Population growth and an increase in the quantity of municipal solid waste have made it ever more difficult to locate appropriate sites for waste disposal in urban areas. Transfer stations are used for landfills located far from waste generation centers, but they generate noise, offensive odors, and dirt that give rise to dissatisfaction of neighbors. This study identified suitable waste transfer stations for Mashhad City, Iran. A multi-criteria evaluation (MCE) model for assessing suitability of land for solid waste transfer stations was developed. The criteria for site selection included soils, geology, slope, and distance to residential areas, waste generation centers, streams, faults, and highways. Each of the criteria used in the MCE was standardized with a fuzzy subset, and a linear function was used to rank each criterion. Relative importance of each criterion was calculated using the pairwise comparison method. A weighted linear combination method was used for spatial multi-criteria layer combination. Twelve zones ranked in descending order are proposed for transfer stations. The MCE results also provided a first-cut information layer for a fast environmental impact assessment. The nature of MCE, being repeatable as many times as desired, makes consensus building among stakeholders possible. The results can be used by decision makers for site selection of the waste transfer stations after taking into account other relevant ecological and economic factors.

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