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