Date of Award

Summer 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering (MSE)


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Makarand Hastak

Committee Chair

Makarand Hastak

Committee Member 1

Hubo Cai

Committee Member 2

Suresh Rao


Natural disasters have an enormous physical impact on communities and generate a huge volume of debris. The amount of debris is almost five to ten times higher than the annual solid waste volume in a community, and slow debris removal can hinder both emergency response and proceeding with the tasks of recovery. The cost of debris management also can reach more than 27% of the total disaster recovery costs. Therefore, debris management teams have considerable challenges in removing disaster debris. ^ This thesis introduces a framework for an effective debris management plan based on the interrelationship between critical infrastructure systems for debris management and providing resources that would enable a community to effectively remove debris from disaster-affected areas. This research also focuses on the impact of the capacity of infrastructure systems and the resources required for debris management with respect to the general debris removal procedures of generation, collection, transportation, processing, and disposal. ^ A debris management team could benefit from this research by being able to evaluate the existing debris management system in a community at pre- or post-disaster levels and assess its current resilience and total duration for debris removal in order to set up a short- and long-term strategy. The framework also suggests the feasible capacities of debris handling facilities and the resources required to improve the resilience of a community with respect to debris management.