Landfill leachate from lined and capped sanitary landfills has very few uses. The reason for that is its high strength of organic substances from partial decomposition of biological materials, which in itself causes a problem in using it as it would need dilution if it was to be for example used on agricultural land as a fertilizer. Leachate is also classified as an industrial waste or equivalent in many countries, which means that anyone finding a use for leachate will need to first convince the local environmental regulatory body that such a use is environmentally safe. To show this scientifically can be difficult, time consuming and expensive – and may not be possible.
In addition to the above organic contamination considerations which need to be applied to any leachate use, there are the many other contaminants found in landfill leachate such as:
- heavy metals (at low concentrations but nevertheless for any leachate use the presence of heavy metals would need to be considered in detail)
- low concentrations of pesticides, herbicides and possibly carcinogens as well depending on whta has been disposed within the landfill from which they emanate
- solid matter depending upon the leachate source
- numerous salts
- other substances.
Leachate from composting green waste and from worm culturing (vermiculture) is quite different and has many uses.
Leachate information pages you may find interesting on other websites: