Waste washing pre-treatment of municipal and special waste

J Hazard Mater. 2012 Mar 15:207-208:65-72. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2011.07.121. Epub 2011 Sep 12.


Long-term pollution potential in landfills is mainly related to the quality of leachate. Waste can be conveniently treated prior to landfilling with an aim to minimizing future emissions. Washing of waste represents a feasible pre-treatment method focused on controlling the leachable fraction of residues and relevant impact. In this study, non-recyclable plastics originating from source segregation, mechanical-biological treated municipal solid waste (MSW), bottom ash from MSW incineration and automotive shredder residues (ASR) were treated and the removal efficiency of washing pre-treatment prior to landfilling was evaluated. Column tests were performed to simulate the behaviour of waste in landfill under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. The findings obtained revealed how waste washing treatment (WWT) allowed the leachability of contaminants from waste to be reduced. Removal rates exceeding 65% were obtained for dissolved organic carbon (DOC), chemical oxygen demand (COD) and Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (TKN). A percentage decrease of approximately 60% was reached for the leachable fraction of chlorides, sulphates, fluoride and metals, as proved by a reduction in electric conductivity values (70%).

MeSH terms

  • Refuse Disposal*