Designing environmentally sound landfills is a challenging engineering task due to complex interactions of numerous design variables; such as landfill size, waste characteristics, and site hydrogeology. Decision support systems (DSS) can be utilized to handle these complex interactions and to aid in a performance-based landfill design by coupling system simulation models (SSM). The aim of this paper is to present a decision support system developed for a performance-based landfill design. The developed DSS is called Landfill Design Decision Support System - LFDSS. A two-step DSS framework, composed of preliminary design and detailed design phases, is set to effectively couple and run the SSMs and calculation modules. In preliminary design phase, preliminary design alternatives are proposed using general site data. in detailed design phase, proposed design alternatives are further simulated under site-specific data using SSMs for performance evaluation. LFDSS calculates the required landfill volume, performs landfill base contour design, proposes preliminary design alternatives based on general site conditions, evaluates the performance of the proposed designs, calculates the factor of safety values for slope stability analyses, and performs major cost calculations. The DSS evaluates the results of all landfill design alternatives, and determines whether the design satisfies the predefined performance criteria. The DSS ultimately enables comparisons among different landfill designs based on their performances (i.e. leachate head stability, and groundwater contamination), constructional stability and costs. The developed DSS was applied to a real site, and the results demonstrated the strengths of the developed system on designing environmentally sound and feasible landfills. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.