APWA Book Review

The first edition of the Handbook of Solid Waste Management was an outgrowth of a two-day conference on integrated solid waste management in June 1989. At that time, solid waste was considered a national crisis because the number of available landfills was decreasing, there was a great deal of concern about the health risks associated with waste incineration, and there was growing opposition to siting new waste management facilities.

While there have been no revolutionary breakthroughs in waste management options, there has been a steady advance in the technologies necessary to handle solid waste materials safely and economically. Thus, the purpose of the second edition of this handbook is to bring the reader the tools necessary to plan and evaluate alternative solid waste management systems and/or programs.

George Tchobanoglous and Frank Kreith’s Handbook of Solid Waste Management, 2nd Edition has been revised to include: federal and state regulations, diverse methods of solid waste management (MSW), updated chapters on solid waste characteristics, recycling, landfilling, and an integrated approach to planning and design. There is also new material on optical separation techniques, weight-based collection systems, yard waste management, economies, collection cost and technologies, and safety and risk assessment. Focusing on the six primary functions of an integrated system—source reduction, toxicity reduction, recycling and reuse, composting, waste-to-energy combustion, and landfilling—the Handbook fully explores each technology and examines its problems, costs, and legal and social ramifications.

The Handbook’s first chapter provides background material on the issues and challenges involved in the management of MSW and provides a foundation for the information on specific technologies and management options presented in the subsequent chapters. Chapters 2 and 3 focus on federal and state legislation. Planning MSW programs and the characterization of the solid waste stream are addressed in Chapters 4 and 5, respectively. Methods for reducing both the amount and toxicity of solid waste are discussed in Chapter 6. Chapter 7 is a new chapter dealing with the collection and transport of solid waste. Chapters 8 and 9, which deal with recycling and markets for recycled products, have been revised extensively. Household hazardous waste is discussed in Chapter 10. Special wastes are considered in Chapter 11, with new sections on construction and demolition and electronics and computer wastes. Composting, incineration, and landfilling are documented in Chapters 12, 13 and 14, respectively. The final two chapters cover siting and cost estimating of MSW facilities.

In addition to updating all of the chapters, new material has been added on:

  • the characteristics of the solid waste stream as it exists now, and how it is likely to develop in the next 10 to 20 years;
  • the collection of solid waste;
  • the handling of construction and demolition wastes;
  • how a modern landfill should be built and managed; and
  • the cost of various waste management systems, so as to enable the reader to make reasonable estimates and comparisons of various waste management options.
Supplemented by revealing case studies and hundreds of how-to illustrations, photographs, and references, this is an indispensable working tool for engineers and public officials interested in planning, designing, constructing, or managing the most effective waste management facility possible.

For more information on purchasing this book and other American Public Works Association books, please visit the APWA Bookstore online at www.apwa.net or call the Member Services Hotline at 1-800-848-APWA, ext. 3560.