Distribution and physical parameters of solid waste disposal sites in Southwestern Virginia and the nature of leachate emissions

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Virginia Tech


A total of 62 solid waste disposal sites were documented and evaluated in the 18 county study area of southwestern Virginia. The solid waste disposal operations encompassed a combined area in excess of 458.7 ha. An estimated 32 workers and 40 pieces of heavy equipment were utilized for the disposal of the waste at the various dumps, landfills, and sanitary landfills. The largest number of disposal sites were operated as dumps (62%), while only 14% of the sites qualified as sanitary landfills.

The dump type of operation was characterized by: erosion, odor, leachate, minimum compaction, burning, lack of final or daily cover, and limited soil, financing, cover material, personnel, equipment, and planning. Generally, the waste was deposited at a remote or obscure site and left unattended.

The landfill form of waste disposal, which occurred in 17% of the sites, required the construction of a trench for the disposal of the waste material which was later covered. The landfill form of waste disposal was characterized by shallow soils, limited cover material, steep slopes, and/or underground springs.

The sanitary landfills were located in areas of deep soils, with moderate slopes, and showed an absence of interacting water. These sites demonstrated proper management of the resources and limited alteration of the surrounding area.



waste disposal