ECN publication
Assessment of long-term emissions from landfills as part of the landfill aftercare completion procedure
Zomeren, A. van; Hjelmar, O.
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Environment & Energy Engineering 11-8-2015
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-M--15-039 Conference Paper
Number of pages: Full text:
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Modern landfills are designed and constructed in a way that emissions can be avoided to a large extent within the operational phase and after closure of the site during the aftercare period. Financial reserves are built up during the operational phase to warrant funds for the aftercare phase. Most aspects of the potential environmental impacts of landfills are well controlled. However, current practice leads to extended and indefinite timescales for the aftercare and the related funding security for this aftercare period. There seems to be consent in the scientific community that criteria for completion of aftercare are best derived from local site-specific assessment of risk due to leachate emissions. As the impact can occur over very long periods of time, this assessment should not be based on observations and historical data alone. This is particularly true when attempting to predict future behaviour and impacts. A certain degree of modelling will, therefore, always be needed to enable reasonable and justifiable choices and decisions. Performance based completion criteria involve more detailed knowledge on the landfill processes, their uncertainties and the potential impact on the environment. A decision scheme outlining a generic approach to determine whether the conditions for stopping the aftercare have been met is proposed.

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