MSW characteristics and landfill performance in tropical regions

Palavras chave:
Municipal solid waste, Landfill, Mechanical and physical properties, Methane emission, Leachate production.;


Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) materials are among the most complicated materials for geotechnical engineering as their 
composition includes an organic fraction, which suffers loss of mass over time, and a fibrous part, which acts as 
reinforcement, governing the MSW shear behavior. Because of these characteristics MSW can be described as a viscous 
material which shows time dependent behavior. Since the decomposition of MSW leads to gas and leachate generation, the 
changes in the mechanical behavior of MSW could be linked to gas emission and leachate production from landfills. This 
paper deals with the characteristics of MSW materials to provide the necessary data for efficient and safe landfill design, 
construction and operation. Physical characteristics such as composition, water content and organic content at varying ages, 
field and laboratory measurements of methane generation and leachate production, MSW compressibility behavior and its 
shear strength are covered. By presenting these data the authors hope to promote a better understanding of the mechanical 
behavior of MSW and provide useful data for use in landfill management tasks.