Pilot-scale investigations on the fate and potential effects of disposable diapers codisposed with shredded municipal refuse were conducted using simulated landfills operated under leachate containment and recycle conditions. Carbon fourteen(14C)-labelled absorbent gelling material (AGM) was used to detect the possible loss of the diaper polymer to the gases and liquids generated during the various stages of landfill stabilization. Only a small quantity (<3%) of the total 14C appeared in either the leachate or gas phases. This indicated only minor degradation of the 14C-labelled AGM to either leachate soluble products or methane (CH4) or carbon dioxide (CO2). Retrieval of the diapers and waste after the completion of the landfill stabilization is scheduled to confirm this finding and complete a 14C mass balance. Moreover, the overall results indicated the effectiveness of landfill simulations for determining the fate and effects of codisposed post-consumer products throughout the sequential phases of landfill stabilization.

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