at Coventry University and Imperial College, London, are looking at a new way of lining
landfill waste disposal sites that should not only last longer than present solutions, but
be cheaper and better for the environment - by making use of waste itself.
Dr Claisse, of Coventry Universitys School of The Built Environment, explains the
idea behind the project.
"By law all new landfill sites now have to be lined, to prevent seepage of waste
and pollutants into the soil. At the moment this is done by using high density plastic
membranes combined with either natural clay or a clay called Bentonite, mostly imported
"Our project aims to produce an effective and longer-lasting concrete type
barrier, made from re-cycled construction materials, and blast furnace and foundry waste
", adds Dr Claisse.
"This new system potentially has great cost savings as the material that will be
used to form the barrier currently costs £25 per tonne to dispose of. There are 250
hectares of new landfill barrier laid in the UK each year. We estimate that our system
will represent a saving of around £10 per square metre compared to the present method.
This amounts to a £100,000 per hectare saving, adding up to around £25 million per year
in potential cost savings across the UK", said Dr Claisse.
Dr Claisse and Research Fellow Esmail Ganjian will be working with Professor Alan
Atkinson and Dr Mark Tyrer from Imperial College, on the £370,000 project in co-operation
with UK Waste Management Ltd and the Minerals Industry Research Organisation (MIRO).
Around £300,000 of the funding for the project comes from the Governments
recently introduced Landfill Tax Credit Scheme which allows tax levied from the deposit of
waste to be channelled into environmental protection initiatives. The balance is being
provided by industrial partners through MIRO.
"This is potentially a very exciting development in terms of the reduction of
pollution from landfill sites. Our new material will be even more durable than present
solutions - while being cheaper, greener and making us less reliant on imported Bentonite
", concludes Dr Claisse.