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Internet-based Fuzzy Multicriteria Decision Support System for Planning Integrated Solid Waste Management

Y. Zeng1* and K. M. Trauth2

  1. Office of Social and Economic Data Analysis, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
  2. Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO 65211, USA

*Corresponding author. Email:


Solid waste management planning involves selecting a best combination of solid waste management options. The decision involves the perceptions and preferences of different groups of people and multiple, sometimes conflicting, project objectives that are expressed in subjective terms. As reported in this paper, these issues were addressed by developing a fuzzy multicriteria decision support system. An internet-based user-interactive decision-support application was developed based on fuzzy logic. Community specific data are stored in a centralized database and are accessible to others through a web browser. The decision support system is a tool for decision makers and environmental professionals to use in conducting local and regional integrated solid waste management planning. A case study was conducted to illustrate the application of the models. The case study evaluated eight alternatives for managing the waste stream entering the City of Columbia Sanitary Landfill and utilized waste characterization data, other solid waste related data from the City of Columbia and the open literature, as well as preferences assigned by the researchers. The results showed that an assigned Alternative 4, which is a combination of Material Recovery Facility (MRF) and Refuse-Derived Fuel Facility (RDF) could be distinguished as the alternative that best met the established criteria. The sensitivity analysis showed that the fuzzy ranking results were not sufficiently sensitive to the different aggregation operators for combining the fuzzy importance factors. The comparison of different composition operators showed that the sum-product composition operator allows greater differentiation in the solid waste management context.

Keywords: Fuzzy set theory, internet-based system, multicriteria decision support system, solid waste management planning

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