Shear strength of municipal solid waste

Jonathan D. Bray, Dimitrios Zekkos, Edward Kavazanjian, George A. Athanasopoulos, Michael F. Riemer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

98 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A comprehensive large-scale laboratory testing program using direct shear (DS), triaxial (TX), and simple shear tests was performed on municipal solid waste (MSW) retrieved from a landfill in the San Francisco Bay area to develop insights about and a framework for interpretation of the shear strength of MSW. Stability analyses of MSW landfills require characterization of the shear strength of MSW. Although MSW is variable and a difficult material to test, its shear strength can be evaluated rationally to develop reasonable estimates. The effects of waste composition, fibrous particle orientation, confining stress, rate of loading, stress path, stress-strain compatibility, and unit weight on the shear strength of MSW were evaluated in the testing program described herein. The results of this testing program indicate that the DS test is appropriate to evaluate the shear strength of MSW along its weakest orientation (i.e., on a plane parallel to the preferred orientation of the larger fibrous particles within MSW). These laboratory results and the results of more than 100 large-scale laboratory tests from other studies indicate that the DS static shear strength of MSW is best characterized by a cohesion of 15kPa and a friction angle of 36° at normal stress of 1atm with the friction angle decreasing by 5° for every log cycle increase in normal stress. Other shearing modes that engage the fibrous materials within MSW (e.g., TX) produce higher friction angles. The dynamic shear strength of MSW can be estimated conservatively to be 20% greater than its static strength. These recommendations are based on tests of MSW with a moisture content below its field capacity; therefore, cyclic degradation due to pore pressure generation has not been considered in its development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)709-722
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
Volume135
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

Fingerprint

Municipal solid waste
municipal solid waste
Shear strength
shear strength
friction
shear test
Friction
Land fill
landfill
Testing
field capacity
Pore pressure
preferred orientation
Shearing
cohesion
pore pressure
moisture content
Moisture

Keywords

  • Dynamic properties
  • Laboratory tests
  • Landfills
  • Municipal wastes
  • Shear strength
  • Solid wastes
  • Stress strain relations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

Cite this

Shear strength of municipal solid waste. / Bray, Jonathan D.; Zekkos, Dimitrios; Kavazanjian, Edward; Athanasopoulos, George A.; Riemer, Michael F.

In: Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, Vol. 135, No. 6, 2009, p. 709-722.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bray, Jonathan D. ; Zekkos, Dimitrios ; Kavazanjian, Edward ; Athanasopoulos, George A. ; Riemer, Michael F. / Shear strength of municipal solid waste. In: Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering. 2009 ; Vol. 135, No. 6. pp. 709-722.
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