WIT Press

Risk Assessment As An Engineering Tool In Landfills


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WIT Press


A Mavropoulos & D Kaliampakos


Risk assessment has been widely used as a tool for the development of waste management facilities. At the strategic level, risk assessment is used to inform decision makers about the planning process. In terms of a specific site, environmental risk assessment is used to identify risk management options. As an engineering tool, risk assessment is used to optimize the mitigation measures required to prevent, control or minimize the risks to the environment from the site. The use of risk assessment techniques in landfill design and in uncontrolled dumps remediation / rehabilitation has provided remarkable results in terms of cost savings and environmental protection. This paper aims to present risk assessment applications in landfilling and thus to outline the key role of risk based engineering. Landfill risk analysis procedures, as well as applications in failure assessment and waste acceptance criteria are presented. 1 Introduction Risk assessment has usually been applied to two major areas: - Adverse health and environmental effects of exposure to hazardous chemicals - Failure of complex technological systems The use of risk assessment in waste management facilities and especially in landfills has been increased since it was understood that landfills cover both of the previous areas. Landfills are transformed to complex technological systems, since the use of liners, leachate and biogas collection and treatment equipment has been generalised. At the same time all the landfills, especially hazardous waste landfills, can result in serious environmental and health effects due to both construction and operational problems.