Inderscience Publishers

The impact of landfills on the air quality of towns: a simple heuristic model for the city of Palermo

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In this study, the landfill of Palermo, is investigated as a potential source of the unusual methane concentrations found in the urban context. The source for these pollution episodes is identified by means of a simple heuristic method. A cross-correlation analysis between wind data and methane concentration levels is also used to confirm the hypotheses formulated. Doppler Sound Detection And Ranging (SODAR) measurements are used to investigate the air masses dynamics at the landfill, in order to better support the adopted assumptions. This interpretative method can be adopted in the first assessment stages of the environmental site performance in order to single out the candidate pollution sources in urban areas, before any analytical computation takes place. In this sense, the method is intended as a viable tool in decision-making processes where in local administrations are currently involved in the selection of sustainable policies for the correct management of the territory.

Keywords: air pollution, landfill, urban solid waste, methane emission, urban pollutants concentration, heuristic models, air quality, Palermo, Sicily

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