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Waste Manag Res. 2017 Sep;35(9):940-948. doi: 10.1177/0734242X17715102. Epub 2017 Jul 7.

Leachate generation from landfill in a semi-arid climate: A qualitative and quantitative study from Sousse, Tunisia.

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1 Laboratory LR 3E, National Engineering School of Sfax, Tunisia.
2 Institute for Water Quality, Resources and Waste Management, Vienna University of Technology, Austria.


Despite initiatives for enhanced recycling and waste utilization, landfill still represents the dominant disposal path for municipal solid waste (MSW). The environmental impacts of landfills depend on several factors, including waste composition, technical barriers, landfill operation and climatic conditions. A profound evaluation of all factors and their impact is necessary in order to evaluate the environmental hazards emanating from landfills. The present paper investigates a sanitary landfill located in a semi-arid climate (Tunisia) and highlights major differences in quantitative and qualitative leachate characteristics compared to landfills situated in moderate climates. Besides the qualitative analysis of leachate samples, a quantitative analysis including the simulation of leachate generation (using the HELP model) has been conducted. The results of the analysis indicate a high load of salts (Cl, Na, inorganic nitrogen) in the leachate compared to other landfills. Furthermore the simulations with HELP model highlight that a major part of the leachate generated originates form the water content of waste.


HELP model; Landfilling; leachate quality; municipal solid waste; water balance

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