Demolition wastes are generally disposed of in unlined landfills for inert waste.
However, demolition wastes are not just inert wastes. Indeed, a small fraction of
demolition waste contains components that are hazardous to human health and the environment,
e.g., lead-based paint, mercury-contained in fluorescent lamps, treated wood, and
asbestos. The objective of this study is to evaluate the release potential of pollutants
contained in these hazardous components when they are mixed with inert wastes in unlined
landfills. After identification of the different building products which can contain
hazardous elements and which can be potentially pollutant in landfill scenario, we
performed leaching tests using three different lysimeters: one lysimeter containing
only inert wastes and two lysimeters containing inert wastes mixed with hazardous
demolition wastes. The leachates from these lysimeters were analysed (heavy metals,
chlorides, sulphates fluoride, DOC (Dissolved Organic Carbon), phenol index, and PAH).
Finally, we compared concentrations and cumulative releases of elements in leachates
with the limits values of European regulation for the acceptance of inert wastes at
landfill. Results indicate that limit values are exceeded for some elements. We also
performed a percolation column test with only demolition hazardous wastes to evaluate
the specific contribution of these wastes in the observed releases.