Key ways to control odours from landfills

OdourPro on 30 August 2017

Landfill industries are facing increasing community and regulatory pressure to reduce odours from their facilities and minimise their impact on surrounding communities.

As urban growth pushes residential areas closer to landfill sites, interaction between communities and the industry is increasing.

Communities want to know what happens in landfill sites located near them, and are increasingly active when changes in permits or expansions are proposed.

In 2016, the expansion plans of a local landfill site in Ipswich’s southern suburbs came under severe public scrutiny due to a perceived negative performance in terms of odour control. Some community members had attributed bad odours to the landfill site over the years leading up to the expansion request. Because odour sources are difficult to identify, these odours had not definitively been attributed to the landfill.

This tension between landfill sites and local communities is indicative of growing environmental awareness.

EPA inspectors are sent to landfill sites to investigate odour complaints, and improvement notices and significant fines can result from these inspections.However, odour treatment solutions are available to assist landfill sites to overcome their specific needs.

In Brief


Misting systems

Essential oils and organic plant compounds spray

Perimeter treatment when sources of odour are widely spread

Vapour systems

Active deodorisation technology

More effective perimeter treatment for severe odour problems

Surface treatment

Reactants sprayed onto solid or liquid surfaces

Landfill surface odour control

Sources of odour from landfill sites

leachate supporting image

Liquid waste - leachate

Landfills contain putrescible material, which is material containing organic waste that can be decomposed by micro-organisms. By its nature, a landfill facility is spread over a wide area, where different levels of decomposition results in varying odour sources being dispersed across the entire site.

Due to the vast array of materials processed in landfill sites, the gases generated are often complex mixtures of many compounds. However, the most common gases emitted are methane and carbon dioxide, which are odourless. Primary odour causing compounds are H2S and ammonia.

Weather conditions can play a massive role in the dispersion of odorous gases and thus their impact on the surrounding community. Wind direction and strength, rainfall and excessive heat are beyond the control of landfill operators, but all play a role in the release of gases from a landfill site.

Landfill sites also generate liquid waste called leachate, which is processed on site before being discharged to effluent water systems. This leachate can also be a source of odour issues if not properly controlled and treated.

Misting systems for perimeter odour treatment

Misting systems are designed to be installed on the perimeter of landfill sites to control odours that leave the site. They can be set up as portable installations that are moved around the site as needed, or as a permanent installation.

The misting agent is made of essential oils and organic plant compounds. Airborne droplets attract and neutralise the odour particles by converting them into non-volatile compounds.

Vapour systems for perimeter odour treatment

Vapour systems are also designed for perimeter fence installation. Their superior performance makes them suitable for sites where the odour issues are more severe.

The active ingredient of vapour systems acts to destroy the odour particles in the air. The design of the release system does not require the use of water and the contact time between the vapour and odour particles is far greater than with spray systems.

Surface treatment for odour control

Surface foam treatment can be applied to areas of a landfill site to control odours in three distinct ways:

  • The foam covering over the surface prevents the release of odorous gases into the atmosphere.
  • A micro nutrient within the foam enhances the biological breakdown of organic matter and reduces the production of odours at the source.
  • The foam also contains a contact deodoriser, which treats the odours that are already being generated from the site.

Contact OdourPro for more information about odour control for landfill industries

We treat the odour problem at its biological or chemical cause for a solution that is successful and sustainable. Our technical experts and proven solutions can help your business overcome the challenges of managing odours.

Call our expert team on 1800 510 704 today to arrange a consultation to help you resolve your odour control issues.