Lefke Landfill Still Smouldering and Polluting Air

North Cyprus News - Lefke Landfill - fire

Thursday, 11 August, 2022 

A fire at the Lefke landfill site, which has continued to smoulder since it began on 19 July, continues to pollute the region, BRT reported.

President of the Chamber of Environmental Engineers (ÇMO) Sibel Paralik, pointed out that this disaster is not only a situation that concerns the Lefke region and is not only the responsibility of the Lefke Municipality.

In a written statement she said that Lefke Municipality does not have the finances or resources both technical and human to cope with the smouldering fire.

Paralik stated that delegations from the Chamber of Environmental Engineers and the Chamber of Earth Sciences Engineers examined the smouldering landfill site in Lefke on Friday, 5 August and shared their views and suggestions with the Mayor of Lefke, Aziz Kaya.

At the meeting with [Mayor] Kaya, the results of the study on ‘fighting and preventing surface and underground fires in landfills’ were presented. In both types of fire, compaction and soil covering are seen as the most effective methods to cut contact with air in the fighting method. However, oxygen can also be cut by inert gases such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen, or by steam injection. In water extinguishing operations, the speed of the water should be 75 m3/minute, so that the water intervention method is not used unless it is necessary in surface fires due to the possibility of causing underground fires.

Paralik said that the Chamber of Geoscience Engineers delegation told the mayor that the pyrites (FeS2) in the fire area may have released liquid wastes, water and sulphur, making it difficult to extinguish the fire.

She said, “Since whey was poured onto the area, the heat increase due to oxidation fueled the fire. It was stated that the area is not a suitable area for a waste storage area and its rehabilitation should be provided. It has been stated that, in the measures to be taken against the current environmental and health disaster, first of all, liquid wastes such as whey should not be deposited on the landfill, the intervention with water should be stopped and the area should be covered with soil.

Paralik also emphasised that the problem should be addressed in an integrated way, adequate financial resources should be allocated and organisational changes should be made to solve the problem.


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