The Selection Of A Landfill Site

3053 words - 12 pages

Very Technical Too TechnicalThe Choosing of a Landfill SiteThere is currently much debate on the desirability of landfilling particular wastes, the practicability of alternativessuch as waste minimisation or pre-treatment, the extent of waste pre-treatment required, and of the most appropriatelandfilling strategies for the final residues. This debate is likely to stimulate significant developments in landfillingmethods during the next decade. Current and proposed landfill techniques are described in this information sheet.Types of landfillLandfill techniques are dependent upon both the type of waste and the landfill management strategy. A commonly usedclassification of landfills, according to waste type only, is described below, together with a classification according to landfillstrategy.The EU Draft Landfill Directive recognises three main types of landfill:Hazardous waste landfillMunicipal waste landfillInert waste landfillSimilar categories are used in many other parts of the world. In practice, these categories are not clear-cut. The Draft Directiverecognises variants, such as mono-disposal - where only a single waste type (which may or may not be hazardous) is deposited- and joint-disposal - where municipal and hazardous wastes may be co-deposited in order to gain benefit from municipalwaste decomposition processes. The landfilling of hazardous wastes is a contentious issue and one on which there is notinternational consensus.Further complications arise from the difficulty of classifying wastes accurately, particularly the distinction between'hazardous'/'non-hazardous' and of ensuring that 'inert' wastes are genuinely inert. In practice, many wastes described as 'inert'undergo degradation reactions similar to those of municipal solid waste (MSW), albeit at lower rates, with consequentenvironmental risks from gas and leachate.Alternatively, landfills can be categorised according to their management strategy. Four distinct strategies have evolved for themanagement of landfills (Hjelmar et al, 1995), their selection being dependent upon attitudes, economic factors, andgeographical location, as well as the nature of the wastes. They are Total containment; Containment and collection of leachate;Controlled contaminant release and Unrestricted contaminant release.A) Total containmentAll movement of water into or out of the landfill is prevented. The wastes and hence their pollution potential will remain largelyunchanged for a very long period. Total containment implies acceptance of an indefinite responsibility for the pollution risk, onbehalf of future generations. This strategy is the most commonly used for nuclear wastes and hazardous wastes. It is also usedin some countries for MSW and other non-hazardous but polluting wastes.B) Containment and collection of leachateInflow of water is controlled but not prevented entirely, and leakage is minimised or prevented, by a low permeability basalliner and by removal of leachate. This is the most...

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