They have considered the possibility of landfill mining as a viable means of rehabilitating open dumps. An earlier analysis of decomposed waste from the Deonar dumpsite, in Mumbai, India, had revealed that almost a third of the mass was organic matter, with moisture accounting for 14 percent of the sieved material and inert matter the same again.
Soft plastics, textiles, glass, ceramics, metals, rubber, leather, and other substances accounted for the remainder of the sieved mass.
As such, landfill mining could recover recyclable materials, landfill space, and compost, Joseph said.
He said, mining of compost from open stabilized dumpsites and the application of the bioreactor landfill concept across the developing world, could make dumps much more sustainable and reduce their environmental impact.
The study is part of the "Asian Regional Research Program on Sustainable Landfill Management in Asia" funded by the Swedish International Development cooperation Agency (Sida), and appears in the current issue of Inderscience publication's International Journal of Environmental Technology and Management.