Summary

In this Study Session, you have learned that:

  • Solid waste that cannot be recycled can be treated or disposed of by landfill or thermal processing.
  • The two main environmental problems from the landfill are leachate, which can contaminate water sources, and landfill gas, which is a greenhouse gas and is flammable.
  • Landfills range from uncontrolled open dumps to sanitary landfills, where leachate and landfill gas are managed and controlled.
  • Factors to be considered when selecting a new landfill site include the area of land required, distance from the town, potential for pollution of water sources, soil type and local culture and beliefs.
  • The open burning and open dumping of solid waste, which is a common practice in many urban centres in low-income countries, is dangerous to human health and safety and the wider environment.
  • Incineration reduces the volume of waste for disposal, but the remaining ash still needs to be landfilled.
  • It is important to know the nature and characteristics of the solid waste, to recognise hazardous waste, and to appreciate how it should be handled and treated.

Last modified: Wednesday, 10 August 2016, 10:21 PM