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Chapter: Civil - Municipal Solid Waste Management - Disposal

Environmental Effects Of Landfill

The environmental effects of a landfill include wind-blown litter and dust, noise, obnoxious odour, vermin and insects attracted by the waste, surface runoff and inaesthetic conditions.


ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS OF LANDFILL


 

The environmental effects of a landfill include wind-blown litter and dust, noise, obnoxious odour, vermin and insects attracted by the waste, surface runoff and inaesthetic conditions.

 

Wind-blown litter and dust are continuous problems of the ongoing landfill operation and a nuisance to the neighbourhood.   Covering the waste cells with soil and spraying water on dirt roads and waste in dry periods, in combination with fencing and movable screens, may minimise the problem of wind-blown litter and dust. However, note that the problem will remain at the tipping front of the landfill.

 

(ii)                              Movement   of  waste  collection  vehicles,  emptying  of  wastes   from  them,

 

compactors,                                                                      earthmoving   equipment,   etc.,  produce   noise.                                                                 Improving   the technical

 

capability of the equipment, surrounding the fill area with soil embankments and plantations, limiting the working hours and appropriately training the workforce will help minimise noise pollution.

 

(iii)                  Birds (e.g., scavengers), vermin, insects and animals are attracted to the landfill for

 

feeding  and  breeding.   Since  many  of  these  may  act  as  disease vectors, their presence is

 

a potential health problem.

 

(iv)                    Surface run-off, which has been in contact with the land filled waste, may be a problem in areas of intense rainfall. If not controlled, heavily polluted run-off may enter directly into creeks and streams.

 

(v) An operating landfill, where equipment and waste are exposed, appears inaesthetic. This problem may be reduced by careful design of screening soil embankments, plantings, rapid covering and re-vegetation of filled sections.

(vi)           Gas  released,  as  a result of  degradation or  volatilisation  of  waste components, causes odour,  flammability, health problems  and damage  of the vegetation (due to oxygen depletion in the root zone). The measures to control this include liners, soil covers, passive venting or active extraction of gas for treatment before discharge into the atmosphere.

 

(vii) Polluted  leachate  appears  shortly  after  disposal  of  the waste.   This  may cause  groundwater  pollution  and  pollution  of stream s  through  sub-surface migration.  Liners, drainage  collection,  treatment  of  leachate, and  groundwater and downstream water quality monitoring are necessary to control this problem.


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