Vijay Kakara

Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Sahadat Hossain

Second Advisor

Xinbao Yu

Third Advisor

L. Melanie Sattler


Historically landfills have been seen as the ultimate solution for storing waste at minimum cost. But, now it is a well-known fact that these deposits have numerous implications such as long term methane emissions, local pollution and many space-related issues etc. In most parts of the world, however, landfilling is the most common method to dispose waste. Even developed countries with recycling and waste treatment facilities have been no exception in landfilling. Therefore over the years, several old and operating landfills have been accumulated with an enormous amount of obsolete materials and products. To address such issues related to waste deposits, landfill mining has been proclaimed as an innovative strategy. Although landfill mining is a solution for a number of problems, it creates new waste by extracting waste that was previously buried. So it is important to find suitable treatment and utilization routes for different types of materials considering the economic aspects and the minimization of the re-landfilled fraction of the waste. This study focuses on the characterization and valorization potential of waste from a prospective landfill mining site. According to the USEPA’s (United State Environmental Protection Agency) waste management hierarchy, energy recovery is better preferred than disposal into landfills. So energy potential was calculated from the mined waste and compared to the previous studies to check the feasibility of incineration. The present study was conducted by using the municipal solid waste (MSW) samples collected from the City of Irving landfill, Texas. Mined waste was collected from three different closed cells from the City of Irving landfill, and the composition was determined. It was observed that fine and degraded portion of the mined waste made up to 60%. The calorific value of the mined waste was investigated with an oxygen bomb calorimeter. For the analysis, the major contributors for energy, that are paper, plastic, textile and wood were considered. The average calorific value of the mined waste was found to be 3365.16 Btu/lb which is above the minimum calorific value (3010 Btu/lb) specified according to the feasibility study conducted by the World Bank. Also, different parameters like moisture, volatile solids, age of waste were analyzed to understand the factors that affect the energy of mined waste. The fine fraction had a negative effect on the calorific value. Overall, the study enhances the understanding of the physical characteristics and energy potential of landfilled mined waste. Major conclusions are that there is a high potential for using mined waste to produce energy and the remaining waste, which is majorly fines can be used as a cover material for landfills. Therefore, reclamation operation in this landfill can be proved to have an evident advantage.


Landfill mining, Energy potential


Civil and Environmental Engineering | Civil Engineering | Engineering


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington