This thesis aims to investigate the potential usage of rejected non-recyclable contaminated plastic rejects with different reinforcing elements to produce a viable product such as a manhole cover. Contaminated plastic rejects are generally deemed unrecyclable due to the cost and effort, including money, water, energy associated with cleaning the product in order to recycle it. By recycling these contaminated plastic rejects as is and reinforcing it with different reinforcing elements, we can enhance the mechanical properties of the material to enable it to be used as a viable, durable product such as a manhole cover. Problems associated with manhole covers include theft of the cover, leaving a large massive hole in the ground causing a potential health hazard and possible safety risk. This thesis will investigate the mechanical and environmental properties of the plastic rejects when reinforced with foundry sand, regular sand, fiberglass-milled fibers, and fiberglass-chopped strands and to determine which one of these reinforcing elements is the most suitable at different percentages. It was determined that foundry sand and regular sand at 10% reinforcement gave the most promising results in terms of tensile strength and flexural strength with ultimate tensile strengths for both materials of about 19MPa. Once the most suitable mixture was determined, analyzing this mixture in the application of a manhole cover is necessary to determine its applicability as this product. The manhole covers were tested for the most suitable mixtures without reinforcing steel bars, and again with reinforcing steel bars to determine the effect of the steel mesh on the properties of the manhole cover. It was determined that the combination of foundry sand at 10% reinforcement with a steel reinforcement mesh of Φ16 steel bars of 10% reinforcement, and the plastic rejects gave the most promising results with a maximum load of 108 KN. In comparison to BS EN 124 British Standards for manhole covers, it was found that this manhole cover could replace Grades B and A of ductile iron manhole covers of the same diameter size. Grades B and A refer to areas with only occasional vehicular passageway, and pedestrian precincts with no vehicular passageway respectively. With this new material produced entirely out of waste, this product will no longer become an issue in terms of theft and will alleviate the detrimental problem of municipal solid waste to the environment including saving energy, water, and cost.


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

Document Type



122 p.


The author retains all rights with regard to copyright.

The American University in Cairo grants authors of theses and dissertations a maximum embargo period of two years from the date of submission, upon request. After the embargo elapses, these documents are made available publicly. If you are the author of this thesis or dissertation, and would like to request an exceptional extension of the embargo period, please write to thesisadmin@aucegypt.edu.


Not necessary for this item