EMU Volume 13 – Chapter 8

Chapter 8: Suitability of minerals for controlled landfills and containment
Rita Hermanns Stengele and Michael Plötze

In European countries, municipal waste deposits must be compatible with the environment. The ‘multi-barrier system’, also referred to as the ‘three-barrier system’, provides the basis for containment. These three barriers are the disposal site, the technical barrier system and the waste itself. The impact of a waste disposal facility on groundwater quality will depend on the nature of the site, the climate, the type of waste, the local hydrogeology and the presence of a dominant flow path and, perhaps most importantly, on the nature of the barrier with which is intended to limit and control any migration. Here we show the types of landfill design and different mineral barriers (e.g. natural clay, cut-off walls) which are usually used in environment protection. Contaminant transport in porous and adsorbing media is explained. Waste containment barriers are another focus of this chapter. The encapsulation of old landfills using cut-off walls and the in situ cleanup of contaminated groundwater using reactive walls and funnel and-gate systems are also described.

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