LANDFILLS AND ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH: WHAT IS THE FUTURE?

Disposal of waste to landfill is the most common form of waste management worldwide, with 64% of municipal solid waste (MSW) sent to landfill in OECD countries (Slack, Gronow & al., 2004). For technical, economical and regulatory reasons, landfilling remains as the most practical waste treatment solution. For many other reasons, it also appears the least rational approach to waste management. Land repositories become committed to waste disposal for perhaps 10 years and the aftercare period may last up to 100 years. Biogas and leachate may have severe impacts on the environment and public health, and landfilling may cause other types of public nuisance. Furthermore, in many countries MSW is deposited to landfills with no waste separation and no proof of contents.

Landfilling has been heavily overused through most of Europe but recycling targets, set by the EU Landfill Directive, are now limiting the rate of expansion. Recent technological improvements have provided a more environmental-acceptable approach to landfilling, and functional rehabilitation of brownfields from earlier landfill activity has been widely recognized to result in health social and economic benefit to the community. Habitat creation and urban greening now generally exceed conversion to agriculture and industry. Clearly some form of repository for non-recyclable and untreatable wastes is required in the future. In this paper, the evidence base linking landfills with environmental health is clarified and we review (i) the current status of landfills for waste disposal and (ii) best practice for site after-use.



Copyright: © IWWG International Waste Working Group
Source: Workshop G (Oktober 2007)
Pages: 10
Price: € 10,00
Autor: Dr. Paolo Luria
Prof. Nicholas Dickinson

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