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).
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