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Bioresour Technol. 2008 Sep;99(13):5981-5. Epub 2007 Dec 3.

The effect of landfill age on municipal leachate composition.

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Department of Environmental Biotechnology, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Sloneczna Sreet 45G, 10-709 Olsztyn, Poland.


The influence of municipal landfill age on temporal changes in municipal leachate quality on the basis of elaboration of 4 years monitoring of leachate from landfill in Wysieka near Bartoszyce (Poland) is presented in this study. In leachate, concentrations of organic compounds (COD, BOD(5)), nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus), mineral compounds, heavy metals and BTEX were investigated. It was shown that the principal pollutants in leachate were organics and ammonia - as landfill age increased, organics concentration (COD) in leachate decreased from 1,800 mg COD/l in the second year of landfill exploitation to 610 mg COD/l in the sixth year of exploitation and increase of ammonia nitrogen concentration from 98 mg N(NH)/l to 364 mg N(NH4) /l was observed. Fluctuation of other indexes (phosphorus, chlorides, calcium, magnesium, sulfate, dissolved solids, heavy metals, BTEX) depended rather on season of the year (seasonal variations) than landfill age. Moreover, the obtained data indicate that despite of short landfill's lifetime some parameters e.g. high pH (on average 7.84), low COD concentration (<2,000 mg COD/l), low BOD(5)/COD ratio (<0.4) and low heavy metal concentration, indicated that the landfill was characterized by methanogenic conditions already at the beginning of the monitoring period.

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