Odour emissions from landfill sites generate public opposition to the existence of landfills. Our research aims to develop technology for an effective management and decision support system for landfill operations that will minimise the negative impacts of odour on surrounding communities. In this paper we review the key requirements of such a system. In particular we highlight the effects of complex terrain on the flow field and dispersion, and the need for accurate modelling of concentration fluctuations in order to predict odour effects.

The Bisasar Road landfill site in Durban, South Africa, is being used as a case study in the research. A review of odour complaints is reported and the associated weather conditions discussed. Field experiments using smoke flares for flow visualization are described and the results compared qualitatively with numerical flow modelling. Simulations using a prototype odour management system are reported to illustrate the effectiveness of using such a system to mitigate odour impacts.