If there is a choice between On Site Landfill Leachate Treatment and off site at a sewage (municipal wastewater treatment) works or even at a commercially run industrial effluent treatment plant, which should you choose?
O.K. Here we go! On the one hand, there’s Pro; In Favor:
The principal point in support of on site landfill leachate treatment versus off site is that it is more efficient to treat leachate in a dedicated treatment plant which has been designed specifically for the high strength of a modern landfill leachate.
Your second supporting point shall be that the investment profile more closely matches a landfill business where a leachate plant built at the start can be paid for from the income (gate fee and landfill gas revenues) generated while the landfill is being actively filled. If someone else treats the leachate off site it will be on a per cubic metre treated basis for 30 to 50, or more, years. But, after the site has been closed the income drops, and soon there is only money put by for treatment to pay for it. So, it is much better to invest in the asset of a treatment plant on-site which will be in use for many years after the initial investment, so that only the running costs have to be paid for it once the landfill site closes and revenue from the landfill to pay for the leachate plant dries up.
The 3rd positive point is the owner of an on site leachate treatment plant has a much secure disposal route for their leachate than for an off site option treatment plant, because the provider of the external service can with little notice cease to accept the discharge.
A fourth big benefit is it is more efficient to treat leachate treatment in a dedicated plant optimized for the purpose, than in a sewage works or an industrial effluent plant where both are usually better suited to treating more dilute / lower strength effluents.
Lastly, the fifth point in support is going to be ((6))).
And conversely, for balance, the Con side, against:
The first point in contra for on site leachate treatment versus off site will be that site owners and environmental regulators (EA, EPA, Water Purification Board, River Management Authority) etc) are often concerned that an on site leachate treatment plant may fail and discharge polluting water into a river or stream. Although, this can be avoided with good design and training of the site staff in leachate treatment plant operation.
The second point in contra is going to be the landfill company may find it hard to finance the capital cost of an on site leachate treatment plant (although a rise in gate-fee to pay for it might be possible)
3rd point against will be there is a lack of space, which is unlikely on a large landfill.
4th point in contra will be the cost of bringing-in a power supply for the leachate treatment plant, although a supply line and electricity are usually available from the landfill gas (energy from waste) generators on site already.
Fifth and finally, last point in contra shall be a lack of landfill site forward planning to make the right decisions to save money on an on site leachate treatment plant over a long-term period.
Now both sides have been heard from and the Pros and Cons are stacked up, in favor and against.
So, who won? What could we conclude? Is on site landfill leachate treatment is more good than bad? or more bad than good?
We have a “Yes” response to both questions! on site landfill leachate treatment versus off site is a decision which will vary according to the circumstances of each landfill site, and the debate is a combination of good and bad… You, dear reader, will need to determine which side, the good or the bad, outweighs the other for your site.