WIT Press

Landfill Design Using Simplified Risk Assessment Procedures


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WIT Press


A. Mavropoulos


In most of the developing countries, landfilling is the first (and sometimes the only affordable) step for the expansion of Waste Management Systems. Although, in general terms, landfills are considered as relatively simple technological systems with well-established knowledge of their environmental impacts, their design, construction and operation is not always an easy and standardized issue. Especially in developing countries, limited financial resources, lack of institutional development, poorly developed technical capabilities and lack of the necessary data (waste quantities and composition, geological, hydrogeological and climatic data) for designing a landfill, are usually the main barriers that do not allow environmentally sound solutions to landfilling problems. The only way to succeed at landfill design and at the same time to be in accordance with the context of opportunity cost is to relax the landfill standards, when this is possible, without unduly affecting protection of the environment. Significant efforts have been implemented for this issue, mainly from ISWA Landfill Working Group and South African experts. A simplified risk based approach is used in order to identify the parameters that mainly affect the conceptual design of leachate management. The design that is proposed is based on the sensitivity of the surrounding environment. The proposed methodology works with limited and easy to access data and at the end of the procedure it provides the constituents of the technical design for leachate management. Thus it can be easily linked with cost issues. The whole procedure aims to provide a simple and effective decision making tool for landfill designers in developing countries, as well as a measure to check environmental impacts of current landfills or dumpsites. Keywords: landfill design, risk assessment, leachate management, risk-based engineering.


landfill design, risk assessment, leachate management, risk-based engineering.