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Emissions from mechanically biologically treated waste landfills at field scale


Modern waste management tends towards greater sustainability in landfilling, with the implementation of strategies such as the pretreatment of solid waste. This work assesses the behaviour of rejects from a refining stage of mechanically biologically treated municipal solid waste at the landfill. The main results of 18 months’ monitoring of an experimental pilot cell with waste from a full-scale plant are presented. This first stage is expected to be the most problematic period for this type of waste. The evolution of the temperature and the composition of leachate and gas at various points within the cell are included. During the first weeks, pollutant concentrations in the leachate exceeded the reference ranges in the literature, coinciding with a rapid onset of methanogenic conditions. However, there was a quick wash, reducing concentrations to below one-third of the initial values before the first year. pH values influenced concentrations of some pollutants such as copper. These results indicate that, right from the beginning of disposal, such facilities should be prepared to treat a high pollution load in the leachate and install the gas emissions control elements due to the rapid onset of methanogenesis.

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This work is funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economics and Competitiveness through the CTM2012-35055 Project. The project is financed jointly by the European Regional Development Fund, FEDER (Operational Period 2007–2013). The authors wish to thank the Government of Cantabria, through the public company MARE, and TirCantabria, the landfill operator company, for their collaboration.

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Correspondence to A. López.

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Editorial responsibility: J. Aravind.

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López, A., García, M., Esteban-García, A.L. et al. Emissions from mechanically biologically treated waste landfills at field scale. Int. J. Environ. Sci. Technol. 15, 1285–1300 (2018).

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