Landfills are carefully designed, closely monitored, cost-effective waste solutions built to safely isolate waste from the environment. By utilizing a tried-and-true method of waste disposal, landfills provide the public with a means to dispose of waste away from population centers, and safely in the ground.
In this blog, we will discuss about the types and working of landfills.
How many Types of Landfills?
- Municipal Solid Waste Landfills (MSW) - As the primary dump for the majority of waste, MSWs are highly constructed and must meet federal requirements to ensure environmental safety.
- Construction and Demolition Landfills (C&D) - These landfills handle remodelling and demolition waste.
- Hazardous Waste Landfills - These landfills accept debris such as asbestos, out-dated electronics, paint, wood sealers, and solvents and have special restrictions and procedures, to ensure proper disposal.
- Inert Landfills – Inert Landfills are used to dispose of other waste that does not offer any chemical or biological risks, but is nevertheless very slow to decompose. An Inert landfill will collect unwanted sand, mud, and excavated earth.
How is a landfill operated? How do landfills work?
When waste is disposed of in a landfill, a variety of regulations and measures are put in place, to ensure that the environment is actively protected. Once a place is identified and the conditions are met, waste follows a predetermined path:
Step 1:Waste is taken to the landfill site, sorted, and then transported to an open portion, of the landfill known as a Cell.
Step 2:To prevent anything from escaping below the landfill, the cell has a hard base called a Liner, which can be reinforced plastic, unweathered grey shale, impermeable clay soil, or other materials.
Step 3:After the waste is delivered from the truck to the cell, bulldozers and compaction equipment are used to compress it, minimizing the total amount of air space required for discarded objects. This permits more waste to be disposed of in the cell, without increasing the size of the landfill.
Step 4:When the area is finished receiving waste, a temporary daily cover is placed on top of the exposed waste, which is generally covered in several inches of dirt or other earth products.
Step 5:This shields the waste from the sun and rain, as well as keeps animals and other scavengers at bay. It also prevents loose waste from being washed or blown away.
Step 6:Waste liquid, known as leachate, seeps out of the waste as it is crushed into the cell. This liquid is made up of pulverized organic materials, food waste, and other common household or commercial waste.
Step 7:The leachate drains to the Cell's base, where a sump is positioned at the lowest point.The leachate is evacuated, treated, tested for purity, and reintroduced into the environment, following a stringent clearing procedure using a network of perforated pipes, gravel, and sand, at the bottom of the Cell known as Drainage.
Step 8:Shredded tires are utilized to build a french drain system at the bottom of cells, allowing leachate to flow faster and more effectively out of a landfill, for better environmental stewardship.
Step 9:The operation is repeated until the Cell is full.
Step 10:After the Cell has reached its maximum capacity, either a new Cell will be started on top of the waste, or a final cover will be placed over it. If the Cell is finally covered, it will be capped with many feet of soil and vegetation, to minimize erosion and future waste exposure.
Step 11:As the waste decomposes within the landfill under the final layer, methane, and carbon dioxide gas are produced. While, carbon dioxide spontaneously filters out through the Cell's liquid filtration process, methane must be collected before it can be vented, burned, or transformed into electricity. Most contemporary landfills will feature a harvesting system that allows them to extract gas from old cells, and reuse it for new purposes, such as flaring or electricity.
Step 12:Once the Cell has been closed and covered, the region is monitored and maintained for the next 30 years, to ensure that everything remains environmentally sound.
Landfills, when operated properly, can be a safe, well-engineered way to dispose of waste. When paired with creative distraction programs, it improves resource management and environmental stewardship.
Contact one of our Netsol Water consultants now to learn more about solid waste management methods, and how your firm can go greener. To stay up to date on the newest waste management strategies, call on +91 9650608473 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org