Survey puts landfill clean-up costs in perspective

A recent official estimate of future landfill clean-up costs has been challenged by a survey by Frank Graham Consulting Engineers.1 The findings suggest that one in six British landfills have caused water pollution or gas migration incidents, and that remedial costs of several hundred thousands pounds or more are not uncommon.

The study was based on a questionnaire to which about 50 private and public sector operators and waste regulation authorities responded. Their replies covered about 1,000 landfills, most of which have been active in the past 20 years. The main findings were:

  • "Significant" pollution incidents or failures have occurred at 18% of the 1,000 sites.

  • Incidents involving landfill gas accounted for 48% of the total. Remediation cost

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