Glina Landfill – Ecology and Pollution

Every evening, I pass through the village of Glina (situated in Ilfov County), or, to be more precise, I pass along the Glina landfill. What can I say? It really stinks!

The Ochiul Boului-Glina landfill first appeared 30 years ago, on the site of the old Ochiul Boului pond, in what was back then the village of Popesti-Leordeni. After the 1977 earthquake, Ochiul Boului pond became a landfill for the people of Bucharest, and the largest trash repository in the capital. Here, people used to bring their household waste and thus, the Glina landfill was born, but only after the earthquake of 1977, which severely hit Bucharest, did its residents truly begin to use it. All the rubble, concrete pieces and shattered remains of buildings that were the result of the earthquake had to be dumped somewhere and thus, an uncontrolled landfill emerged, a “mountain of trash” 15 to 20 meters tall, covering an area of 37 hectares.


The landfill greatly affects the environment and has become a serious issue for the inhabitants of the surrounding areas, most of whom are employed in agriculture and industry. But who is responsible for this? Mostly our society and our negligence when it comes to waste, which has serious repercussions, such as soil, air and water pollution, the appearance of numerous outbreaks of infections and negative effects on the health of nearby residents. This landfill operates without any means of protection against the infiltration of leachate into the soil and the emission of unpleasant odors, gasses and smokes.

The soil is a natural, open and multifunctional body (with various ecological and economical functions) but in the Glina area, the soil can be best described as “dead”; the soil’s state strongly affects water quality, which is infected by various pathogenic microorganisms. As a consequence, agriculture is impossible in the area, at least in theory, and water cannot be employed for its previous uses, that existed before the pollution occurred, but, in reality, people continue to use the water and consume the crops, all this due to a lack of economic means and the authorities’ refusal to take action against the pollution at the Glina landfill.


Nevertheless, in 2008, a greening program began, which involved the construction of 8 cells for storing waste, 4 of which are already completed. The process of restoring the environment is based on applying new technologies for capturing and burning biogas, installed inside the landfill. In order to capture biogas, a number of shafts have been built in the earth beneath the piles of trash. A specialized vacuum station draws these gases which are subsequently burned. The leachate (a liquid resulting from rotting household waste) is pumped to the surface. After it is fed through a purification machine, 60% of it turns into water and the remaining 40%, representing the concentrate, gets pumped back to the surface in order to accelerate the complete decomposition of waste materials.

Article written by Netcu Ancuta Gabriela and translated by Mihail Mitoșeriu.

(Netcu Ancuta Gabriela is a 2nd year student at the Faculty of Geography, University of Bucharest, Environmental Geography section)

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