A laboratory scale approach to domestic solid wastes evaluation: monitoring of leachate



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The landfill is the oldest and still the most commonly used type of solid waste management. In spite of this, there have been few attempts to determine the extent of the threat posed to the purity of groundwater by landfilling municipal refuse. Whereas previous studies have used either very large samples or elaborate size reduction procedures to circumvent the problems presented by the heterogeneous nature of municipal solid waste, this thesis proposes a laboratory-scale method to investigate the quality of leachate. Water was percolated for forty-eight hours through three individual components of municipal waste in six-inch diameter columns. Empirical concentration versus time relationships were obtained for eight substances in the leachate. The usefulness of both the model and the method is demonstrated by using these data to predict the nature of the leachate from a mixture of the same three components percolated under the same conditions. Concurrently, it is shown that a single analysis, specific conductance, can be used to estimate the character of leachate with respect to five of the seven other parameters investigated.