DOI: 10.3390/su152416914 ISSN: 2071-1050

An In-Depth Analysis of Physical, Chemical, and Microplastic Parameters of Landfill Fine Fraction for Biocover Construction

Anastasiia Sholokhova, Inna Pitak, Gintaras Denafas, Regina Kalpokaitė-Dičkuvienė, Marius Praspaliauskas, Juris Burlakovs
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

Landfills pose global challenges, notably in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, pollution release, and extensive land occupation. The transformative practice of landfill mining has redefined these sites as valuable resource reservoirs. The fine fraction (FF), often constituting the majority of excavated waste, is currently underutilized but holds the potential for biocover construction to mitigate methane emissions. This study comprehensively analyzes the FF from the Kuršenai landfill, collecting samples from various depths, reaching up to 10.5 m. The most suitable layers for biocover construction were determined based on basic physical and chemical parameters, along with the concentration of heavy metals and microplastics. The findings unveil significant parameter variations across different depths. Moderate–high correlations (ranging from 0.5 to 0.84) between several parameters were observed. The layer at a depth of 4.5–6 m emerged as the most suitable for biocover construction. However, this layer is characterized by elevated microplastic concentrations (30,208 ± 273 particles/kg), posing a challenge for its use in biocovers as microplastics can be released into the environment during FF extraction and biocover construction. Additionally, microplastics become finer with depth, increasing the associated risks. Therefore, a balanced approach considering material properties and pollution concentrations is vital for sustainable waste management practices.

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