Bad Smells From Landfills And Composting Operations: Why Tolerate Them?
Biological Processes Amplify Bad Smells
The nature of biological processes involved in both the composting industry and landfill operations generate or exacerbate odours or bad smells. The waste is of biological origin and is decomposing which will always generate odour. Depending on the processes used, the operations may amplify the odour and release it into the atmosphere. There are many types of odours but most are due to the generation of Hydrogen Sulphide (rotten egg gas), Ammonia or Mercaptans.
Why Are Bad Smells A Problem?
Historically composting and landfill operations have been located in industrial areas away from residential populations. Nowadays with increasing populations, residential areas are encroaching on traditional industrial areas. This leads to complaints about the industrial site most notably regarding bad smells. There seems to be little empathy from local councils or town planners in this regard, especially to the fact that the industrial plant was there first! Failure to address these odour issues can lead to fines and in the worst cases plant closure.
What Options Are Available To Reduce Bad Smells?
There are few alternatives to reducing bad odours in composting industry and landfill operations. And if you don’t consider potential odour issues when installing the plant it often leaves even fewer options to rectify any problems. Some of the options are:
- Change the process. This may involve considerable capital cost and may be inappropriate i.e. an effective alternate process is not available.
- Sealed environment. Capping or venting using activated carbon filters.
- Chemical deodourisers. This a potential cost effective option, which is finding increasing application in the food industry.
What Are Chemical Deodourisers?
There are two kinds of chemical products available in the marketplace.
- Masking agents. These are essentially highly perfumed products which mask the odour.
- Neutralising agents. These sophisticated products chemically combine with the odouriferous substance and neutralise it.
Both types of substance are available as a concentrate, which is subsequentially diluted and sprayed into the atmosphere surrounding the compost or land fill site
Spraying units are normally supplied by the chemical deodouriser supplier to allow their product to be applied. These units are available in multiple configurations and can be adapted to suit all plant sizes.