Site selection of sanitary landfills on the small island of Mauritius using the analytical hierarchy process multi-criteria method

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Courtesy of SAGE Publications

This paper focuses on the application of a multi-criteria analysis methodology — the analytical hierarchy process — for the locating of a sanitary landfill on the small island of Mauritius. Four candidate sites were assessed using three main criteria (environmental, technical and socio-economic) and twenty-one sub-criteria. Scores were assigned to each criterion and sub-criterion by stakeholders in the solid waste sector, based on the impact assessment of each site so as to obtain their relative importance. The analytical hierarchy process was then applied, which involved the combination of the weights obtained at the different stages of pair-wise comparisons. The candidate sites were finally ranked to obtain the optimum site. Because of political factors, the second best ranked site was chosen by the authorities for the location of a new landfill on the island. This technique provides a realistic approach for use by small island developing states such as Mauritius for choosing and justifying to all stakeholders the best location for a sanitary landfill site or any other waste management site.

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