Concerns are growing in the solid waste industry as researchers attempt to pinpoint the cause of elevated temperatures at some landfills.
Dr. Morton Barlaz, distinguished university professor and head of the department of civil, construction and environmental engineering at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C., says there is a lot of speculation about why the temperatures are elevated, however no definitive explanation has been established.
“At some landfills, it is believed that the disposal of reactive industrial wastes caused the temperature to become elevated," he says. "At other landfills, the cause is not known. The presence elevated temperatures is often detected by the presence of elevated temperatures in landfill gas—the landfill gas temperature is monitored routinely.”