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Water quality improvement at landfill sites in Turkey

17 November 11


In Turkey, over 1,000 old landfill sites are present across the country. A lot of these dumpsites have harmful impacts on ground- and surface water quality. Budgetary constraints make municipalities focus mostly on the construction of new EU compliant landfills, while closure of old dumpsites often remains unsolved.


Closing and rehabilitation of the open dumpsites, while planning and constructing new environmentally sound landfills, is therefore a key issue for many communities in the coming years. Rehabilitation is an essential step in reducing future environmental and public health impacts, wherein expenses and activities for management and maintenance of old dumpsites need to be limited as much as possible. 

Most old dumpsites sites have not been equipped with a bottom liner that is necessary for the collection of leachate water. With the closure of an old dumpsite, the continuing contamination of the groundwater and surface water from the leachate is one of the most important and urgent risks to manage. Because of high costs and complex operational procedures, it is highly unlikely that conventional leachate treatment systems will be installed at these abandoned locations.

Over the past decade, experience was gained in The Netherlands with design and implementation of cost-effective and sustainable leachate treatment systems such as the natural cap concept and the decontamination of groundwater using peat or other natural materials. 

In the framework of the Dutch “Partners for Water” programme, Ameco and Tauw joined hands to study the technical and economical feasibility as well as the market potential of sustainable leachate treatment and prevention systems for obsolete landfill sites in Turkey. The project was recently launched and will run until the end of 2012.

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