These days, we in the developing world are encouraged to compost our garden and kitchen waste at home or dispose of it in our "green" bin for kerbside collection and processing. However, not everyone has a compost bin and not all of us are willing or able to separate waste into compostable materials and non-compostables. In the developing world, the problems are very different. Open dumps are prevalent and have a poor environmental record, according environmental engineer Kurian Joseph and colleagues at Anna University, in Chennai, India.
His team has considered the possibility of landfill mining as a viable means of rehabilitating open dumps. An earlier analysis of decomposed waste from the Deonar dumpsite, in Mumbai, India, revealed that almost a third of the mass is organic matter, while moisture accounts for 14 percent of the sieved material and inert matter the same. Soft plastics, textiles, glass, ceramics, metals, rubber, leather, and other substance account for the remainder of the sieved mass.
"Landfill mining can recover recyclable materials, landfill space and compost," explains Joseph. He suggests that mining of compost from open stabilised dumpsites and the application of the bioreactor landfill concept across the developing world could make dumps much more sustainable and reduce their environmental impact. The current study as part of the “Asian Regional Research Programme on Sustainable Landfill Management in Asia” funded by the Swedish International Development cooperation Agency (Sida) indicates that up to half of material dumped at such sites could be recovered and re-used as compost for non-edible plants or as daily cover material for landfills.
Over the last two decades, experimental testing and field pilot studies have been conducted to develop and improve landfill techniques and designs with the aim of reducing their negative impact on the environment. The researchers suggest that by encouraging microbial degradation of solid waste in landfill bioreactors it should be possible to improve the overall efficiency of the landfill mining process. This, they explain, needs to be demonstrated at the pilot scale to complement the ongoing research in this area.
"Landfill may no longer be viewed as a final disposal system," adds Joseph, "rather it should be viewed as a method for large-scale processing of waste that combines recovery and recycling processes."
Jim Corlett | alfa
Joint research project on wastewater for reuse examines pond system in Namibia
19.12.2016 | Technische Universität Darmstadt
Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon
09.12.2016 | Wildlife Conservation Society
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction