Calculating leaching of metals from zinc production residu in a landfill

Balen (Flanders)
2007, 2015
Non-ferrous industry in Belgium

A zinc producing company that exploits a landfill for residues from zinc production on its own terrain. Because the landfill was put into use prior to current legislation, the technical design is different from what is mandatory now according to current environmental legislation particularly for the bottom sealing layer.

VITO performed leaching calculations from the waste material in the landfill and compared these to expected leaching from the same material in a landfill designed according to legislation in order to assess the impact of the differences in technical design of the bottom sealing layer. The results demonstrated an equal level of protection of the groundwater in the company landfill as compared to a landfill constructed according to legislation.

The risk assessment was carried out in 2007 and an update was done in 2015 upon the renewal of the environmental permit.