The results of a 2-year pilot-scale investigation on the codisposal of heavy metal sludge with municipal refuse, under the influence of leachate containment and recycle, are used to illustrate and describe the effects of various metal loadings on the normal progress of waste stabilization and to assess associated assimulative capacity. Evidence of metal precipitation as sulfides or hydroxides and subsequent removal by filtration and sorption in the refuse mass was demonstrated. Conversely, the mobilization of heavy metals was shown to be enhanced by complexation with humic-like substances which also tended to reduce overall toxic effects. Whereas, high heavy metal loadings exhibited a clear inhibitory effect, a definite capacity for assimilation and acclimation at low to moderate levels was established.

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