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Leachate generation is among the main challenging issues that landfill operators must handle. Leachate is created when decomposed materials and rainwater pass through the waste. Leachate carries many harmful pollutants, with high concentrations of BOD, COD, colour, heavy metals, ammoniacal nitrogen (NH3-N), and other organic and inorganic pollutants. Among them, COD, colour, and NH3-N are difficult to be completely eliminated, especially with a single treatment. They should be handled by appropriate treatment facilities before being safely released into the environment. Leachate remediation varies based on its properties, the costs of operation and capital expenditures, as well as the rules and regulations. Up until now, much scientific and engineering attention was given to the development of comprehensive solutions to leachate-related issues. The solutions normally demand a multi-stage treatment, commonly in the form of biological, chemical, and physical sequences. This review paper discussed the use of contemporary techniques to remediate landfill leachate with an emphasis on concentrated COD, colour, and NH3-N levels with low biodegradability that is normally present in old landfill or dumping grounds in developing countries. A semi-aerobic type of landfill design was also discussed, as this concept is potentially sustainable compared to others. Some of the challenges and future prospects were also recommended, especially for the case of Malaysia. This may represent landfills or dumpsites in other developing countries with the same characteristics.


This study was supported and funded by Universiti Sains Malaysia under the RUI-grant (1001/PAWAM/8014081) and RU-bridging grant (304. PAWAM.6316096) for research pertaining to the Solid Waste Management Cluster, Engineering Campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia.




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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.