The increase in the popularity of using environmental design criteria in town and country planning has brought about the need to fully identify the principles to determine the best location of hazardous wastes to be landfilled. This environmental management issue has received considerable attention because of its applications in urban and rural infrastructure planning, industrial development planning as well as health, housing, transportation and agricultural schemes. This paper explains a method to determine how to locate suitable sites for hazardous waste landfilling area by using the site screening study. It demonstrates how the criteria such as geology, topography, land use, climate, earthquake and other related factors can be introduced into the overlayer technique to determine the suitable site selection in a region. The research was undertaken in the Southeastern Anatolia Project (known as GAP in Turkey) region where identifying the land resources is crucial for agricultural and water management purposes. The paper also explains the validity of the method employed on the site selection process for hazardous wastes. The introduced method may enable more accurate design procedure for planning in environmental management in future. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.