The Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) has carried out studies on the emissions from municipal solid waste (MSW) that pose a threat to sustainable development. The results show that current landfills, as well as those scheduled to be constructed in the near future, may discharge environmentally hazardous emissions even 100-200 years into the future. Globally, the target is to ensure each landfill site is closed and its harmful emissions stopped within 50 years of the sites establishment.
The study shows that even todays well-designed landfills may emit significant amounts of carbon or nitrogen-based nutrients, hazardous metals dissolved in leachate, or methane - a powerful greenhouse gas - even 100-200 years after the sites construction.
Globally, the primary target is to increase waste recycling and recovery and then dispose of the residue in ways that allow the landfill to be redeveloped as a sustainable part of the environment within 50 years of its establishment. In accordance with EU legislation, most of the emissions dissolved in leachate or methane may be collected from sealed landfills for 50-100 years. However, there is later a risk of leakage from the bottom liner and surface sealing, in which case the landfills emissions into the environment will once again increase.
Sirpa Posti | alfa
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