Ecological Approach

The basic ecological principles of successional development are totally applicable to rehabilitated landfills, and rehabilitation success depends on the reestablishment of biological activities of surface horizons in the long term.

The natural succession of grassland to woodland ecosystem is slow and may take up to 50 years. It is generally accepted that intervention of ecosystem reconstruction followed by natural succession is the best practicable option for landfills. If closed landfills were reclaimed properly, they could provide an attractive source of land for nature conservation, forestry, and recreation. However, the success of reclamation depends much upon the growth ofplants and the efficient cycling of nutrients in the cover material. An integrated approach which includes gas control, soil management, and directed succession can accelerate the development of a sustainable ecosystem in terms of structure and function on closed landfills.

See also: Biological Wastewater Treatment Systems.

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