Interim Waste Management

Our solutions to meet the waste disposal needs.

At present several processing plants are in the pipeline that will serve to alleviate the pressure on the existing landfill sites and greatly improve the current waste management crisis in the country. However, the time frame for these to be operational is at least 24 months – and in the interim, waste must be disposed of safely without causing a public nuisance or a health hazard.

The most viable option would be to set up an interim disposable solution such as a Municipal Solid Waste Landfill (MSWLF) until the processing facilities are functional. A MSWLF is a discrete area of land or excavation that generally receives household waste. It may also receive other types of non-hazardous waste such as commercial solid waste, non-hazardous sludge; conditionally exempt small quantity generator waste, as well as industrial non-hazardous solid waste.  When selecting such a site, it is vital to ensure that landfills are built on suitable geological areas – away from faults, wetlands, flood plains or other restricted areas.

The proposed MSWLF will be designed according to the best design principles for such facility and with clearly defined objectives to accommodate waste for a set period of time.

The primary design considerations would be:

  • Types of waste to be accommodated

  • Volume of waste – daily volume / total volume

  • End of life use of the site

  • Operation and maintenance of the site (during interim period)

  • Minimising public nuisance / health hazards

  • Minimising environmental impact

These criteria can be met by a limited capacity Sanitary Landfill, which can be closed at the end of its operational life and converted to a multiuse industrial area – specifically for waste related activities. The landfill area itself can be reclaimed as a public utility area, such as a park, a golf course, nature reserve, solar park for instance.

Type of Landfills

  • Dump: uncontrolled dump causing hazards to humans and the environment

  • Engineered landfill: controlled landfill + engineered measures to limit impact

  • Sanitary landfill: engineered landfill + landfill gas extraction + groundwater monitoring + highly trained staff + water treatment facility

  • Dump: uncontrolled dump causing hazards to humans and the environment

The sanitary landfill will generally include a Leachate collection and removal system. The operating practices include compacting and covering waste frequently with several inches of soil. These practices help to reduce odour, control litter, insects and rodents and protect public health. The tiered filling system and the layers of soil prevent the build-up of methane gas eliminating the threat of a collapse, ensuring safety.

The advantages of a sanitary landfill are as follows:

The Objectives:

  • To meet the waste disposal needs of a limited catchment area – Colombo Metro

  • To protect ground water quality by eliminating leachate discharges

  • To protect air quality by installing a landfill gas recovery system

  • To use landfill space efficiently and extend the site life as needed

  • To reduce off-loading time and traffic in and around the site to minimize nuisance conditions to neighbourhoods

  • To design and operate minimizing the dis-amenities

  • To provide a clear end of life plan to reclaim the land for public and/or industrial use