Keywords: aerobic decomposition, anaerobic degradation, landfill mining, recycling, sustainable management, household solid waste, landfill bioreactors, biocell, solid waste management, sustainability, sustainable development, biodegradation, waste disposal, water pollution, landfill gas emissions
Sustainable management of household solid waste
In most countries, the majority of household solid waste is landfilled because of associated low capital, operation and maintenance costs. However, many existing landfills have exhausted their handling capacities and new facilities are faced with the problem of siting. Alternatives to traditional landfill practice are required to achieve sustainability in managing solid waste. This manuscript discusses an advanced landfill concept, referred to as a biocell, which involves sequential application of anaerobic degradation, aerobic decomposition and waste mining in a single waste cell. Biodegradation of waste in the biocell is enhanced through leachate re-circulation coupled with landfill gas collection in the anaerobic phase and air injection in the aerobic phase. The biocell is expected to realise sustainability by reusing the location where solid waste is treated, thereby eliminating the need of new land for waste disposal. Environmental controls also eliminate ground/surface water contamination and harmful landfill gas emissions.