Environmental and economic assessment of Enhanced Landfill Mining in Tehran


Landfilling brings many difficulties such as leaching of hazardous substances, methane gas production, loss of land, and natural resources such as groundwater, soil, and minerals. Enhanced landfill mining (ELFM) gives an opportunity to deal with such related problems. This study aimed to assess the environmental performance of ELFM through the application of life cycle assessment (LCA). SimaPro (v 8.5) was utilized to model the consequential life cycle assessment. Moreover, a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis was applied to assess the economic performance along with the Monte Carlo simulation to address the related uncertainties. In addition, the indicator of net present value (NPV) was adopted to understand the economic feasibility of the project. The case study landfill was the closed 55-hectare dumpsite of the municipality of Tehran in Kahrizak due to the need for further landfilling space in the future. The results of this study indicated that ELFM could lead to remarkable environmental benefits compared with the landfill’s current status (the do-nothing scenario). The ELFM project reduced the impact of global warming by 1,759,790 ton CO2 eq, equaling to 134% reduction in comparison with the do-nothing scenario. Moreover, the potential profitability of the project was calculated to be 370 million $. Among the processes, recycling and thermal treatment of waste significantly dominated the environmental results of the project. Although the research was based on a case study landfill, the methodology can be applied to similar projects worldwide.

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Landfill mining


Enhanced landfill mining


Life cycle assessment


Municipal solid waste


Tehran Waste Management Organization


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Correspondence to Mohammad Reza Sabour.

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Table 3 Volume and weight of project in each phases (Harati et al. 2011)
Table 4 Environmental conditions of the studied area (Harati et al. 2011)
Table 5 Waste composition of the case study landfill
Table 6 Economic data, amount of uncertainty, and reference

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Sabour, M.R., Alam, E. & Mostafa Hatami, A. Environmental and economic assessment of Enhanced Landfill Mining in Tehran. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-09458-w

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  • Enhanced landfill mining
  • Solid waste management
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Environmental impact
  • Monte Carlo simulation