Community and Regional Planning Program


First Advisor

Yunwoo Nam

Second Advisor

Jongwan Eun

Third Advisor

Gordon Scholz

Date of this Version

Winter 12-3-2020


Moon, S. (2020). Landfill Suitability Analysis using GIS (Geographic Information System) and AHP (Analytic Hierarchy Process): A case study of Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska (Master's thesis). University of Nebraska - Lincoln.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the degree of Master of Community and Regional Planning, Major: Community and Regional Planning, Under the Supervision of Professor Yunwoo Nam. Lincoln, Nebraska: December, 2020

Copyright © 2020 Sunah Moon


The objective of this study was to identify and prioritize the potential sites that are the most suitable to host landfills using Geographic Information System (GIS) and Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) in Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska. First, the criteria that influence in a decision-making process of landfill placement in social, environmental, and physical perspectives were established, and the area was assessed based on the grading structure of each criterion on a scale of 0 to 10. The second step was the main process for the study using the AHP. Thirty-two experts who work as planners, engineers, landfill staff, and environmental officials took part in a survey that consisted of making judgements regarding the importance of the criteria. The participants’ judgement was used to calculate factor weight of each criterion using the AHP, and a final suitability map for the landfill was produced based on the weighted criteria. The excluded zones based on local and federal regulations were also applied to make the result more reflective of reality. Therefore, the final suitability result was described on a scale of 0 to 10 from the least suitable areas to the most suitable sites. Furthermore, the comparison between the map with the factor weights and without the factor weights was conducted to understand the importance of factor weight, and analysis of the factor weight by the participants’ group and location was completed to understand the difference of value in relation to landfill.

Advisor: Yunwoo Nam