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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

CIVE5040M Solid Waste Management

15 creditsClass Size: 50

Module manager: Dr. C. Velis

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is mutually exclusive with

CIVE5557MSolid Waste Management

This module is not approved as an Elective


On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- understand the characteristics of municipal solid waste arising and key challenges relating to at local and global scale;
- understand the science and engineering aspects of disposal (landfill) and processing: mechanical-biological treatment (MBT) plants, energy from waste (EfW: combustion); and mechanical recycling plants (MRF).
- understand the specific challenges for SWM relating to developing and low income countries;
- Understand the challenges of poorly managed waste (plastics pollution, marine litter, impact of drainage and sanitation systems)
- understand the basic principles on how to obtain (sampling) and analyse (statistics) waste-related information;
- Understand how to produce a waste management strategy for a local authority.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students will have:

1. Comprehensive understanding and critical awareness of the science and engineering underpinning environmental engineering solutions to solid waste management problems.
2. Critical awareness of the municipal solid waste management current challenges, (e.g. recycling and plastics pollution) and possible engineering solutions at local and global scale, with emphasis on developing countries and global comparisons (cities performance benchmarking).
3. Awareness of how solid waste management solutions are promoting overall sustainability at systems level and application of quantification methods (e.g. material flow analysis principles).
4. Ability to generate solid waste management strategic plans al local authority level, taking into account wider socioeconomic considerations.

Skills outcomes
Upon successful completion of the module, students would benefit from gaining valuable transferable skills such as: problem solving, criticial thinking, independent working, communication skills, team working, applying to case studies, information access, technology solutions, and systems evaluation.


- The current generation rates for Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) collection and potential recycling options, in developed and low income countries;
- The characteristics of the major waste streams (e.g. calorific waste, biogenic compost, Biodegradability, heavy metals, chlorine content) and how this impacts on potential management options;
- Landfill - policy, legislation and regulation, site selection criteria, design and operation;
- Mechanical-biological treatment (MBT) - technologies covered will include composting and buodrying - design and optimisation;
- Materials recovery faciltities (MRF) - design and optimisation;
- Thermal treatment (EFW) - technologies covered will include combustion EfW plants design and operation principles;
- Main waste disposal outputs: solid-recovered fuels (SRF), recyclates, Compost;
- Sampling plans
- Statistical analysis of data
- Material Flow Analysis, Wasteaware Cities Benchmark Indicators.
- Integrated sustainable waste management

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Interactive Lecture281.0028.00
Private study hours107.50
Total Contact hours42.50
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

107.5 hours extended reading, problem solving and exam preparation

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

The module will be undertaken over 4 weeks and during that time there will be regular opportunities for students to solve exercises and discuss any general issues relating to the module material. The delivery mode is very interactive with the students anticipated to answer questions so that they can underhand and self-assess their performance in reaching the learning outcomes. A mock mini-MCQ (formative) session will be made available before the exam.

Methods of assessment

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment5 hr 00 mins100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 28/04/2023 14:52:55


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