Spatial Decision Support Systems for Locating Waste Landfills

Olayinka Waziri Otun


The decision process to locate an undesirable facility like a waste landfill usually involves many stakeholders and many location criteria. The views of the stakeholders on the importance of the criteria often differ.  Such a location problem is termed ‘a complex spatial problem’ and is solved by spatial multi-criteria based approaches. The objective of this paper is to provide a spatial decision support system (SDSS) that integrates multi-criteria and location-allocation (L-A) models to support the decision process of locating a waste landfill.  The SDSS was applied to find a suitable location for a landfill in Ijebu-Ode, a medium sized city in Nigeria. The data input into the multi-criteria analysis model of the SDSS include three town planning regulatory constraint maps and four environmental factor maps. Data input into the L-A model include the location and amount of waste generated at nineteen waste collection points in the study area. Data on the road network was used to determine movements between the waste collection points and the landfill. To determine the most suitable area for the landfill, the factor maps were weighted by the stakeholders’ preferences and combined with the constraint maps to eliminate areas that cannot be used for the landfill. The result of the map combination and weighted overlay procedure, resulted into twenty seven environmentally suitable areas. To find the most efficient of the twenty seven suitable locations, the L-A model was applied. The chosen facility location is the most efficient for the waste management system in terms of transportation cost. The usefulness of SDSSs as a decision support tool in solving complex spatial problem has been demonstrated in this paper. Improvements in available data and existing GIS can encourage similar systems to be designed and used by decision makers, particularly in developing countries.

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