative impact on human, and environment .
A waste disposal area is a matter of public health concern. Considering the high rate of urbanization, one should take the long-term land use planning of suburbs into consideration to locate the disposal area. Moreover, the present and future of garbage trucks traffic should be considered. There are many factors which should be considered in locating a waste disposal area. Obviously, the type of ground selected for this purpose directly affects the design, usage and the tools needed for the effective operation .
These factors mainly consist of: public health, extend and topography of the area, hydrology, geology drainage system and weather of the area, the availability of landfills in the area to cover the wastes, proximity to the residential and industrial areas, the distance to and from the city, the weather of the area, the drainage system of the area, cost and the future land use of the area .
Selection of an appropriate site would minimize environmental impact and forms a sound basis for its further management . However, this is a tedious, costly and difficult task requiring simultaneous contemplation of several criteria. Identification of the suitability of potential landfill sites, and modifications to existing facilities, requires a comprehensive assessment of site conditions and potential impacts on the environment. This includes consideration of topography, surface water, drainage, hydrogeology (groundwater), geology; climate (including air quality and odor modeling) and flora and fauna, access and distance from the community the landfill will service.
The amount of waste that ever reaches dumps sites or landfills in Ethiopia is small fraction. a number of studies have shown that only 43% of waste is collected in the country are properly collected and disposed in open landfills. The remaining waste is indiscriminately disposed in drainage lines, open spaces, street sides or is informally burned.
Wolkite is one of the swiftly urbanizing centers but has been tackled with an increasingly growing urban waste generation and management problem. There are many wastes that dispose
from different source and the way of management of those solid
waste is poor, the town has one major land fill site which is 12km
far from the town, the land fill site found at Gasore kebele.
In addition, the solid waste disposal practice using solid
waste container is not good, moreover there is disposal of waste
in drainage lines, open spaces, street sides or is informally
burned are common the many are area of wolkit town. Thus,
objective of this study to identify environmentally socially and
economically friendly candidate land fill site in wolkite town.
this study, the environmental, social and economic factors
or constraints to be considered for sitting landfill site were
considered and respective data was obtained from different
primary and secondary sources.
Water points, river, roads, administrative offices, water
facilities, public service centers, land use/land cover, Digital
Elevation Model (DEM), soil and administrative boundary
datasets of the municipality is obtained from Ethiopian Mapping
Agency and overlaid with other data of the municipality. The DEM
was used to derive slope and drainage pattern of the municipality.
Master plan of the municipality is obtained in hardcopy and
digitized and geo-referenced in Arc GIS environment.
Data preprocessing for coordinate and projection conversion
was performed with QGIS and ArcGIS software. Moreover,
Observation is made to identify the current open landfill site of
the municipality. Data such as location, altitude, ground control
points and distance from main features as well as picture was
captured from open landfill site.
Solid waste landfill site selection is the complex and
expensive process that requires many conflicting criteria. In
this research land use/land cover, soil and slope were used as
factors. Moreover, proximity from surface water such as: rivers/
streams, groundwater supply well point, road, public facility
such as: schools, health centers, administrative offices, churches,
mosques, other built up areas, and cultural sites were considered
as landfill sitting constrains.
All the factors and constrains were internally classified in to
five classes (very high, high, moderate, low and very low) with
values ranging from 1 to 5, where value of 5 denotes the most
suitable and value 1 denotes the least suitable for all factors
and constrains considered. Weights for each class of criteria
were derived in IDRISI and ILWIS software environment using
AHP methods. The method uses the expert preferences for
comparing the classes and prepare matrix table. Accordingly,
weight was derived for each class giving total sum of 1 (Table 1).
As all factors considered (except proximity from surface water
and land use/land cover) were reclassified in to five classes of
very high, high, moderate, low and very low with values ranging
from 5 to 1 respectively. The weight derived here was used for all
Models used for data processing, management and analysis
were built to convert, integrate, analyze and visualize data in
ArcGIS model builder environment (Figure 1).
Locating new landfill area requires multiple aspects, data,
analysis and issues. These factors mainly consist of: public
health issues, environmental aspects, topography of the area,
hydrology, geology, drainage system and weather of the area, the
availability of landfills in the area to cover the wastes, proximity
to the residential and industrial areas, the distance to and from
the city, drainage system, cost and current/future land use of the
It also requires a comprehensive assessment of site
conditions and potential impacts on the environment. This
includes consideration of topography, surface water, drainage,
hydrogeology (groundwater), geology, air quality and odor
modeling and flora and fauna, access and distance from the
Slope is one of the determining topographic factors in landfill
site selection. Generally, foot slope and gentle slope is suitable
for locating landfill site while gentle slope is more suitable than
other slope classes for landfill site selection. In this research,
slope with 0-2% is considered as low, 2-8% is very high, 8-15%
is high, 15-30% moderate and >30 % very low suitability.
The middle part of municipality is not suitable for landfill
site selection because sloping to strongly sloping topography
is more saturated in this region than other parts. Whereas: the
northern and southern tips of municipality have suitable area
for landfill site selection in terms of slope criteria./p>
Landfill area should not be located on a hill with an unstable
slope and land slide areas. Areas located on the gently sloping are
preferred than level ground and highly sloping areas as stated in
 because of highly sloping areas could cause a fatal avalanche
especially when there is rain or high-water seepage. Moreover,
steep slopes can pose difficulty in construction or leveling work,
which can be additional cost; it can also reduce the stability of
the side slopes and increase risk of landslides.
Moreover, flat topography is not recommended for landfill
due to water logging problem. Suitable slope for landfill site
is gentle slope that enables easier storm water and leachate
control operations and movement of vehicles to and from the
site (Figure 2).
Various literatures used different slope values for landfill site
selection  set areas with slope <15-20% as the best site for
landfill, while  describe slope <12% as the best site and slope
>12% unsuitable for landfill. Moreover, ) state that areas with
slope <20% is optimum site for landfills. In this research, slope
with 0-2% is considered as low, 2-8% is very high, 8-15% is high,
15-30% moderate and >30% very low suitability (Figure 3).
Distance from settlement
Landfill site is not recommended in proximity to settlement
areas. The built-up areas that include commercial areas,
governmental and private institutions, schools, health centers,
religious institutions, educational institutions, residences and
other social services are considered as settlement areas in this
study. Landfill site is usually recommended to be one kilometer
far from settlement areas. [1,6-10], set distance from settlements
to be 3000m, 500-2000m, 3000m multi-ring buffers.
Wolkite town is covered by built up area. Due to fast
expansion of urban settlement, built up area is expanding every
Landfills should not be placed too close to high-density urban
areas in order to mitigate conflicts relating to the Not in My Back-
Yard syndrome (NIMBY). This guard against health problems,
noise complaints, odour complaints, decreased property values
and mischief due to scavenging animals . He has stated
landfills should be prohibited within 3000 meters from village
settlements. In this study, multi ring buffer of 300m, 300-500m,
500-1000m, 1000-1500m and >1500m buffer distance was
created to classify areas.
Landfill site should not be placed near to settlement areas. If
waste landfill site is located near to settlements different health
problems, bad smell or odor, noise, decreased property values
and scavenging animal complaints may arise. Air pollution is one
of the big threats to public health if the landfill is located near to
human settlements. In this study, multi ring buffer of 300m, 300-
500m, 500-1000m, 1000-1500m and >1500m buffer distance
was created to classify areas according to their suitability to
locating new solid waste landfill site. Accordingly, areas nearer
than 1000m are considered as unsuitable while areas far away
by more than 1000m distance area considered as suitable
The current and future use of land is one of important
criteria used while selecting landfill site. Usually, land with less
socio-economic, environmental and political value or cost is
recommended as disposal site. As it is a matter of public health
concern, considering the high rate of urbanization, one should take the long-term land use planning of land into consideration
to locate the disposal area. Moreover, the present and future of
garbage trucks traffic should be considered .
Fast urbanization is evidenced from different corners of the
municipality, even though the built-up area is saturated on the
northern and southern corners of the municipality on the current
scenario, due to expansion of public institutions and industry
areas, the municipality has high potential for development. But,
the future development plan of the town is not developed in
usable way in the current research, therefore, the future land use
is considered as the current. Obviously, the built-up area sprout
is very fast and larger than the one displayed over here due to
the very recent land use/ land cover dynamics.
The land use/ land cover was identified to be bare land,
cereals farm, closed shrub land, enset and associated plantation,
eucalyptus plantation, gallery forest, grass land, open shrub land,
and settlement areas. The land uses identified as suitable for
landfill site selection in this study are generally assumed to be
of low value lands and less economically important than the site.
Based on literatures [6,12] and local, national and international
standards, bare land is considered most suitable for landfill site
than other land uses in this study. Grass land, open shrub land
and closed shrub land are rated as moderately suitable, suitable
and less suitable.
However, overall the municipality has very limited land size
with bare land, grassland, closed shrub land and open shrub
land which are considered as suitable for waste disposal site
selection. Hence, additional land uses such as Overall, suitable
land for landfill site that is fragmented and with small area size
is found in municipality as can be seen in Figure 5, 6 & 7.
Distance from main road
Roads are important features while locating landfill site. It
should not be located very near to main road where the general
public move due to public health problem as landfill can have
harmful effect to health. Moreover, placing landfill site very far
from road network is also not advised because it can hamper
transportation and access to the site . set 75m buffer while 
uses 50-100m buffer from road as a minimum distance within
which landfill should not be located. However, 100m buffer
distance is mentioned as the safest distance in [4,7,8,13,14]. This
study used buffer distances of 100m, 100-500m, 500-1000m,
1000-1500m and >1500m radiuses to classify into suitability
classes (Figure 8).
Proximity to surface water
According to  in towns of developing world, improper
disposal of municipal waste is the most common cause of environmental degradation, i.e., air pollution, soil contamination,
surface and ground water pollution. Open dumps pollute surface
and ground water, soil and the natural environment.
Proximity of a landfill to streams/ rivers, groundwater well
water points is an important environmental criterion in the
landfill site selection so that water points may be protected from
the runoff and leaching of the landfill. Hence, waste disposal
should be placed away from water points. Otherwise, it can have
irretrievable human and environmental effects (Figure 9).
Different literatures and standards were used to reclassify
the rating of classes for each criterion/ constraint considered for
selection of landfill site.
Multi-ring buffer zone of 50 m, 500-1000m, 700m was
used for water points in [1,6,11] to classify unsuitable site from
suitable.  it is stated that a landfill must not be located within
100m of any surface streams, lakes, rivers or wetlands according
to riparian reserve guidelines produced by the Drainage and
Irrigation Department, Sabah, Iran.
In this study, multi ring buffer zones of 100m, 500-1000m
and >1000m buffers were set to identify suitable site with
respect to water point constraint. Areas within 100m radius
of the water points were considered as very less suitable or
unsuitable while areas away from 1000m radius are very highly
suitable for landfill site selection.
AHP weight derivation
Multi-criteria Evaluation (MCE) methodology is used for
assigning criteria weights for each factor maps. When it comes to
site selection problems or suitability models, the spatial Multi-
Criteria Analysis (Weighted Overlay) is the most commonly
used method. Different weights were given in preference of
each factor relative to other factor. Literatures propose several
criterion-weighting procedures based on the judgments of
decision makers in the multi-criteria decision [15-18].
Accordingly, one of the most promising is pair-wise
comparison developed in context of a decision-making process
is known as the AHP . The IDRISI weight module utilizes the
pair-wise comparison technique to help develop a set of factor
weights that will sum to 1.0. More weight was given
This research used spatial multi-criteria evaluation
approach based on Geographic Information System (GIS)
analysis, map and priority in order to locate best sites for solid
waste disposal in wokite town Ethiopia. GIS and application
of multi-criteria analysis can produce suitable sites for solid
wastes disposal which is a vital component in solid wastes
management. Importantly, the results from this study identified
three potential sites suitable for solid wastes disposal, and could
be useful for the municipality looking for appropriate sites for
the disposal of solid wastes generated within the wolkite, thus
the municipality should use the suggested site for solid waste
landfill site and change the former one.
Akbari V (2011) Landfill Site Selection by combining GIS and fuzzy Multi Criteria Decision Analysis a case study Bandar Abbas, Journal of Department of Surveying and Geomatics Engineering, University of Tehran, Iran.