Wednesday, March 2, 7:00am - 8:00am
100 Nedderman Hall, UT Arlington campus


Making Landfills More Useful:
Giving Worth to Trash

Sahadat Hossain, Ph.D., P.E., Director
Melanie Sattler, Ph.D., P.E., Assoc. Director

Solid Waste Institute for Sustainability
University of Texas at Arlington

For centuries, mankind cast aside its solid waste items, usually by burning what was combustible or tossing what wasn't into ravines or waterways. As more advanced societies realized the relationship of disease and sanitation, different methods were used to treat or hide refuse. Landfills, covering trash with intricate layers of liners and soil, have been used for decades to dispose of waste and also protect groundwater. But are landfills the most beneficial way of disposing of our trash? UT Arlington civil engineers think not, proposing instead that refuse should be dug up to recycle it or convert it to energy through modern processes designed to boost methane production.

In this presentation, Drs. Hossain and Sattler describe their innovative landfill project to be conducted in association with the City of Denton. Using an existing closed landfill, the researchers will ascertain if materials buried there can be economically recycled, used for scrap or converted to energy as they degrade. This three-year project, with the goal reusing the space, will be the first in the nation as part of a sustainable waste management system.

Sahadat Hossain earned a bachelor's degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (Bombay), a master's degree in Geotechnical Engineering from the Asian Institute of Technology (Singapore) and a doctoral degree in Geo-Environmental Engineering from North Carolina State University (Raleigh). Melanie Sattler earned bachelor's degrees in Civil Engineering and Physics from Texas A&M University and master's and doctoral degrees in Environmental Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Both are registered professional engineers and have extensive industry experience outside of teaching.


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