The re-introduction of leachate back into the waste can play an important part in landfill management. It can encourage biodegradation by raising the water content and transporting bacteria, nutrients and waste products. It also enables leachate to be stored within the body of the landfill, for example to help minimise temporal variations in the load on a leachate treatment plant. It is helpful for a landfill operator to be able to estimate the rate at which the landfill can accept leachate (the maximum infiltration or injection rate), the storage capacity of the landfill and the leachate retention time. This paper discusses some of the insights obtained from the development and application of a simple conceptual model of leachate recirculation that can be used to estimate key parameter values on the basis of the hydraulic properties of the waste. The model is described, partly validated against a more rigorous numerical analysis, and then used to interpret data obtained from field tests on a real site. The shortcomings of the model in its current form are discussed, and suggestions are made as to how these might be addressed in the context of developing the model as a design tool
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