Settlement analysis of fresh and partially stabilised municipal solid waste in simulated controlled dumps and bioreactor landfills
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The patterns of settlement of fresh as well as partially stabilised municipal solid waste (MSW), undergoing degradation in five different landfill lysimeters, were studied elaborately. The first two lysimeters, R1 and R2, contained fresh MSW while the other three lysimeters, R3, R4 and R5, contained partially stabilised MSW. R1 and R3 simulated conventional controlled dumps with fortnightly disposal of drained leachate. R2 and R4 simulated bioreactor landfills with leachate recirculation. Fortnightly water flushing was done in R5. Settlement of MSW, monitored over a period of 58 weeks, was correlated with the organic carbon content of leachate and residual volatile matter in the MSW to establish the relationship between settlement and organic destruction. Compressibility parameters such as modulus of elasticity and compression indices were determined and empirical equations were applied for the settlement data. Overall settlements up to 49% were observed in the case of landfill lysimeters, filled with fresh MSW. Landfill lysimeters with liquid addition, in the form of leachate or water, experienced lower primary settlements and higher secondary settlements than conventional fills, where no liquid addition was practised. Modified secondary compression indices for MSW in lysimeters with leachate recirculation and flushing were 30%–44% higher than that for lysimeters where no liquid addition was done. Secondary settlements in bioreactor landfills were found to vary exponentially with time.