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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Ecosystem Restoration

Transformation of a Landfill Covering Amended with Municipal Waste Compost, Perugia, Italy


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 36 No. 1, p. 254-261
    Received: Mar 1, 2006

    * Corresponding author(s): mbusinel@unipg.it
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  1. Mario Businelli *a,
  2. Rolando Calandraa,
  3. Marcello Pagliaib,
  4. Daniela Businellia,
  5. Giovanni Gigliottia,
  6. Olga Grassellib,
  7. Daniel Said-Pullicinoa and
  8. Angelo Leccesea
  1. a Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie e Ambientali, Università di Perugia, Italy
    b C.R.A.–Istituto Sperimentale per lo Studio e la Difesa del Suolo, Firenze, Italy


This research deals with the transformation of an anthropomorphous landfill covering composed of a fill soil mixed with mechanically separated municipal waste compost. The study site was a municipal landfill near Perugia, Italy. Throughout the years, waste disposal in the landfill was performed by burial in horizontal layers, each one representing a yearly disposal. The external front of the landfill thus represented the yearly disposal over a 10-yr period starting in 1993. Temporal changes in the anthropomorphous soil over this period were studied by examining and describing soil profiles, and by collecting and analyzing soil samples from the 1993, 1994, 1997, and 2001 disposals. The samples were subjected to a series of physical, chemical, and biochemical analyses. The results obtained suggest that over a 10-yr period the top layer gained a pedological structure (subangular blocky and/or crumb) giving rise to an A horizon. Improved soil structure was confirmed by an increase in macroporosity, particularly for pores larger than 50 μm, measured by image analysis of soil thin sections. Total extractable carbon showed an increase in the content of humic substances, evidenced by parameters of humification. Enzymatic activities in the A and C1 horizons were also indicative of soil evolution and may serve as a valid indicator for monitoring the evolution of anthropogenic soils containing municipal waste compost.

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