Landfill leachate characterization is a critical factor in establishing a corresponding effective management strategy or treatment process. However, it is often difficult to forecast leachate quality because of a variety of influencing factors such as waste composition and landfill operations. This paper describes leachate formation mechanisms, summarizes leachate quality indicators, and investigates the temporal variation of leachate quality from pre-sorted and baled municipal solid waste characterized with high organic and moisture content. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the potential effects of waste composition and site-specific operational procedures on biodegradation processes and leachate quality at a field-scale landfill that receives in excess of 1800 tonnes per day of refuse. For this purpose, waste disposal and leachate generation rates were monitored and leachate samples were collected for a period of 18 months during the early stages of refuse deposition. Chemical analysis was performed on the samples and the temporal variation of several parameters were monitored including pH, COD, TOC, TDS, chlorides, sulfates, orthophosphates, nitrates, ammonia nitrogen, hardness, and heavy metals. Chemical 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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Waste Management and Disposal
- High organic content
- Landfill stabilization
- Leachate quality
- Solid waste