The annual production of municipal solid wastes (MSW) in Russia, Finland and Ireland in the late 1990s accounts for 37.5, 2.5 and 2.05 mln. tonnes or 252, 488 and 566 kg per capita, respectively. 96.5, 64 and 91% of these wastes (for Russia, Finland and Ireland, correspondingly) are currently disposed of via landfilling. However, nowadays, MSW management in these countries is undergoing drastic changes (source separation, closure of old landfills, reduction of the number of landfills etc.) forced by recent legislation set by the European Union and Russian authorities. This paper evaluates the current status of MSW landfills, as well as information on current leachate and methane emissions in the three above mentioned countries. Landfill leachates are highly variable in each country and between different countries due to different rainfall and climatic conditions and also due to poor landfill top insulation/cover. Leachates in poorly structured landfills are very dilute, whereas leachates with total COD and nitrogen contents as high as 33,700 mg COD/l and 4,030 mg N/l, respectively, have been detected from state-of-the-art sites. Currently, on-site treatment of leachates exists at only a few landfills in Russia, Finland and Ireland but this situation will be considerably improved during the next years. The annual methane emissions from landfills are estimated as 500-900 and 77 ktonnes for Russia and Finland, respectively. Recent estimates from Ireland suggest an annual landfill methane emission of c. 2.1 Mt CO2 equivalent. Several systems of methane recovery have been developed in all three countries and these are currently in different stages of implementation.

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