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Impact of Municipal Rubbish dumps on major soil Nutrients in north of Tunisia

Author Affiliations

  • 1Faculté des sciences de Bizerte, TUNISIE
  • 2 Institut Sylvo-Pastoral de Tabarka, TUNISIE

Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., Volume 3, Issue (2), Pages 59-69, February,22 (2014)


Technological progress and population growth have led to an evolution of municipal solid waste production. The management of these wastes has long been reduced to their mere burying or deposit on unprepared and/or inadequate land. In these rubbish dumps, bad smell resulting from the fermentation process of organic matter, as well as the presence of high concentrations of heavy metals (cadmium, zinc, copper, manganese) can create poisoning problems in the environment or to human health. The present study was to evaluate the impact of municipal rubbish dumps in the city of Tabarka (Tunisia) on the surrounding environment. The study considered three different municipal waste disposal sites respectively of 5, 10 and 20 years of age and compared them with pilot soil located about 500 m at the downstream and the upstream of the center of the dump. Samples of soil were taken from various stations. We noticed that the carbon content of the soil was multiplied by four inward from the area adjacent to the center of the waste disposal. Similarly, moving from an uncontaminated to a contaminated location (any station confused), the amount is multiplied by two for nitrogen and by eight for phosphorus. For these three minerals seasonal variation was not statistically significant. For calcium, potassium and sodium, the highest concentrations were recorded in the center of the rubbish dumps. Although these concentrations varied significantly between stations and localities, the highest values were always recorded in the contaminated areas.


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