Bulk deposition close to a municipal solid waste incinerator: One source among many

E. Venturini, I. Vassura, S. Raffo, F. Passarini, L. Ferroni, D.C.S. Beddows, R.M. Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


In order to assess the contribution of a Municipal Solid Waste incinerator to the area's total contamination, metals and soluble ions have been determined in bulk deposition collected at sites affected by different levels of plant emissions, according to the results of the Calpuff air dispersion model. Results show that in general fluxes monitored at the different sites during the same period are quite similar for each analyte. Deposition fluxes of nitrite and ammonium are significantly lower at the more distant site, while copper is significantly higher at this site, possibly because of copper fungicide used on the nearby agriculture land. The presence of sea spray and resuspended soil dust can be inferred from Pearson correlation coefficients, while enrichment factors indicate that Cu, Pb and Zn have a probable anthropogenic origin. A more complete evaluation of the sources affecting the area was obtained with PMF analysis. The sources associated with each factor were identified from the source profile and temporal trends. Six factors were identified, three sources associate with natural matrices, while three factors represent anthropogenic sources. The greatest contribution of heavy metals, the most toxic and persistent components determined, is associated with resuspended soil dust, especially when weighted according to their toxicity. The anthropogenic source contribution is similar at all sites, and therefore the incinerator's relative contribution to the total pollutant load appears to be negligible compared to other sources affecting the area.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-403
Number of pages12
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2013


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