This talk discusses the need to adopt a systems engineering approach to the design and operations of municipal solid waste landfills. It discusses how the interaction between different components affects the performance of the entire systems and how, due to this interaction, the performance of the systems as a whole is much great than the individual contributions of each of the parts. Issues discussed in this context include: landfill covers and the role that they play, landfill operations and consequent temperature effects, implications of liner temperature on leakage, possible means of controlling liner temperature (though operations and engineering), leachate collection and control of head on the liner, geomembrane protection, significance of wrinkles in a geomembrane, geomembrane-clay liner interaction and effects on leakage and finally the contaminant transport implications. It is concluded that by taking a systems approach to design and operations we can provide safe waste containments and provided long term- environmental protection.
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