REVIEW OF LANDFILL STUDIES ON PHYSICO-CHEMICAL CHARACTERS, ASSOCIATED MICROFLORA AND THEIR DYNAMICSMoitrayee Banerjee Chakraborty, Saranga Ranjan Patgiri and Sagarika Paul
With rapid urbanization, landfills or the fixed sites where solid wastes from the adjacent areas are dumped have become an inevitable part of urban life. But landfills give rise to various types of hazards like methane emission due to anaerobic decomposition of wastes, ground and surface water contamination due to release of leachates containing toxic substances and also pathogenic microbes. The inevitability of the landfills and the associated hazards calls for better understanding of the landfills. Microbes or the natural decomposers degrade the biodegradable components of the solid wastes, but the heterogeneous nature of the solid waste, the rate of deposition, the physicochemical conditions, non-biodegradable components disrupts the normal biogeochemical cycles and as a result the landfills turn into an environmental and health hazard. Shortterm enhanced degradation can help in reducing long-term environmental impacts and also help in efficient management of the landfills (Warith, 2002). The dynamics of the biotic and abiotic components of the landfills remains far from being fully understood. Better understanding of the microbially mediated processes in the landfills has become necessary as there are not many alternatives to disposing solid wastes all across the globe.