The work presented in this thesis is about utilizing municipal solid waste (MSW) rejects in producing wave dispersion and shoreline erosion protection structures to counter the negative impacts of sea level rise. The tests selected to evaluate the produced samples included physical property tests, accelerated weather tests and environmental tests. The physical property tests included: specific gravity and density, absorption, compression and abrasion, while the accelerated weather tests included wet-dry test and soundness test. In addition to these tests, leachate was analyzed after the samples were immersed in sea water and fresh water for 28 days. The exhaust gases from the mixing furnace – used to produce samples - were also analyzed to ensure compliance with air emission standards. The produced samples consisted mainly of low density polyethylene rejects (garbage bags), thus the results were compared to low and high density polyethylene as well as concrete bricks and tiles. The produced samples exhibited good floating characteristics at zero percent sand content. The overall characteristics of 40&50% sand content samples were comparable to concrete and superior to polyethylene. The produced material showed excellent reaction to accelerated weather tests. The total percent loss due to abrasion was minimal. Leachate from seawater showed high TDS due to evaporation of water resulting in increased concentration of salt. However, the overall analysis showed no health hazards. The exhaust gas emission parameters were within the air emission standards set by the Egyptian Environmental Law 4/1994. The MSW rejects could thus be utilized as floating breakwaters using 0% sand content, solid submerged structural breakwaters using 40% sand content, and 50% sand content for beach/canal revetments. Future recommended applications for further investigation could include usage as interlocking ground reinforcement tiles, reef ball and artificial reef.


School of Sciences and Engineering


Environmental Engineering Program

Degree Name

MS in Environmental Engineering

Date of Award


Online Submission Date


First Advisor

El Haggar, Salah

Committee Member 1

El Haggar, Salah

Committee Member 2

Saad, Samia

Document Type



120 p.


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