An insight into waste management in Australia with a focus on land fill technology and liner leak detection
School of Engineering
It is critical for landfilling facilities to follow proper waste handling and management practices. These include the use of suitable lining systems for waste containment, and the implementation of efficient leakage monitoring and detection systems. In this paper, an attempt has been made to present the current state of landfilling in Australia with a focus on the lining practices and leak detection methods. An extensive study was conducted involving different private and public waste handling and management facilities in all the states and territories of Australia. Based on the survey and the information available in the public domain, it was observed that different landfill sites practiced non-uniform set of directives for waste classification, siting, design, operation and rehabilitation. Majority of the facilities were found to be publicly owned. The use of groundwater monitoring wells for leakage detection was more prevalent than other leak detection methods. Further, a new method of leak detection by the simulation of landfill lining system, which is being developed and investigated in our research, is also presented. This study is particularly useful in generating awareness about the state of landfilling and will help various environmental protection agencies in making informed decisions for the development of rules and regulations to govern landfills. The new leak detection method as developed in our research can find applications in the development of monitoring systems for landfill liners, subbase contamination detection, and development of sensors.