On-line version ISSN 1816-7950
Print version ISSN 0378-4738
Water SA vol.34 n.3 Pretoria Mar. 2008
C Trois; M Griffith
CRECHE - Centre for Research in Environmental, Coastal and Hydrological Engineering, School of Civil Engineering, Survey and Construction, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Mechanical biological pretreatment of waste prior to disposal is proven to effectively reduce the long-term polluting potentials of landfilled waste. The combined effect of waste pretreatment and flushing, as is possible in landfills operated in tropical or sub-tropical countries, has the potential to further reduce the landfills' environmental impact. In this study, long-term emissions from pretreated waste were monitored in anaerobic leaching columns operated at increasing liquid-to-solid ratios. The efficiency of the pretreatment, conducted in full-scale passively aerated windrows, was assessed by comparing different treatment periods (8 and 16 weeks). In order to understand the influence of sorting (separated collection) on the pretreatment, the treated waste was sieved in a 50mm diameter sieve and the coarse and fine fractions separately analysed in the leaching columns. The results showed that treating the waste markedly reduces the COD and NH3-N loadings while the coarse fractions show a greater long-term pollutant risk.
Keywords: mechanical biological waste treatment, flushing, leaching columns, bioreactor landfill, leachate
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Received 16 October 2007;
Accepted in revised form 17 June 2008.