The effect of aging on the compressibility behavior and the physical properties of municipal solid wastes: a case study of Kahrizak landfill, Tehran

  • Maryam MokhtariEmail author
  • Ali Akbar Heshmati Rafsanjani
  • Nader Shariatmadari
Original Article


This study aimed to determine the effect of aging on the physical properties and the compressibility of municipal solid wastes (MSW) sampled from Kahrizak landfill, Tehran. Fresh samples as well as 5.5-, 14-, and 21-year-old samples were tested using a large-scale 490-mm oedometer designed and constructed for this purpose. In addition to settlement and its associated parameters, a few other parameters were measured, including MSW composition, moisture content, particle size distribution, organic content, in situ density, coefficient of lateral pressure at rest, and specific gravity of solid wastes. It was found that aging significantly decreases waste compressibility and the corresponding parameters such as primary compression ratio, creep ratio, and recompression ratio. The test results showed that the compressibility of 21-year-old samples was about one-third of that of fresh samples, implying that waste compressibility decreases with age. This is because, as waste ages and gradually decomposes, most of the organic matter forming the bulk of the compressible fraction of the waste decomposes. This increases inert components, including soil-like materials, rock, and glass as well as fibrous components such as plastics and textiles, which have low compressibility and hardly change with age. The results also showed that the components of the fresh MSW mostly belonged to the three groups of food waste, paper/cardboard, and plastics. The examination of changes in the waste composition due aging showed that aging-induced degradation would decrease the paste fraction of the waste, including degradable organic contents, soil, and other indistinguishable particles, by 25–40% and almost double the amount of textiles and plastics in the waste. The decomposition process would also gradually decrease the particle size distribution of the buried waste. In fact, a significant decrease was observed in the average particle size from 70 mm in fresh samples to 20 mm in 21-year-old samples. In addition, in contrast to the fresh samples, aging reduced the moisture content and the organic content of the buried waste by up to 50%. The average in situ density of the fresh samples was 9 kN/m3, but it reached about 12 kN/m3 in the aged samples. As a general finding, an increase in the age of solid wastes leads to an increase in their specific gravity.


Municipal solid waste Kahrizak landfill Aging Degradation Compressibility Physical parameters 



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maryam Mokhtari
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ali Akbar Heshmati Rafsanjani
    • 2
  • Nader Shariatmadari
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringYazd UniversityYazdIran
  2. 2.School of Civil EngineeringIran University of Science and Technology (IUST)TehranIran

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