Title: The impact of landfills on the air quality of towns: a simple heuristic model for the city of Palermo

Authors: Salvatore Barbaro, Angelo Bonanno, Maria Letizia Boscia, Gianfranco Rizzo, Salvatore Aronica

Addresses: Department of Energy and Environmental Researches, University of Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, Palermo 90128, Italy. ' Italian National Research Council (IAMC – CNR), Mazara del Vallo TP 91026, Italy. ' ''Soil Unit'' of the Agency for the Environment Protection of the Province of Trento, Piazza V. Veneto 4, Torbole Sul Garda (Trento), Italy. ' Department of Energy and Environmental Researches, University of Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, Palermo 90128, Italy. ' Department of Energy and Environmental Researches, University of Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, Palermo 90128, Italy

Abstract: In this study, the landfill of Palermo, is investigated as a potential source of the unusual methane concentrations found in the urban context. The source for these pollution episodes is identified by means of a simple heuristic method. A cross-correlation analysis between wind data and methane concentration levels is also used to confirm the hypotheses formulated. Doppler Sound Detection And Ranging (SODAR) measurements are used to investigate the air masses dynamics at the landfill, in order to better support the adopted assumptions. This interpretative method can be adopted in the first assessment stages of the environmental site performance in order to single out the candidate pollution sources in urban areas, before any analytical computation takes place. In this sense, the method is intended as a viable tool in decision-making processes where in local administrations are currently involved in the selection of sustainable policies for the correct management of the territory.

Keywords: air pollution; landfill; urban solid waste; methane emission; urban pollutants concentration; heuristic models; air quality; Palermo; Sicily

DOI: 10.1504/IJEP.2009.021833

International Journal of Environment and Pollution, 2009 Vol.36 No.1/2/3, pp.287 - 304

Published online: 05 Dec 2008 *

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