As a result of the ever-growing global population and rising standards of living the question of proper waste disposal is gaining increasing importance in developing countries and emerging economies. Over the next two decades the controlled landfilling of waste will represent the most important method of waste disposal in most of these countries before they can get to the level of an integrated waste management industry with high recycling quotas and wide-ranging waste pre-treatment. In most countries the current practice of landfilling causes serious damage to people's health and the environment; specialists in developing countries and emerging economies often lack the required know-how to plan and operate a well-managed landfill site with limited financial resources.
Since Germany has over the past 30 years gained wide-ranging practical and scientific insights in the field of landfill technology, it seems sensible to elaborate these results in a way that they can be used by the responsible persons in developing countries and emerging economies in order to help those persons to help themselves. The Geotechnology of Landfill Structures Working Group of the German Geotechnical Society (DGGT, www.dggt.de) and the Landfill Technical Committee of the associations DWA (www.dwa.de) and VKS at the VKU (www.vksimvku.de) thus set up a joint Landfill Technology Working Group.
The Working Group prepares a toolkit for landfill experts containing a summary of the methodological approaches and know-how required for the planning, construction, operation and supervision of landfills, considering various socio-cultural, waste management, climatic and economic conditions (www.landfill-technology.de). The technical level of representation of interrelations is to be based on standard rules and regulations of scientific/technical associations (e.g. the GDA Recommendations of the DGGT's Working Group 6.1). The results are posted on the internet in English in order to ensure they are distributed rapidly and cost-effectively and to guarantee the envisaged know-how transfer. The members of the Working Group compile the materials on a voluntary basis.
Interested individuals who would like to suggest case studies (overall planning of controlled deposits, well-regulated landfills in developing countries and emerging economies, and interesting, constructive individual solutions and details) are asked to contact the chairman of the Working Group.
The Landfill Technology Toolkit aims to gather together methodological approaches and detailed know-how regarding
The main objective of the toolkit is to explain engineering methods in order to enable landfill experts in other regions to develop their own solutions that take account of the socio-cultural, waste management, climatic and economic conditions in their own countries, and that are both ecologically effective and cost-efficient. The project targets landfill technology specialists in developing countries and emerging economies. Experts at all levels of planning and implementation are to be addressed. The focus is on planning engineers responsible for designing the landfill, from drawing up the concept to planning its realisation, and usually as well responsible for inviting tenders and supervising construction. Other experts involved in the landfill are also addressed, that is the employees of
The Landfill Technology Toolkit above all takes into consideration landfills for municipal waste, but many of the aspects it deals with can also be applied to industrial and hazardous waste landfills, as well as to slurry deposits. The technical level of the toolkit corresponds to the level of the rules and regulations of the involved scientific/technical associations DGGT and DWA and thus requires well-qualified (construction) engineers for their implementation. In the experience of the members of the Working Group, such qualified engineers are in fact working in most countries that are beginning to construct landfills. In order to spread the technical information widely, the work of the Working Group and of its international cooperation partners is to be posted on the internet on a separate website. The materials in the Landfill Technology Toolkit will therefore be available practically free of charge (aside from the user's line charges) and accessible at any time around the world - where internet access is available. This simple and cheap access to the Working Group's materials is a key precondition for their rapid dissemination. All the Working Group's materials are currently still being compiled in English in order to make them accessible to as wide a circle of interested parties as possible. The materials may then be translated into other languages at a later stage.