Evaluating landfill aftercare strategies: A life cycle assessment approach.
This study investigates the potential impacts caused by the loss of active environmental control measures during the aftercare period of landfill management. A combined mechanistic solute flow model and life cycle assessment (LCA) approach was used to evaluate the potential impacts of leachate emissions over a 10,000year time horizon. A continuum of control loss possibilities occurring at different times and for different durations were investigated for four different basic aftercare scenarios, including a typical aftercare scenario involving a low permeability cap and three accelerated aftercare scenarios involving higher initial infiltration rates. Assuming a 'best case' where control is never lost, the largest potential impacts resulted from the typical aftercare scenario. The maximum difference between potential impacts from the 'best case' and the 'worst case', where control fails at the earliest possible point and is never reinstated, was only a fourfold increase. This highlights potential deficiencies in standard life cycle impact assessment practice, which are discussed. Nevertheless, the results show how the influence of active control loss on the potential impacts of landfilling varies considerably depending on the aftercare strategy used and highlight the importance that leachate treatment efficiencies have upon impacts.
Turner, DA; Beaven, RP; Woodman, ND
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