Odour-impact assessment around a landfill site from weather-type classification, complaint inventory and numerical simulation

C. Chemel, C. Riesenmey, M. Batton-Hubert, H. Vaillant

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41 Citations (Scopus)
95 Downloads (Pure)


Gases released from landfill sites into the atmosphere have the potential to cause olfactory nuisances within the surrounding communities. Landfill sites are often located over complex topography for convenience mainly related to waste disposal and environmental masking. Dispersion of odours is strongly conditioned by local atmospheric dynamics. Assessment of odour impacts needs to take into account the variability of local atmospheric dynamics. In this study, we discuss a method to assess odour impacts around a landfill site located over complex terrain in order to provide information to be used subsequently to identify management strategies to reduce olfactory nuisances in the residential neighbourhoods. A weather-type classification is defined in order to identify meteorological conditions under which olfactory nuisances are to be expected. A non-steady state Gaussian model and a full-physics meteorological model are used to predict olfactory nuisances, for both the winter and summer scenarios that lead to the majority of complaints in neighbourhoods surrounding the landfill site. Simulating representative scenarios rather than full years make a high resolution simulation of local atmospheric dynamics in space and time possible. Results underline the key role of local atmospheric dynamics in driving the dispersion of odours. The odour concentration simulated by the full-physics meteorological model is combined with the density of the population in order to calculate an average population exposure for the two scenarios. Results of this study are expected to provide helpful information to develop technical solutions for an effective management of landfill operations, which would reduce odour impacts within the surrounding communities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-94
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Issue number1
Early online date18 Sept 2011
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012


  • landfill site
  • olfactory nuisances
  • complex terrain
  • data classification
  • numerical simulation


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