Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Landfill Sites - 3 Compelling Reasons to Stop Landfilling

Landfill Sites - 3 Compelling Reasons to Bury the Use of Dumps: Landfill Sites are not sustainable. 3 compelling reasons to bury the idea that we continue to use landfills (dumps) for municipal waste.

Reasons to Stop Landfilling

Using a landfill to dispose of waste is not only harmful to the environment, but it is also a costly business for the government and the taxpayers. In fact, the health costs of landfills are high, and the methane emissions caused by landfills are devastating to our air. It is time to stop putting waste in landfills, and to adopt alternative methods of disposal for objects that are not landfillable.

Methane emissions from landfills

Almost a fifth of the world's methane emissions come from rotting landfills. They can be dangerous for the air and health of communities nearby. Fortunately, there are many effective strategies to reduce methane emissions from landfills. In fact, 80% of methane emissions could be reduced by 2030 with proper methane abatement strategies.

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas. It's 28-36 times more potent than CO2 at trapping heat in the atmosphere over a 100 year period. It is also a climate super-pollutant. The waste sector is the second largest source of human-caused methane emissions, behind oil and gas production.

MSW landfills are the third-largest source of methane emissions in the United States. In 2010, the U.S. had the highest methane emissions from landfills in the world. The emissions from these facilities decreased a bit, but they released an estimated 148 million metric tons (163 million tons) of CO2 equivalent in 2014. This is equal to 73 million cars a year.

Health effects of waste management

Managing waste at landfills has many effects on the environment and human health. The most obvious is the emission of greenhouse gases. This process is not only environmentally damaging, but can also lead to the spread of infectious diseases.

The development of waste landfills is accompanied by changes in the biodiversity of the surrounding area. For example, some species of mammals are replaced by species that feed on waste. Other animals like flies and rodents are drawn to the garbage, causing a host of infectious diseases.

The aforementioned study was conducted in the capital city of Ouagdougou in Burkina Faso, where the World Bank has supported the solid waste sector since 2005.

The study compared the environmental health effects of MSW incineration versus those of waste management at landfills. The authors concluded that the former was the more significant.

The same study looked at how landfills impact air pollution. The EPA identified several factors that shape landfill by-product emissions. These include the quality of deposited waste, the number of years the landfill has been operating, and climatic conditions in the surrounding area.

Public health costs of landfills

Using a landfill to dispose of solid waste is the most efficient method, but it also comes with some deleterious effects. These include air pollution, land pollution, and water pollution.

Some of these impacts can be prevented by better waste management practices. For example, setting a concrete minimum distance for settlements can reduce deleterious effects. In addition, reducing the amount of garbage deposited in landfills is one way to reduce the burden on our natural resources.

Other important effects are the health consequences associated with living near a landfill. For example, children who live near a landfill are more likely to be exposed to hazardous substances. This can lead to an increased risk of congenital malformations and other health problems.

Some of the pollutants associated with landfills are dust, rodents, and other toxic chemicals. For example, a 2003 British study reported a link between the development of waste landfills and a number of health issues. These included adverse birth outcomes, decreased life expectancy, and lower birth weight.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

What Happens in Large Egg Shaped Tanks Often Seen at Municipal Wastewate...

The big egg-shaped containers you see are "digesters," which are used for anaerobic digestion.

It is in these vast egg-shaped tanks that anaerobic digestion occurs, and they are referred to as "digesters."

Anaerobic digestion is utilised in wastewater treatment facilities to stabilise both main and secondary sludges that settle out during aerobic wastewater treatment (Sewage Works).

During the aerobic wastewater treatment process, anaerobic digestion is employed to stabilise both main and secondary sludges that settle out during the process (Sewage Works).

The primary output is a valuable renewable gas (mostly methane) known as biogas, which may be converted to biomethane after being cleaned up.

The gas can be used to power the machinery and offices at the wastewater treatment facility, and there may be enough left over to provide electricity to nearby households if there isn't enough demand.

The sludges contain a solids concentration ranging from 2 to 6 percent (equivalent to 20 to 60 grammes of Total Solids per litre of water).

Approximately 70% of the combined sludge is degradable, and in a normal single-stage CSTR reactor, up to 80% of it is digested, resulting in a TS reduction of approximately 50%.

The mixed sewage sludge is high in carbs, lipids, and proteins, but it is famously difficult to digest due to its high concentration of fibre.

Most of the most recent designs of these facilities contain a pre-treatment stage in which the cells of the contact entering sludge are broken apart, allowing the sludge to be digested more readily and more quickly in the digester.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Leachate Pumping and Pumps in the News

When landfills are lined, as almost all of them are now, the leachate is collected and sooner or later even after treatment to a high quality standard, it has to be disposed of off-site in some way. That's where leachate pumping and the pumps that are needed to accomplish it come into the news.

In our first article the issue is aired as to whether a leachate discharge into a United States River should be allowed. 

Leachate Trickling out of a landfill usually needs to be pumped
(Image by indiawaterportal.org via Flickr)

To put it simply, the landfill operator wants to reduce costs by avoiding sending their leachate to the sewage works via the public sewer or a tanker vehicle. 

The operator says that they can make a discharge which complies with the reasonable requirement of not reducing the water quality in the river, and no doubt they have good evidence to show that this is possible, because their are many hundreds if not thousands of river discharges of treated leachate effluent which make discharges to rivers without casing pollution. 

Read on to learn more, about this issue:

Landfill owner wants to pump leachate into Shenango

SHENANGO VALLEY – After having polluted water from its River Road landfill treated for almost 30 years at the Sharon sewage treatment plant, Waste Management of Pennsylvania, Inc., thinks the leachate from its landfill that closed in 1986 may be safe enough to discharge untreated into the Shenango River.
The company has been working for two years with the state Department of Environmental Protection and federal Environmental Protection Agency and recently submitted its plan for a pilot program “to demonstrate equivalency between pumping and not pumping,” said Glenn Schultz, Waste Management’s senior project manager for the landfill. It occupies 371/2 acres of a 102-acre parcel in South Pymatuning Township and Hermitage.
Waste Management would stop pumping leachate for treatment for two years and would monitor effects on the river, he said.
“The chemistry will speak for itself,” Schultz said. “If we need to reactivate the system, that’s what we’ll do.”
Leachate that percolates through the mountain of industrial and municipal waste now covered with a grassy dirt cap collects in a gravel-filled trench. It also collects surface water and river water and the mixture, about 38,000 gallons a day or 1.1 million gallons a year, according to Dale Bucher of Upper Shenango Valley Water Pollution Control Authority, is pumped into sewer lines for treatment along with municipal waste. The Sharon plant discharges treated water into the river.
Under the landfill closure agreement with DEP, the Sharon plant tests the discharge for metals, polychlorinated biphenyl compounds and volatile organic compounds from River Road. Among a dozen metals, the primary contaminants of concern, according to the EPA, are cadmium and zinc.
PCBs from the manufacture of electrical transformers and trichloroethylene, or TCE that was used to clean grease from metals, are among the pollutants associated with area manufacturing during the years the landfill was accepting waste.

The site was removed from the National Priorities List of most hazardous waste sites, also known as the Superfund list, in January 2004. In its five-year reviews, the most recent in September 2014, EPA said it has found that remedies required at the site “remain protective of human health and the environment.”
EPA spokesperson Bonnie Smith said the agency has set no time frame for a decision on Waste Management’s application.
“There are reports going back and forth between the agencies to make sure that if we make a decision to go ahead that we have all the science we need and information about the water and sediments before we would begin a pilot which would include very specific standards for monitoring,” she said. “We’re taking it seriously because we want the Shenango River to remain at least at the quality it is now.”
Waste Management also would have to receive a federal permit from the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System to release water into public waterways. Under EPA’s partnership with the state, the permit would be issued by DEP.
“We have to have all the science up front, both for the pilot and for the discharge permit,” Smith said. “If results of the pilot bear out what the science seemed to say, they could discharge leachate and surface water into the river.”
Waste Management would have to maintain water quality standards under the permit if one is granted and also continue to meet standards for pollutants in sediment and effects on aquatic life at the landfill and in the river that are separate from water-quality issues. Those standards come from River Road’s former listing on the Superfund list, she said.
Upper Shenango and Sharon Sanitary Authority stand to lose revenue if discharges into the river are allowed. Waste Management pays about $7,500 a month to Upper Shenango, money it uses to pay the Sharon authority for treatment and for bond payments.
“It really isn’t about the revenue,” said Guy Cunningham, manager of the Sharon authority. “None of us wants this to happen. As consumers, we don’t want to have leachate going into the river above the intakes of the Aqua plant that treats our drinking water.”
Jim Willard, Aqua’s area manager, said that whatever happens with Waste Management’s application, his company will continue to provide safe drinking water for the 75,000 people it serves in Mercer and Trumbull counties.
via Into the river? Landfill owner wants to pump leachate into Shenango

In our second, the same concerns are illustrated as they have been occurring in recent months for a local action group, with concerns about nuclear dump leachate. Clearly, this local pressure group is endeavoring to find out more about the nuclear radiation hazards from this contaminated groundwater.

Moorside: Radioactive Leachate from Sellafield Pumped to the River Ehen

‘Moorside’ 100 boreholes up to 150m deep on greenfield site next to Sellafield’s leaking mess,  to “explore” geology for new build.
Freedom of Information Request
29 October 2015
Dear Environment Agency,
In August 2015 Nugen (Toshiba/Engie) issued a press release saying
that they would apply for an EA license to pump “slightly
radioactively contaminated ” water from 100 boreholes into the
River Ehen.
Have the Environment Agency carried out their own measurements of
radioactivity/chemical composition on liquid discharge from the 100
boreholes or are they relying on NUGENs own documentation?
Have the Environment Agency issued a license to dump radioactively
contaminated groundwater into the River Ehen?
If so, We would like to have sight of the rationale for this
contravention of the EAs own remit to protect the River Ehen from
pollution. For example the reasoning behind the new pipeline from
Thirlmere to protect Ennerdale and the River Ehen would be
undermined by allowing increased and concentrated radioactive
discharges from Moorside’s 100 boreholes into the River Ehen. This
Sellafield seepage would normally be held deep underground
percolating gradually over many years to the River Ehen.
Where is the radioactively contaminated soil and rock from 100
boreholes being dumped?
Are the Environment Agency carrying out their own independent
measurements of the radioactive/chemical composition of the soil
and rock from the 100 boreholes? Eg Have samples been sent to
independent laboratories worldwide? (Or are the EA relying on
NUGENs own documentation?
Yours faithfully,
Marianne Birkby
On behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland
We note that Energy Solutions described the buffer zone land
adjacent to Sellafield as being “too contaminated” from Sellafield
seepage to be dug deep and made into a low level radioactive waste
dump ( Keekle Head inquiry). We note also that the Copeland Local
Plan up to 2016 says that there should be NO development on this
land, in other words the land should be left as a buffer zone.

We cannot pre-judge the above two examples of scientific and political issues which occur where leachate pumping will need to be used. However, when the politicians and the government environmental protection bodies have finished talking, the leachate will have to be disposed of and that will need good reliable pumping equipment.
Here is some information on one leachate pumping company, which again has recently been feature in online news channels.

Customers recommend leachate pumps from Geotech case study on Environmental XPRT

Leachate recirculation and condensate removal from gas lines:
The AP AutoPump range
Sites across the UK
H&J Pipe Jointing Services Ltd
Colin Jones of H&J Pipe Jointing Services said, 'We were looking to supply pumps that were fit for purpose and that did the job, and after trying other brands we soon realised that the AP range are the best on the market by far. The AP range includes the most reliable pumps I have ever supplied. With a lot of the units all I need to do is an annual service, which in most cases is just a quick clean and off they go again for another year.'
H&J Pipe Jointing Services Ltd are a landfill specialist formed in 1997. They pride themselves in supplying the best products that they can. They have installed some of Geotech’s AP3 pumps on many of the sites that they maintain and after many years of use the AP3s are still going with well over 500,000 cycles.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

The Importance of Efficient Leachate Collection and Reliable Leachate Pumps

Leachate pumps are important to protect the environment from leachate escape into groundwater, from which it could get into water supplies. If a leachate pumping system is inadequate to remove all of the leachate over a period of time, modern landfills which are lined (sanitary landfills) begin to fill-up with liquid, the weight of the liquid puts a positive leakage (outward) pressure on the base lining of the landfill. This both increases the danger of a bottom liner failure, and produces a finite (low) outward liquid flow through the base liner, which although of very low permeability does allow some water to pass through.

Multiply that over the typically huge areas of modern landfills and the amount of flow and the consequential pollution in the water would be likely to be significant amount. That is why any fluid inside a landfill of more than a nominal 1 metre depth is a potential source of pollutant emissions.

It is well known that leachate collection systems and the pumps which drive flow through them and out for disposal can lose their flow capability through a variety of causes. Organic material can silt the pipes up, sand and stones may enter due to landfilling operations, and on occasions they may scale-up up quite rapidly with “calcite" which forms a rock-like deposit, which can be very hard to break-up and jet out of leachate pipes. When pipe flows reduce such that they put a sufficiently large back-pressure, the leachate pumps fail to remove enough of the collected liquid fluid leachate builds up within landfills.

If this is allowed to continue, leachate containment will eventually be lost. When that happens unsustainable leachate leakage will occur. Leachate will escape with potentially toxic effect, and even below the toxic level escape of leachate would have serious consequences on the environment. Leachate is heavily polluted and potentially contains a great many chemicals and micro-organisms (including pathogenic bacteria and billions of minute viruses).

To meet the demanding requirements of modern landfills many leachate pump manufacturers have grown up around the world over recent years to serve the industry with some of the world's most rugged pumps ever known.

In the paragraphs that follow we have listed a number of suppliers with an excerpt from their websites to help explain their leachate pump systems and services offered to the landfill industry:
"A wide variety of electric pump types are used, all must be suitably corrosion protected to a high standard, and non leachate compatible materials avoided. By far the most common are the explosion proof (ATEX zone rated) submersible large solids particle size passing “sewage” type pump types.
The types of electrical pumps used include progressive cavity borehole pumps, multistage submersible pumps, high head dual impeller multistage pumps, explosion proof pumps (inherently safe in explosive landfill gas mixtures).
The web site of specialists Viridian Systems gives a list of the types of electric pumps used in leachate pumping on their web site at:
Read more here.
The ATZ Leachate Extraction Pump is a simple, robust solution to landfill leachate problems... The ATZ Leachate Extraction Pump is a positive-displacement piston pump that can be retrofitted into the existing gas well infrastructure. The pump can also be used for condensate knock-out chambers, whether under pressure or vacuum. The pump’s mechanical linkage converts the rotary motion of the DC electric motor to a reciprocating motion of the piston at the foot of the pump. This piston assembly is highly tolerant to particulate matter common in landfill fluids. The pump is also available with a solar-powered drive system which eliminates the need for a source of electrical power at the gas well. Additionally, we also offer a manually operated drive option.
Read more here.
Pneumatic positive air displacement leachate pump for harsh liquids in the landfill, brownfield, petrochemical and remediation industries. AP2, AP3 and AP4.
Read more here.
The SRX is an air-powered pump used to extract leachate or gas condensate at variable rates equal to the well recharge. Pump flow rates are up to 9.5 gpm at temperatures up to 250°F.
Read more here.
It’s pretty common to find buildup inside landfill well casings caused by minerals found in typical landfill leachate. But when industrial sludge or industrial remediation waste is placed in a landfill, the buildup may be accelerated and intensified.
So what to do? The short version: If you are getting buildup and the leachate pH is within the range of 4-9, you may be able to get by with silt filters and Teflon®-coated floats, but if you have more drastic changes in pH, or temperatures above 160 °F, you’ll probably have to treat it with acid or bromides. When it’s neutralized, you can revert back to floats and silt filters.
Read more here.
EPG offers a variety of sump drainers, one of which is the SURE PUMP. The sump drainers are stainless steel construction, corrosion resistant, sealed unit with liquid flow drawn past motor for cooling. EPG offers the Sure Pump which offers an innovation that is patented and accurate for level sensing. This leachate pump is used by professionals worldwide. There are horizontal, vertical and TSP Submersible Sump Pump Drainers.
Read more here.
The main features of the SPP ACTIVE range are quality and simplicity. SPP leachate pumps are manufactured from 304 Stainless Steel. They work without any bubblers, external controller or bleeders, utilising a simple twin valve control within the pump to regulate air pressure, fluid collection and discharge.
For total fluid recovery, bottom and top loading pumps are available. For targeted LNAPL recovery, skimmers can be supplied with SPP2 or SPP3 ACTIVE pump bodies.
Read more here.
An alternative to leachate pumps is a unit known as an eductor, or ejector. This unit is positioned within and close to the base of the borehole. It is connected to a surface mounted pump which in turn controls up to ten individual eductors.
The advantages of units such as these are: firstly, they are lightweight and streamlined for use within relatively narrow boreholes, secondly, there are no moving parts and thirdly they are relatively inexpensive. Eductors operate by circulation of water within a semi-closed system through a venturi located within the body of the eductor. This creates a pressure differential within the bottom of theborehole and causes leachate to be sucked through the eductor to the surface.
Value-giving proven performance ... renowned air-powered, ATEX Zone 0 certified AutoPumps. The improvements extend the service lifetime of the pump and broaden the range of its applications in extreme environmental conditions in landfill and remediation. Bottom or top-fill, the 9.1cm diameter submersible pumps are from 70 cm to 131 cm long and offer a maximum flow of 26.5-69 l/m at depths of 76m with actuation levels from 39-113cm depending on model.
Read more here.
Integrated Environmental Technology installs and performs warranty work on a large range of landfill leachate pumps. Our pneumatic landfill leachate pumps are selected from reliable landfill pump suppliers to support our long-term fixed landfill leachate pump maintenance contracts that our clients cherish.
We also supply and service methane gas condensate pumps that are cost effective, certified, automatic and reliable. Since our methane gas condensate pumps are self-regulating, they require no external form of actuation.
Read more here.
The Megator self priming positive displacement sliding-shoe pump provides exceptional suction performance, versatility, and the ability to pump at constant capacity against heads to 246 ft (75m). It can run without harm during dry suction, is self compensating for wear, has a simple design with few working parts and single cover access. It might be said to resemble a reciprocating piston pump, and it has indeed all the well known merits of that type - powerful suction and self priming, constant capacity at varying heads, the ability to cope with rough conditions and to handle a great variety of liquids, viscous or free flowing, clean or dirty. Yet in its simplicity, compactness and even flow it more closely resembles the centrifugal pump. It therefore combines the advantageous features of both these two main pump types without their respective limitations.
Read more here.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Old Landfill Leachate Pollution a Leachate System That Works and Money Running Out


In this summary of news stories, leachate pollution continues to produce headlines in the US, and this time it is an old landfill that seems to be producing contamination of a river.

Those that understand leachate will not be surprised that an old landfill continues to give leachate problems. Due to the low water infiltration rates of more recent landfill designs, it may take hundreds of years before most landfills even receive a rainwater "flushing" equal to a single bed depth of water. In order to wash through the majority of contaminants will take 10 to 100 bed depths of rainfall, so the public should think of that and keep a watch on all landfills for a long time after they have been closed and capped.
The report to which I refer can be accessed by following the link below:

Environmental watchdog reports old landfill leachate - Mid-Hudson News

"Mid-Hudson News: Environmental watchdog reports old landfill leachate. GOSHEN – Environmental watchdog Susan Cleaver of Goshen has discovered what she believes to be leachate from the Orange County Landfill in the Cheechunk Canal. She has reported it to state environmental officials and county leaders. Cleaver, who ..." http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&ct2=us&usg=AFQjCNEnN4hIIVeXBfc6RSMYkk7a1ogpKA&clid=c3a7d30bb8a4878e06b80cf16b898331&ei=vnQUVPCGN42YjAbq44H4DA&url=http://www.midhudsonnews.com/News/2014/September/10/OC_Lndfl_leach-10Sep14.html
That's not the only news though, and some are much more positive. I particularly liked the item below:

Leachate treatment system works - West Central Tribune
"West Central TribuneLeachate treatment system worksWest Central TribuneAnd the process is more environmentally sound than the county's current system of trucking leachate to Willmar's wastewater treatment facility. On top of that, they said the technology will save the county $3 million over the next 20 years. The board ..." http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&ct2=us&usg=AFQjCNE5lzDBiMTqnH4fIAYuxb_gfNI6yw&clid=c3a7d30bb8a4878e06b80cf16b898331&ei=vnQUVPCGN42YjAbq44H4DA&url=http://www.wctrib.com/content/leachate-treatment-system-works
Yes. I like to read about success. Why are we surprised that a leachate treatment system works...

The author does not say what the "filtering system" is but I guess it is a Reverse Osmosis (RO) Plant. If so, it is the same as any filter. Whatever is caught up on the filter has to go somewhere! So, RO might be "green", but what happens to the material that is left on the filter? Where soes that get treated. If it is sent back inot the landfill I really don't consider that to be green as it is just returning the pollutants to the same place it leaked from in the first place! The question then is just, how long before it comes out again?
Finally, we are back into bad news with a money problem. It looks as if the environment is in for a bashing if no money can be found to deal with this leachate in future. Maybe, we have come full circle here to the start of this article. So, often regulators and landfill operators just fail to understand just what a long-term problem landfill leachate can be...

Landfill broke; Money to treat leachate at NABORS runs out - Harrison Daily

"Landfill broke; Money to treat leachate at NABORS runs outHarrison DailyMelinda Caldwell, executive director of the Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District, said the day for which the Board of Directors has been preparing finally arrived: The district is out of money to operate NABORS Landfill. kAm%96 7:?2?4:2==J EC@F3=65 ..." http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&ct2=us&usg=AFQjCNFl-InOQVKRivZI7BT45aK9Uh7NZQ&clid=c3a7d30bb8a4878e06b80cf16b898331&ei=vnQUVPCGN42YjAbq44H4DA&url=http://harrisondaily.com/news/landfill-broke-money-to-treat-leachate-at-nabors-runs-out/article_ca8d3ca4-1c1f-11e4-ab79-0019bb2963f4.html

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

5 Deadly Sources of Water Pollution - Don't Read This It May Scare You...

What the government doesn't want you to know about Water Pollution!

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Landfills are not specifically shown in this infographic, but are a potentially significant contributor to most of the pollutants shown. They can be chemicals that seep [sip] into the soil (especially if the landfill is not lined) and if leachate gets into the rivers and streams around a landfill they may contribute to all the other categories depending on what has been tipped into the landfill.

So, leachate from unlined and uncapped landfills is a potentially large contributor to the pollution shown in the infographic. But, thankfully, most landfills in the industrialized world nowadays are capped over the top to stop as much rainfall entering them as possible and lined so that the leachate which is formed can always be pumped out and treated so that it does not cause pollution of the sort shown above.

If a large landfill is near you and it is not lined and capped and the leachate is not pumped out and treated responsibly before discharge, you should be worried when you read this...

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Leachate Treatment in India

landfill leachate treatment - Traitement du lixiviat de l'enfouillissement

Image by Sustainable sanitation via Flickr

The continuing poor management of landfills in India is a disgrace, so it is no surprise that although we have seen evidence that there is growing interest in the scientific application of good leachate treatment practice in India, it would seldom be possible to apply it, given the unscientific way in which so called "landfills" (dumps?) are currently engineered and managed.

The following is an extract from an article on 24 April of this year (this month) on which I rest my case, since it is based upon the wealthy capital city of the nation:
Delhi government calls its three garbage dumps at Ghazipur, Okhla and Bhalswa landfills. In reality, they are far from what a landfill should be. These are monstrous trash mountains, including hazardous waste, leaching out toxic liquids and emanating noxious fumes. Thousands of scavenging birds swarm over them as they grow larger every day.

The situation could have been different had the corporations given more thought to managing them. Ask any waste picker who scavenges on these dump yards about why this waste could have been a treasure...
...there are hundreds of waste pickers who pick up whatever they can without using masks, gloves or any other protection. Some even tie a magnet to a long stick to pull up metal objects.
 Credits: Capital dumps a fortune at its landfills - Times of India
In my opinion the provision of proper waste disposal facilities should be on the very top of the agenda as any nation industrializes and becomes more wealthy. If India cannot devote just a small amount of it additional wealth which has been accruing at a historically uniquely rapid rate for more than the last ten years, then it is a failing state.

To deny pickers the ability to make a living can be an evil, but so many other nations (including many of lesser wealth) have found a way to recycle waste in a way that provides jobs for the local community without recourse to the life threatening and certainly extremely unhealthy practice of "picking".

At the same time, it has been possible to provide reliable leachate treatment and disposal once the landfills are properly managed and built in accordance with good sanitary landfill practices as have been acheived in the majority of nations around the world.

Providing successful leachate treatment plant designs in India, for the old existing dumps is an impossible task. That is because the prediction of leachate quality is rendered from scientific capability to a matter of guesswork by a lack of data and controls, and this is made even worse by India's monsoon climate which means that any leachate treatment plant needs to be able to run at almost no flow in the dry periods and very quickly at the start of each monsoon be able to treat it's maximum design flows.

As the most effective, and lowest cost forms of leachate treatment rely on biological processes and these cannot be quickly switched on therein lies another problem for leachate treatment in India.

Then finally, any leachate treatment plant designer for Indian landfills will discover that the water quality that the Indian government's own rules require the leachate to be treated to, are as strict, or require higher water quality after treatment, than even many authorities require in the wealthiest industrialized nations.

Unfortunately, waste management and especially landfill methods don't seem to get any better in India, despite increased wealth. They won't be able to do so, until the central Indian government revises the rules and makes them realistic, less strict but much better value for money, and appropriate to what the municipalities can afford to spend.

The 80/20 rule should be adopted, at least to start with for all future leachate treatment projects because by reducing the specifications for final water quality and using innovative solutions Indian landfill operators should be looking to spend 20% of the cost they are being quoted currently for leachate treatment plants for 80% of the treatment quality, and that treated quality would be good enough for the local rivers for the health of the rivers to which the leachate plants discharge, and for those using the water from them.