Conventional landfilling will leave the majority of waste constituents for later release; whereas bioreactor landfilling will leave significantly less, recalcitrant organics and ammonia-nitrogen will still remain problematic. The goal of this research is to provide sustainable landfilling by removing releasable carbon and ammonia-nitrogen at the end of a bioreactor landfill life through a Pump and Treat Aerobic Flushing Bioreactor Landfill (PTAFBL). This completion phase will reduce the potential for pollutant leaching, dramatically shortening the post-closure care (PCC) period while reducing potential long-term environmental impacts.
The primary goal of this project is to determine the technological and economic feasibility of removing recalcitrant organics and ammonia-nitrogen from mature bioreactor landfills and understanding the waste stabilization process. The objective of this study is to provide answers to questions relating to sustainable solid waste management, including (1) what is the fate of specific organic and inorganic waste fractions over time, (2) to what extent do pollutants leach from waste at various points in a landfill life, and (3) what is the appropriate end-point for completion of waste treatment and PCC to minimize environmental impacts and cost.
This technology has application to both operating and closed landfills. Ideally the end result of operating a landfill in this fashion will be a stable, reusable land area, therefore, it is anticipated that this study will demonstrate that a PTAFBL is an environmentally sustainable approach to manage municipal solid waste.