Q: I am wondering if you know of or can point me in the right direction in regard to determining viability of leachate disposal via spraying back onto the active face of a landfill. I have a landfill that has a few issues, and while, from a practical sense, we have had some success with this approach, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants some science to justify it. Do you know of any relevant white papers or research?
A: The best reference I can suggest is Reinhart and Townsend (1997). They describe several ways to reintroduce leachate back into a municipal solid waste (MSW) landfill for the purpose of reaching field capacity. Unfortunately, spraying leachate back onto the active face may lead to problems (i.e., odors, vehicle traction issues, congestion at the face, etc.). I believe that they found trenches lined with geocomposite drainage materials worked very well over time in this application.
Reinhart, D. R., and Townsend, T. G. (1997). Landfill bioreactor design and operation, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Fla.