In the spring of 2020 Afvalzorg successfully provided assistance in extinguishing a landfill fire at the landfill in Zaldibar, Spain. Here 1.5 million tons of waste avalanched down the hill during a serious landfill accident at which two people died. The waste caught fire, seriously affecting the safety of rescue workers and people in the vicinity of the landfill site. In close collaboration with the Basque government and local fire fighters, the fire was extinguished within a short period of time allowing for the rescue work to continue.
In 2019/2020 Afvalzorg also assisted the operator of the ‘Vall d’en Joan’ landfill site in Barcelona with a strategy to extinguish an extensive subsurface landfill fire which has been smouldering for many years. With a fire-fighting strategy in place, the closure and redevelopment works at the 100 hectare large landfill site can continue in a safe way.
Landfill fires pose a serious risks to the safety at a landfill site and its surroundings. These fires can prove very difficult to extinguish, especially subsurface fires. In recent years Afvalzorg successfully provided assistance to landfill operators in e.g. Turkey, Spain and Aruba on coping with extensive (sub)surface landfill fires. Starvation of oxygen and prevention of ingress of outside air into the landfill body, in combination with proper landfill gas management, are the key to success in most cases.