ORBIT e.V.

Low cost pre-treatment of waste landfill emissions - does mechanically-biologically treated waste facilitate the operation of low environmental impact landfills?

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Courtesy of ORBIT e.V.

Rules and regulations contained in the German Federal Waste Management Act are specified and complemented in administrative directives. One of them is the so called ”Technische Anleitung Siedlungsabfall” (TASi), in other words the Technical Directive for Municipal Solid Waste, which stipulates criteria for the use, treatment and disposal of waste materials. Where it is not possible to prevent waste from being generated, this technical directive aims to:

1. utilise waste materials as much as possible,
2. reduce the level of contaminants in waste as far as possible, and
3. ensure waste is processed and disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.

One of the overriding legislative goals is to safeguard future generations against inherent waste management problems caused by current waste disposal practices. In pursuing this goal a list of criteria aiding the assessment of the effect waste has on a landfill, has been established (Table 1). The established thresholds will determine whether waste can be landfilled or not after June 1, 2005. According to current knowledge, there is one single TASi criteria which precludes any Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) from going to the landfill unless it has been incinerated before. The crucial criteria is the ignition loss which is set to be no higher than 5% for MSW permitted to be landfilled. Generally, most experts agree that the use of ignition loss as a parameter is beneficial for an evaluation of the efficiency of waste incinerators but is not sufficient to predict the behaviour of mechanically-biologically treated MSW in a landfill (Völker, 1991; Bidlingmaier, 1993; Lepom und Henschel, 1993; Müller, 1995; Müller et al. 1998b).

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