Landfill Operations Guidance Manual (Waste Governance – ENPI East)

The project “Waste Governance – ENPI East” includes activities that address waste management priorities at both regional and national level – the latter through the respective development of an up-dated register of waste disposal sites and a 15-year, integrated, waste management strategy for a selected pilot area. The latter will form the basis of an investment project to provide for effective waste management and, in this respect, it is intended that the strategy will become a model for adaptation and replication in other area of the country.

Disposal of waste to landfill is an integral part of any modern, environmentally secure, waste management system, and is likely to form an important part of the strategy to be developed for Armenia’s pilot region. In Armenia, and indeed for most other former Soviet Union countries, the landfilling of waste will continue to be the predominant waste management option for the foreseeable future, despite efforts to encourage waste recycling in the country. The majority (indeed practically all) of the country’s landfill sites are essentially dump-sites with little, if any, environmental containment measures in place. When badly managed, waste disposal can have significant short- and long-term environmental and health impacts. It is important therefore that waste disposal sites are located, designed, operated, and monitored to ensure that they do not create an unacceptable risk to the environment and human health. Even the best designed and constructed landfill site will have many sanitary and environmental problems if it is operated badly. Conversely, well managed site operations can compensate for weaknesses in site location and design.

The objective of this paper is to present guidelines for improving operational practices at waste disposal sites by bringing them into line with international best practice – not least through convergence with many of the practices and principles within the main EC Directives (e.g. Framework Directive on Waste (2008/98/EC), Directive on the Landfill of Waste (99/31/EC), and the Council Decision on the Criteria and Procedures for the Acceptance of Waste at Landfills (2003/33/EC) wherever practically possible to do so. It will not address the design or construction of landfills or waste disposal sites.