Humic Substances in Municipal Refuse Disposed of in a Landfill

Composition, Functions, Fate
  • Zdenek Filip
  • Katerina Demnerov
Conference paper
Part of the NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security book series (NAPSC)


Disposal of municipal waste in a landfill can create environmental and hygienic problems due to leakage water, odour and other nuisances until the disposed material becomes biologically and chemically stabilized. The stabilization process includes both mineralization and transformation of the waste organic matter, which may include humification of organic substances. Humic-like substances (HS) have been isolated from fresh municipal waste, and especially from that one aged for several months in a landfill. The amounts and structural composition of waste-related HS resembled those from a low-in-quality soil such as podzol. The HS have been found capable of forming Cu2+ and Fe3+ and other metal complexes. In laboratory experiments, however, the HS extracted from landfilled waste underwent strong microbial decomposition, especially if serving as sole sources of carbon or nitrogen for soil microorganisms. Indirectly, the experimental data reported here find their verification also in a more recent research results obtained by other authors.


municipal refuse landfill microbial activity humic substances 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and MicrobiologyInstitute of Chemical TechnologyFernwaldGermany
  2. 2.Department of Biochemistry and MicrobiologyInstitute of Chemical TechnologyPrague 6Czech Republic

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