Institute for Municipal Waste Research

Professor John Fillos, Director
Program Office: T - 185
Tel.: (212) 650-8010
General Information
The Institute for Municipal Waste Research, a University-Wide institute chartered in 1991, is headquartered at the School of Engineering. It was formed to mobilize the intellectual resources of the university to assist New York City and other urban communities across the nation in finding and implementing solutions to the problems of municipal waste. It conducts research on the generation, treatment, processing, recycling, and disposal of municipal waste, as well as on other related topics. The research, encompassing both technical and social/political problems, is carried out in close cooperation with city, state, and federal agencies having responsibility for municipal waste, as well as with organizations representing the public interest. Areas of current technical interest include improved methods for water and waste water treatment, heat treatment of sewage sludge to increase methane production, ground water contamination, incinerator modeling and stimulation, and alternatives to landfill disposal (e.g., utilization of plastics in asphalt and utilization of incinerator ash in concrete).
Current Research Areas
The Institute is currently involved in several projects that are funded by Federal, New York State agencies. These projects are primarily involved with water quality issues. Water disinfection and biostability of drinking water systems are of primary concern. Different disinfection alternatives using chlorine and ozone are being considered. By-product formation and identification during disinfection is an additional area of interest in on-going and proposed projects.
Water pollution control represents another active area of research that is currently funded. As a result of the Long Island Sound Study, nitrogen has been identified as the limiting nutrient of concern in the Sound. A mass balance performed on the Sound indicated that point sources such as discharges from wastewater treatment plants are significant contributors of nitrogen. The Institute, working with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, is developing and testing innovative technologies that can be implemented at existing treatment plants to improve nitrogen removal from municipal waste waters. The studies involve bench-scale experiments and demonstration of selected technologies in full scale treatment facilities.