Formulation of a landfill pollution potential index to compare pollution potential of uncontrolled landfills

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Generally speaking, landfilling is one of the prominent methods of waste disposal around the globe, but some under-developed and developing countries still continue to practice uncontrolled open dumping of waste. These uncontrolled landfills pose a relatively high threat to the various elements of the environment in comparison with the conventional engineered landfills that are used in many developed countries. However, some closed, un-engineered landfills do exist in developing countries. This paper presents a novel approach to compare the pollution potential of uncontrolled landfills using an index. The landfill pollution potential index (LPPI) has been developed using the Delphi technique and is an aggregation of six pollution indices that have already been developed for the quantification of different environmental elements. The LPPI is an increasing scale index, in which a higher index value indicates a higher pollution threat. The LPPI of a landfill in Delhi was calculated and the high LPPI value indicates that the respective landfill poses a significant threat to the environment. The LPPI can be used as an aid to diagnose a landfill's pollution potential relative to other landfills and therefore also to rank remediation investments.

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