The selection of a landfill site is considered as a complicated task because the whole process is based on many factors and restrictions. This study shows the present status of solid waste management, solid waste sources, staffing for solid waste collection, machinery and equipment used in the waste collection process, finance and financial management at Babylon Governorate and its Qadhaa. The management of collection and disposal of waste in Babylon Governorate and its Qadhaa is done through open dumping of waste and the quality of the collection process is poor. This is the case in Al-Hillah Qadhaa, which is located in the central part of the governorate, Iraq and Al-Qasim Qadhaas, which is situated in the southern part of the Babylon Governorate, Iraq. These sites do not conform to the scientific and environmental criteria applied in the selection of landfill sites.
In the first part of the current study, to find out how much solid waste will be produced in the future; two methods were used to calculate the population growth in Al-Hillah and Al-Qasim Qadhaas to the year 2030. The results showed that the total waste in 2030 according to the first and second methods respectively will be 394,081 tonnes and 472,474 tonnes in Al-Hillah Qadhaa, and (54,481 tonnes and 76,374 tonnes) in Al-Qasim Qadhaa. The cumulated quantity of solid waste expected to be produced between 2020 and 2030 according to the first and second methods respectively was 3,757,387 tonnes and 4,300,864 tonnes in Al-Hillah Qadhaa, whilst in Al-Qasim Qadhaa it was 519,456 tonnes and 695,219 tonnes. The generation rate in 2020 will be (0.88 and 0.62) kg/ (capita. day) in Al-Hillah and Al-Qasim Qadhaas respectively; in year 2030, the generation rate will be (0.97 and 0.69) kg/ (capita. day) based on method 2 and an expected incremental increase in generation rate of 1 kg/ (capita. day) per year.
The second part of this study aims to find the best sites for landfills in Al-Hillah and Al-Qasim Qadhaas. For this reason, 15 criteria were adopted in this study (groundwater depth, rivers, soil types, agricultural land use, land use, elevation, slope, gas pipelines, oil pipelines, power lines, roads, railways, urban centres, villages and archaeological sites) using GIS (geographic information system), which has a large capacity for managing input data. In addition, the AHP (analytical hierarchy process) method was used to derive the relative weightings for each criterion using pairwise comparison. The suitability index map for candidate landfill sites was obtained. Two suitable candidate landfill sites were found to fulfill the scientific and environmental requirements in each Qadhaa, with areas of 9.153 km2 and 8.204 km2 respectively in Al-Hillah Qadhaa, and with areas of 2.766 km2 and 2.055 km2 respectively in Al-Qasim Qadhaa. The area of these sites can accommodate solid waste from 2020 until 2030 based on the required areas, which were 4.175 km2 and 4.778 km2 (Ali-Hillah Qadhaa) and 0.577 km2 and 0.772 km2 in (Al-Qasim Qadhaa) according to the first and second methods respectively.