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:6/22/2016)... Md. , June 22, 2016  The American College ... Trade Show Executive Magazine as one of the ... on May 25-27 at the Bellagio in Las ... on the highest percentage of growth in each of the ... of exhibiting companies and number of attendees. The 2015 ACMG ...
(Date:6/21/2016)... VANCOUVER, British Columbia , June 21, 2016 ... been appointed to the new role of principal ... has been named the director of customer development. ... , NuData,s chief technical officer. The moves reflect ... development teams in response to high customer demand ...
(Date:6/15/2016)... York , June 15, 2016 ... new market report titled "Gesture Recognition Market by Application ... Forecast, 2016 - 2024". According to the report, the  ... 11.60 billion in 2015 and is estimated to ... USD 48.56 billion by 2024.  Increasing ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... release of its second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering ... retention in this eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Houston Methodist ... the Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve as their ... agreement, Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, ... connectivity with association coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. ... the Cy-Fair Sports Association and to bring Houston ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... today announced the launch of the Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in ... to explore the future of how hardware projects are designed, built and brought ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... Hematology Review, 2016;12(1):22-8 http://doi.org/10.17925/OHR.2016.12.01.22 ... , the peer-reviewed journal from touchONCOLOGY, Andrew ... escalating cost of cancer care is placing an ... result of expensive biologic therapies. With the patents ...
Breaking Biology Technology: