Landfill containment and waste management systems

  • Kelwyn Davies

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis


    This thesis report addresses the role of landfill disposal within the framework of the modem Integrated Solid Waste Management (ISWM) hierarchy.

    The aims of the research are presented in the context of a literature search and postal questionnaire survey to identify trends in United Kingdom landfill containment concepts. These are compared and contrasted with the approaches of other countries to landfill containment design and set against the background of pre-treatment and recovery processes aimed at minimising the volume of wastes for disposal.

    To introduce the subject the production of waste, waste compositions and waste quantities are explained. The philosophy of integrated solid waste management is presented together with the continuing role of landfill disposal within the ISWM hierarchy.

    Explanations of the processes of waste decomposition are set out with an indication of the environmental concerns associated with landfill leachate and landfill gas. The principles of containment engineering are introduced, set against the evolutionary design history of landfill engineering in the United Kingdom.

    The modem design and construction processes now considered best practice in the United Kingdom are explained, including the concepts of Risk Assessment and Construction Quality Assurance (CQA). A comparison of the design and construction standards adopted in other countries is presented and this is contrasted with the UK approach.

    Results of a postal questionnaire of UK landfills are presented with respect to general site details, engineering philosophy, pollution control methods and future policy initiatives. The findings are compared to the United Kingdom and European Union policies of the mid to late 1990s which presented the differing strategies of "bio-reactor landfill" against waste pretreatment and residue disposal respectively.

    Finally the main findings of the study exercise are presented and discussed. Summary thoughts and observations are offered and areas of further study and continuing research in this field are suggested.
    Date of AwardJul 2000
    Original languageEnglish

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