High Leachate Pollution at Indian Landfill Sites

 

by Hilary Haskell

India currently lacks an institutionalized municipal solid waste system and open landfill dumping proceeds without regulation, although an existing legal framework could be used to address this societal and environmental issue. A number of causes, both civilian and political, are at fault. Reliance on unregulated landfill dumping will likely continue, as this solid waste management practice tends to be the most cost-effective. However, landfills in India do not reflect the typical sanitary landfill seen in much of the developed world, lacking linings or covers that prevent groundwater pollution. Leachate liquid seepage generated by landfills due to rainwater or other infiltration pollutes groundwater. The extent of pollution depends on the permeability of landfills, distance to water table, and toxicity of the leachate. Bhalla et al. (2014) used data from the Ludhiana City, Punjab, municipal landfill site in India and the Leachate Pollution Index to determine Continue reading

Is Escaped Landfill Leachate Treatable?

by Hilary Haskell

Leachate containing Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) may be treated through a pump and treatment system at a landfill site. Following landfill closure, monitoring and extraction wells can be used to determine the effectiveness of this treatment method in preventing groundwater contamination. Martinez and Liu (2014) studied the Chestnut Avenue Landfill in Fresno, California, following its closure to determine if its pump and treat system had adequately reduced VOC concentrations in leachate. This Class III landfill had monitoring wells to collect groundwater data, but lacked a liner. Thus, the landfill provided an opportunity to research the behavior of leachate and its interactions with groundwater, and whether or not pump and treat systems could sufficiently remove VOCs from leachate. Continue reading