The impact of municipal waste disposal of heavy metals on environmental pollution: A case study for Tonekabon, Iran

Azizpour A., Azarafza M., AKGÜN H.

ADVANCES IN ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH-AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL, vol.9, no.3, pp.175-189, 2020 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 9 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.12989/aer.2020.9.3.175
  • Page Numbers: pp.175-189
  • Keywords: environmental contamination, municipal waste, heavy metal, leachate, Tonekabon, LANDFILL SITE SELECTION, ANKARA CLAY, SOIL, CONTAMINATION, SEDIMENTS, LINER, PLANT, METHODOLOGY, WATER


Municipal solid waste disposal is considered as one of the most important risks for environmental contamination which necessitates the development of strategies to reduce destructive consequences on the ecosystem as related especially to heavy metal accumulation. This study investigates heavy metal (i.e., As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, Zn) accumulation in the Tonekabon region, NW of Iran that is related to city waste disposal and evaluates the environmental impact in the Caspian Sea coastal region. For this purpose, after performing field studies and collecting 50 soil specimens from 5 sites of the study area, geochemical tests (i.e., inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, atomic absorption spectroscopy and x-ray fluorescence) were conducted on the soil specimens collected from the 5 sites (named as Sites A1, A2, A3, A4 and A5) and the results were used to estimate the pollution indices (i.e., geo-accumulation index, normalized enrichment factor, contamination factor, and pollution load index). The obtained indices were utilized to assess the eco-toxicological risk level in the landfill site which indicated that the city has been severely contaminated by Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn. These levels have been developed along the stream towards the nearshore areas indicating uptake of soil degradation. The heavy metal contamination was classified to range from unpolluted to highly polluted, which indicated serious heavy metal pollution in the study area as related to municipal solid waste disposal in Tonekabon.