Shear strength of municipal solid waste for stability analyses

Timothy D. Stark, Nejan Huvaj-Sarihan, Guocheng Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper investigates the shear strength of municipal solid waste (MSW) using the back analysis of failed waste slopes as well as field and laboratory test results. Shear strength of MSW is a function of many factors such as waste type, composition, compaction, daily cover, moisture conditions, age, decomposition, overburden pressure, etc. These factors together with non-standardized sampling methods, insufficient sample size to be representative of in situ conditions, and limited shear displacement or axial strain imposed during the laboratory shear testing have created considerable scatter in reported results. Based on the data presented herein, large shear displacements are required to mobilize the peak shear strength of MSW which can lead to displacement incompatibility between MSW and the underlying material(s) such as geosynthetic interfaces and foundation soils. The data presented herein are used to develop displacement compatible shear strength parameters for MSW. Recommendations are presented for modeling the displacement and stress dependent strength envelope in stability analyses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1911-1923
Number of pages13
JournalEnvironmental Geology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jun 2009


  • Landfill
  • Municipal solid waste
  • Shear strength
  • Slope stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution
  • Soil Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Shear strength of municipal solid waste for stability analyses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this