Integrated Knowledge-Based Analyses of Socio-Economic Issues

Report Catalogue Data

  Report Class   General Public Report
  Analysis Type   Situation Analysis
  Issue Category   Environmental Analysis
  Publish Date    03_26_2013
  Last Update  
  Reference Code   GPR-SA.EA.LRPC-20130326-PWE
Landfill Reclamation Pollution Control Engineering
Landfill Reclamation Wastes Extraction
by Opubo G Benebo

Landfill disposal, by far the most common of the methods of waste disposal until recently, has been the dumping of the waste in landfills: a sort of huge pits dug into the land and then covered up after the pit fills up. The process is, of course, then repeated at another location again and again.

However, several factors militate against the continued use of landfill as a means of waste disposal, particularly putrescible waste of biotic nature.

Specifically, the disposal of food-wastes by landfill has been determined to result in the diffusive dispersion of toxins. Generally as the food-wastes are decomposed by both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria in the landfills the results in some stage are high content of acids. These acids generally dissolve, as well as react with, the metal components in the landfills often producing toxic chemicals that ultimately diffuse into the ground-water system.

Furthermore, during decomposition, the biodegradable waste dumps in landfills also undergo reactions that generate GHG emission, that continues for a long time because of the large reservoir of such waste accumulated in the landfill.

Besides, these landfills, by and large, have become huge in size and continue to use up more land-space. In addition to the expansive exclusion of more land for the purposes of landfill use, there is also the issue of leaching of landfills. The leaching of landfills presents also leads to further exclusion of land that would otherwise be available for human habitation; and the exclusion comes about from two different reasoning: The leachate in fact causes pollution of the neighboring lands of landfills and so makes those lands un-inhabitable by humans in the near future; besides the pollution, the land so polluted, however, also gets to be granted "Wet Land" reclassification and as such under certain governmental laws becomes excluded from human use.

Therefore, all considered, there is the necessary motivation to transition from the use of landfills as a means of waste disposal to some other form of disposal. The objects of such transition are varied and drive Sustainability as delineated presently.

First there is the need to adopt an approach that generally enables environmental pollution control and hence would support the prevention of the poisoning of the ground water, and the necessity of preventing GHG emission from any source including landfills given the adverse and huge scope of direct and derivative impact of GHG emission.

Second, there is the need for the elimination of the unsustainable continual use of extra land space -usable for human habitation - in addition to the mass excluded for the landfill just for treating waste already disposed of in a given landfill and hence the consequential prevention of the usage exclusion of

extra land due to leachate of the landfills. After all, for a growing world population, the continual exclusion of portions of land for landfills and derivative matters, the need for land for landfills will sooner or latter begin to conflict with the habitation needs of humanity for land space - quite similar to the case of growing cash-crops for biofuel as reflected by analysis.

These factors have also contributed to the many governmental regulations at different parts of the world effectively banning the future use of landfill for waste disposal.

While the banning of the prospective use of landfill is a reasoned and significant measure towards alleviating the consequential result of the underlying factors, the residual effect of exiting landfill still persists and endures to come about, and as such there exists the need to develop an approach to remediating these future consequences of the use of landfills.

Quite rationally, then an approach to addressing the issue of landfill residual effects prevention would be Landfills Reclamation Pollution Control Engineering, which will address the case of actual pre-leachate treatment of the wastes in landfills using advanced bioengineering technologies, that extract the biodegradable pollutants while allowing for the permanent sealing off of the nonbiodegradable wastes.

Scoping the Landfills Reclamation Pollution Control Engineering tasks in this case is worth serving as a guide for the objects of the endeavour. Recognizing that generally the biodegradable waste, specifically those wastes of biotic nature generally putrefies and become sort of thick particulate mash. So then it seems reasonable to conjecture that the waste can in fact be "washed" in some sense such that the particulate mash gets to be extracted from the rest of the waste by washing the non-biodegradables.

One approach could be the digging up of the wastes and then washing the mush by some process and returning the rest back to the landfill space and then processing the wash water or putrescibles particulates mixture. An alternative approach would be to design a set of inlet and outlet pipes, through which "landfill washing" [or washing] fluid is pumped in and then extracted out, respectively. Of the two approach, the approach chosen to be adopted necessarily will depend on the landfill design and the nature of the wastes that had been dumped in the target landfill, the viscosity of the pollution particulate mash, the rate of mixability of the mash with the washing fluid, the tortuosity of the waste in the landfill, and other factors impacting the flow characteristics of the mixture of mash and washing fluid.

Of course, the specific approach to accomplishing the "landfill washing" is entirely design-specific. However, the residents of the neighborhood of the landfills may also impact the landfill washing approach adopted as well as the engineering design of the process equipment used for the washing.

Equally important is also the size of available unoccupied land surrounding the landfill on which will be situated the Landfill Washing Process Plant.

So then, in contemplating the design of such Landfill washing Process Plant, an salient feature is that the plant must be movable and be removed from the locale after the washing of the landfill, because over some finite time interval the washing of the landfill will be completed given that the landfill is not of infinite dimension. Also it must operate such that the process does not cause undue neighborhood smell. Further, the washing fluid, if ordinary water, then will have to be produced locally, say, as well-water.

However, for the post leachate treatment, the Landfills Reclamation Pollution Control Engineering may invariably be expanded to also include a sub-mechanism for the restoration of the leachate-polluted surrounding lands; but, the cleaning of the leachate polluted lands may be somewhat more involved that the cleaning of the landfill itself. This added difficulty derives from the necessary consideration of the earth particles, such as sand, filth, soil, and other microscopic particles all of which will have to be carefully treated and returned to the land.

Notwithstanding the apparent difficulty, with some limited research regarding previous approaches adopted for treatment of polluted earth as the specific leachate-polluted lands, comes to mind the interesting approach, of many years ago, that was adopted in NJ for the cleaning up and land recovery of polluted lands that obtained caused by the leakage of gas tanks of gas stations. In this particular situation the polluted earth was dug up, chemically cleaned and then returned back. Curious if anyone has considered this approach for address the landfill leachate problem. In essence, this approach may be adopted and modified for use in the recovery of the leachate-polluted lands surrounding landfills.

Adopting the gas-leak pollution control approach as a foundation for cleaning the leachate polluted lands around landfill, suggests that the polluted lands around landfills also be dug up. "washed" somehow and then be returned to the earth. while the leachate polluted land must be first dug-up, again the approach to treating the pollutants is design specific, and the approach adopted will depend on whether the end-result of the operation should produce a dry mass or a wet mass of land.

Irrespective of the approaches or combination of approaches ultimately adopted towards the reclamation of a landfill, the significant aspect of the discourse, here is that the landfills can be washed, at least conceptually, and as such efforts made towards the accomplishment of such objects may result in environmental cleaning that should further the Sustainability of the activities of human life.

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