Treatment methods for waste to be landfilled

image of Treatment methods for waste to be landfilled

The legal framework establishes criteria for the acceptance of waste at landfills. That means that certain types of waste require specific treatment prior to landfilling in order to meet the waste acceptance criteria (WAC). This project presents a compilation and evaluation of existing information on treatment methods and technology for selected types of “problem waste” that does not comply with WAC. For some waste types the same treatment methods may be applied to improve their properties in relation to reuse. Three waste streams were selected: bottom ash and residues from air pollution control from municipal solid waste incinerator, and shredder residues. Residues from air pollution control and from shredder constitute real problems in relation to landfilling, while the problems for bottom ash are more related to reuse. A brief discussion on the properties and treatment options for ashes from the incineration of biofuels (wood chips or straw) is also included. The report describes the landfill WAC in each of the Nordic countries. Next, the waste properties that may have to be improved to comply with the acceptance criteria are discussed, and a general overview of available waste treatment principles is given. Finally the properties, the potential problems associated with compliance with the landfill WAC, and the treatment options are described for each of the three waste streams. The treatment methods are described and evaluated in terms of technical efficiency, limitations, economy and compliance with appropriate landfill WAC.



Required environmental properties

In this context only problems related to the environmental properties of the waste materials will be addressed. The study does not address the general requirement to treat waste prior to landfilling; only treatment that is necessary to meet criteria for acceptance at certain categories of landfills is considered. Most of the Nordic countries have adopted the waste acceptance criteria (WAC) directly, more or less as they appear in Council Decision 2003/33/EC, including the possibility to apply the "factor 3 rule" (see footnote 2 in section 1.1). In Denmark, the situation is somewhat different. To maintain a high level of protection of the groundwater, Denmark has decided to distinguish between landfills that are located inland and landfills that are located near the (sea)coast. The WAC for inland landfills are more stringent than those for near-coastal landfills. The latter resemble those defined in Council Decision 2003/33/EC. Denmark has further defined a subcategory of landfills for non-hazardous waste, landfills for mineral waste, and set WAC for those. To a certain extent, the Danish landfills for mineral waste can be compared to the landfills for non-hazardous waste receiving stable, non-reactive hazardous waste.


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