Author(s): Manfredi S, Christensen TH, Scharff H, Jacobs J
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Abstract The environmental performance of two low-organic waste landfill scenarios ('low-organic-energy' and 'low-organic-flare') was developed and compared with two household waste landfill scenarios ('household-energy' and 'household-flare') by means of LCA-modelling. The LCA-modelling was made for 1 tonne of wet waste landfilled and the environmental aspects were evaluated for a 100-year period after disposal. The data utilized in the LCA-calculations to model the first 10-20 years of landfilling of the two low-organic waste scenarios make extensive use of site-specific data from the Nauerna Landfill (The Netherlands), but average data from other comparable, existing landfills were used too. As data from full-scale landfills do not cover more than 30-40 years of landfilling, data from laboratory simulations and accelerated tests of limited scale were also utilized. The life-cycle impact assessments show that the low-organic waste scenarios achieved better environmental performance than the household waste scenarios with regard to both ordinary and toxicity-related environmental impact categories. This indicates that the reduction of organic matter accepted at landfills (as prescribed by the European Union Landfill Directive: Council Directive 1999/31/EC, EU, Brussels, 1999) can be a successful approach to decrease the environmental loads in several impact categories in comparison with landfilling of waste with significant organic content. However, when utilization of landfill gas is accounted for in the life-cycle impact assessment calculation, the small gas generation in low-organic waste landfills reduced the actual potential for energy generation and therefore the environmental savings obtained were reduced proportionally. Groundwater pollution from input of leachate was also evaluated and the WHO (Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality; WHO, Geneva, 2006) guideline for drinking water quality was assumed as reference. The results show that low-organic waste landfills pose a smaller risk of groundwater contamination, but the impact potentials estimated still remain a lot higher than estimated in other categories.
This article was published in Waste Manag Res
and referenced in Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry