Investigating the utility potential of low-cost unmanned aerial vehicles in the temporal monitoring of a landfill

Abdullah Harun Incekara*, Ahmet Delen, Dursun Zafer Seker, Cigdem Goksel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


The collection of solid waste is a challenging issue, especially in highly urbanized areas. In developing countries, landfilling is currently the preferred method for disposing of solid waste, but each landfill has a limited lifecycle. Therefore, changes in the amount of stored waste should be monitored for the sustainable management of such areas. In this study, volumetric changes in a landfill were examined using a low-cost unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Aerial photographs obtained from five different flights, covering approximately two years, were used in the volume calculations. Values representing the amount of remaining space between the solid waste and a reference plane were determined using digital elevation models, which were produced based on the structure from motion (SfM) approach. The obtained results and potential of UAVs in the photogrammetric survey of a landfill were further evaluated and interpreted by considering other possible techniques, ongoing progress, and the information existing in an environmental impact assessment report. As a result of the study, it was proved that SfM carried out using a low-cost UAV has a high potential for use in the reconstruction of a landfill. Outcomes were obtained over a short period, without the need for direct contact with the solid waste, making the UAV preferable for use in planning and decision-making studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number22
JournalISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the authors.


  • Compacting
  • Landfill
  • Open dumping
  • Photogrammetry
  • SfM
  • UAV
  • Volume


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