By far, one of the most hazardous aspects of waste disposal and management is represented by the storage facilities themselves, which often-times come in the form of landfills. Be it open-landfills or contained ones, their impact on the environment is without doubt, substantial, leading to various related issues and making the design, creation and implementation of landfills, a very rigorous aspect.
This page will cover general aspects regarding landfills and their potentially hazardous nature, especially since most of the third-country worlds do not have any actual landfills.
Storing waste poses several architectural, logistical and environmental issues. The nature of the storage facility needs to account for all the aspects that are covered in a risk assessment that is carried out when designing a landfill. The risk assessment needs to look at the characteristics of the environment in the area where the landfill is to be constructed and determine if the geology, climate and biotic factors facilitate the development and housing of a landfill. Furthermore, the proximity to actual anthropic elements and inhabited areas needs to be kept within a safe range, this way minimizing the impact of the society and its people.
When the risk assessment isn’t carried out correctly or completely, multiple issues can arise and this is the case especially when financial and logistical corners are being “cut”, for rushing the landfill construction and deployment.
Several issues of great importance can come in the form of seepage of the waste substances and resulting compounds from the waste storage over time. This can later on translate into soil pollution, which in turn can affect the local water table, rivers or lakes. If the water table is infested with the chemical compounds which result from storing waste for extensive periods of time, that means that the water supply to the local establishments is compromised, along with multiple other uses for the available water.