Old landfills, constructed without any particular care for protecting the environment, are classified in all international legislations as contaminated sites and their emissions will last for a long time, due to the persistence of a number of elements/compounds released into the atmosphere or the aquifers via the biogas or leachate, respectively.
The main aim of ROLES project is to advance scientific research and technology related to old landfill remediation by using modern concepts such as environmental sustainability, stabilization and immobilization of long impacting hazardous substances, final sink for elements, recovery of resources.
A promising option for achieving this goal is landfill in situ aeration, where considerable experience has been achieved by the University of Padova (UP). This technology is suitable for landfills where a significant amount of putrescible waste was disposed (as in China) and may cause long term problems of gas and leachate emissions.
In situ aeration will accelerate the biological degradation and the immobilization of harmful substances, enabling further site restoration according to different land planning options.
Alternatively, after shorter in situ aeration, the deposited waste can be extracted (landfill mining) and treated for further stabilization and recycling of materials.
Experimental tests at lab scale will be developed in both countries and a demonstrative full scale experiment will be carried out in China.
For the management of the project a joint virtual laboratory will be established within Tsinghua (THU) and Padova Universities.
First recommendations for new regulations old landfill remediation will be addressed both to Chinese and Italian authorities.