Landfill evolution and treatability assessment of high-strength leachate from MSW with high organic and moisture content

Mutasem El-Fadel, Elie Bou-Zeid, Walid Chahine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The generation of contaminated leachate remains an inevitable consequence of the practice of solid waste disposal in landfills. The collection and treatment of leachate have become common practice in order to prevent environmental pollution. Leachate treatment is highly dependent on the quality of leachate, which in turn is influenced by various factors including waste composition and operational procedures. This paper investigates the treatability of high-strength leachate from pre-sorted and baled municipal solid waste characterized by high organic and moisture content. For this purpose, waste disposal and leachate generation rates were monitored. Leachate samples were collected and analysed for selected indicators including BOD, COD, pH, and NH4-N and a pilot scale treatment plant with coagulation, precipitation and sequential batch biological reactors was constructed to evaluate the feasibility of leachate treatment. Concentration levels were related to biological activity within the landfill and the results indicated that (1) pre-sorting and baling of the waste did not hinder waste stabilization; and (2) the high organic and moisture contents resulted in an extremely strong leachate, particularly at the onset of biodegradation processes, which can affect the leachate treatment facility. The effectiveness of the pilot plant in treating the leachate exceeded 90% using COD and NH 4-N as indicators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)603-615
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Studies
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2003
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Computers in Earth Sciences


  • Baling
  • High organic content
  • Landfill stabilization
  • Leachate quality
  • Leachate treatment
  • Pre-sorting
  • Sequential batch reactor
  • Solid waste


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