People, Environment

1,000 Trees to Die for Waste Treatment Facility

Around 1.8 hectares of forest will be cleared to make way for the treatment facility.Around 1.8 hectares of forest will be cleared to make way for the treatment facility.

A waste treatment facility in Saravan Village in Gilan Province will be set up once the designated land is cleared of more than a 1,000 trees.

Saravan Landfill, which is needlessly close to the verdant forests of Gilan, is brimming with untreated waste whose leachate (liquid that drains from a landfill) threatens not only the surrounding forests, but also soil and groundwater.

The establishment of a treatment facility to neutralize wastes has long been on the cards, but its construction required it to be close to the landfill, which calls for clearing out a portion of Gilan’s receding forests.

Quoting Alireza Hajipour, CEO of Rasht Municipality’s Waste Management Organization, ISNA reported on Wednesday that 1.8 hectares of forest will be cleared to make way for the facility.

“The area was designated by municipality officials and natural resources experts,” he said, adding that an unnamed firm is already cutting down the 1,072 trees in the area.

Hajipour said it took us a while to get the permit but it was finally issued, thanks to the efforts of the municipality and Gilan’s governor general.

According to the official, the landfill leachate has already taken a toll on groundwater resources and farmlands.

“The landfill has caused irreparable damage in the past three decades. The treatment facility will help improve environmental conditions of the region,” he said.

The risks from leachate are due to its high concentrations of organic contaminants and ammonia. Pathogenic microorganisms are often cited as the most important issue of concern. However, pathogenic organism counts reduce rapidly with time in the landfill, so this only applies to the freshest leachate.

If not managed properly, leachate can contaminate groundwater and soil, rendering them toxic to humans, wildlife and plants.


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