Navigation Links
NJIT engineering professor spurs interest in sanitary landfills throughout Asia
Date:6/19/2014

Uncontrolled landfills are a growing problem in the developing world, polluting groundwater and emitting foul odors, while also boosting greenhouse gas emissions.

There is a simple, cost-effective alternative to open dumping, however, which employs caps composed of soil and native plants, that is gaining currency among policy and technical officials, notes Jay Meegoda, a professor of civil and environmental engineering and a waste management expert who is actively promoting the technology's adoption in cash-strapped nations.

"There is little money for sanitary landfills in the developing world and leachate from these sites is contaminating groundwater, while methane is exacerbating global warming. The current practice is to dump waste and sprinkle a little soil over it. This is what we did in this country 40 years ago, and these countries are doing it now," says Meegoda, who recently returned from a UN-sponsored meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka with government, policy, and technical officials from several countries in Asia who expressed interest in the technology.

"With the method known as phytocapping, we place more soil on top of the dumps and grow native plants that absorb the liquid that would leach from them. Enzymes in the plant roots convert the methane produced by decomposition to carbon dioxide, which is a substantially less potent greenhouse gas," he adds. "This is much more effective and not that costly."

Meegoda and Sam Yuen, a colleague from the University of Melbourne in Australia, proposed wide use of phytocaps at the recent meeting in Colombo, which was sponsored by both the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka and the United Nations University, an arm of the UN that functions as a global think tank and postgraduate teaching organization focusing on global challenges to human survival, development and welfare. India, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka have all said they would like to move ahead with the technology.

Meegoda says that he and Yuen are now seeking financial backing to conduct a pilot project from developed nations looking to fund low-cost measures to help developing countries tackle greenhouse gas emissions.

In wealthier nations, modern landfills are lined and outfitted with pipes that distribute liquids to hasten decomposition of landfill material and to extract methane. While these methods are too expensive for much of the developing world, Meegoda calls phytocapping a vast improvement and a "no-brainer" from the standpoint of cost.

Meegoda, the director of NJIT's Geotechnical Testing Lab and the faculty advisor for the university's chapter of Engineers Without Borders, has been working with students since 2007 to bring potable water to a village in northern Haiti through the use of bio-sand filtration systems.


'/>"/>
Contact: Tanya Klein
973-596-3433
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Columbia Engineering and Penn researchers increase speed of single-molecule measurements
2. Melting glaciers, enough sand to bury London, and ancient ecosystem engineering
3. Innovative cell printing technologies hold promise for tissue engineering R&D
4. 5th Annual Advances in Biomolecular Engineering Symposium
5. Medical device, health professionals attend first national conference on value-driven engineering
6. NSF report detailing growth in graduate enrollment in science & engineering in the past decade
7. Investigation of American Oriental Bioengineering, Inc. by Securities Lawyers at Goldfarb LLP Law Firm for Potential Shareholder Claim
8. Oligonucleotide Delivery: Biology, Engineering and Development Conference
9. GEN reports on growth of tissue engineering revenues
10. Engineering technology reveals eating habits of giant dinosaurs
11. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News unveils Biotech Boulevard
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/18/2017)... 18, 2017  Socionext Inc., a global expert in SoC-based imaging ... server, the M820, which features the company,s hybrid codec technology. A ... Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased during the upcoming Medtec Japan ... at the Las Vegas Convention Center April ... Click here for ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... MONICA, Calif. , April 13, 2017 ... New York will feature emerging and evolving ... Summits. Both Innovation Summits will run alongside the expo ... of speaker sessions, panels and demonstrations focused on trending ... coast,s largest advanced design and manufacturing event will take ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... BEACH GARDENS, Fla. , April 11, 2017 ... identity management and secure authentication solutions, today announced ... contract by Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) ... for IARPA,s Thor program. "Innovation has ... onset and IARPA,s Thor program will allow us ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... pathology, announced today it will be hosting a Webinar titled, “Pathology is going ... Pathology Associates , on digital pathology adoption best practices and how Proscia improves ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Disappearing forests and increased emissions are the main causes of ... year. Especially those living in larger cities are affected by air pollution related diseases. ... most pollution-affected countries globally - decided to take action. , “I knew I had ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... , ... San Diego-based team building and cooking events company, Lajollacooks4u, has unveiled ... bold new look is part of a transformation to increase awareness, appeal to new ... , It will also expand its service offering from its signature gourmet cooking classes ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... Dr. Bob Harman, founder and CEO of ... Rotary Club. The event entitled “Stem Cells and Their Regenerative Powers,” ... Dr. Harman, DVM, MPVM was joined by two human doctors: Peter B. Hanson, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: