Morton Barlaz

Distinguished University Professor and Head

Dr. Morton A. Barlaz is Professor and Head of the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering at North Carolina State University. He received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Wisconsin.

Dr. Barlaz is the author of over 90 peer-reviewed publications and has made over 200 presentations at conferences throughout the world.  In 1992 he was awarded a Presidential Faculty Fellowship from the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Barlaz has been active in service throughout his career.  He is an Associate Editor for two journals (Waste Management and Journal of Environmental Engineering) and serves as co-chair of the bi-annual Intercontinental Landfill Research Symposium.  He has served as chair of the Government Affairs Committee and the Lectures Committee for the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors.  Finally, he serves on the Science Advisory Committee for the International Waste Working Group.


Ph. D. 1988

Civil and Environmental Engineering

University of Wisconsin

M.S. 1985

Civil and Environmental Engineering

University of Wisconsin

B.S. 1978

Chemical Engineering

University of Michigan

Research Description

Dr. Barlaz has been involved in research on various aspects of solid waste since 1983. Over this time, he has conducted research on biological refuse decomposition, methane production, and the biodegradation of hazardous wastes in landfills.  He has participated in two state-of-the-practice reviews of bioreactor landfills.  His research forms the basis for much of the work done to assess the impact of landfills on methane emissions inventories.  Dr. Barlaz is also recognized for his research on the use of life-cycle analysis to evaluate environmental emissions associated with alternate solid waste management strategies.


Characterization of municipal solid waste collection operations
Jaunich, M. K., Levis, J. W., DeCarolis, J. F., Gaston, E. V., Barlaz, M. A., Bartelt-Hunt, S. L., Jones, E. G., Hauser, L., & Jaikumar, R. (2016), Resources Conservation and Recycling, 114, 92-102.
Systematic evaluation of industrial, commercial, and institutional food waste management strategies in the United States
Hodge, K. L., Levis, J. W., DeCarolis, J. F., & Barlaz, M. A. (2016), Environmental Science & Technology, 50(16), 8444-8452.
Characterizing the biotransformation of sulfur-containing wastes in simulated landfill reactors
Sun, W. J., Sun, M., & Barlaz, M. A. (2016), Waste Management (New York, N.Y.), 53, 82-91.
Release of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) from carpet and clothing in model anaerobic landfill reactors
Lang, J. R., Allred, B. M., Peaslee, G. F., Field, J. A., & Barlaz, M. A. (2016), Environmental Science & Technology, 50(10), 5024-5032.
Decomposition and carbon storage of hardwood and softwood branches in laboratory-scale landfills
Wang, X. M., & Barlaz, M. A. (2016), Science of the Total Environment, 557, 355-362.
Determination of sources of organic matter in solid waste by analysis of phenolic copper oxide oxidation products of lignin
De la Cruz, F. B., Osborne, J., & Barlaz, M. A. (2016), Journal of Environmental Engineering (New York, N.Y.), 142(2).
Decomposition and carbon storage of selected paper products in laboratory-scale landfills
Wang, X. M., De la Cruz, F. B., Ximenes, F., & Barlaz, M. A. (2015), Science of the Total Environment, 532, 70-79.
Physical and biological release of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) from municipal solid waste in anaerobic model landfill reactors
Allred, B. M., Lang, J. R., Barlaz, M. A., & Field, J. A. (2015), Environmental Science & Technology, 49(13), 7648-7656.
The decay of wood in landfills in contrasting climates in Australia
Ximenes, F., Bjordal, C., Cowie, A., & Barlaz, M. (2015), Waste Management (New York, N.Y.), 41, 101-110.
Evaluation of copper oxide oxidation for quantification of lignin in municipal solid waste
De la Cruz, F. B., Dittmar, T., Niggemann, J., Osburn, C. L., & Barlaz, M. A. (2015), Environmental Engineering Science, 32(6), 486-496.

View all publications via NC State Libraries


Development of a Predictive Model to Estimate Emissions from Open Dumps in Emerging Economies
Procter & Gamble Co.(3/17/15 - 6/30/17)
Maximizing Energy for Waste While Minimizing Life-Cycle Environmental Burdens and Cost
US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)(12/09/14 - 9/30/16)
Environmental Research & Education Foundation(12/15/14 - 12/31/17)
Solid Waste Management Planning for Wake County in Consideration of Cost, Energy and Environmental Emissions
Wake County(7/01/14 - 6/30/17)
SAVI: International Institute for Solid Waste Management Life-Cycle Modeling
National Science Foundation (NSF)(8/15/14 - 7/31/17)
Life-Cycle Analysis of Alternatives for Food Waste Management
Covanta Energy Corporation(10/14/13 - 5/31/15)
Development of Methods to Measure the Hydrogen Sulfide Production Potential of Sulfur-Containing Wastes
Environmental Research & Education Foundation(8/15/12 - 7/31/15)
Development of Methods to Measure Anaerobic Biodegradability Under Simulated Landfill Conditions
Plastics Environmental Council(8/01/11 - 8/28/13)
Utilizing Municipal Solid Waste as a Biofuel Feedstock
Biofuels Center of North Carolina(7/01/11 - 4/30/13)
Effluent/Emissions Control Technology Studies, Source Characterizations, and Emissions Inventory Modeling and Homeland Security Research
US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)(5/01/11 - 4/30/12)