How environmental policy impacts technology adoption: A case of landfill leachate

Lei Shi, Huixin Chen, Huilin Meng, Rong Cheng, Jinguo Dai, Xiang Zheng, Zhenxing Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The leachate from the landfill is a kind of organic wastewater that highly pollutes the water environment. Water polluted by landfill leachate has been found globally. Therefore, it is necessary to properly treat the leachate before the final discharge. Environmental policy, among other factors such as cost, often has critical impact on water and wastewater treatment technology adoption. In the present study, a comprehensive database of leachate treatment projects is compiled based on literature review and a survey of manager of leachate treatment companies, aimed to explore the impact of national policies on the adoption of treatment technologies. Results show that although China produces a large amount of leachate (0.53–0.75 million tons/day) and the operating cost is high (US$5.60 ± 2.05), the new standard issued in 2008 has higher requirements on wastewater discharge standard, which makes membrane technology, especially membrane bioreactor (MBR) + nanofiltration (NF)/reverse osmosis (RO) technology, widely used in China. This increasing employment of membrane technology to treat leachate in China is a direct result of the new leachate standard, which demonstrates that new environmental policy prevail the concern of treatment cost and advances the adoption of environment friendly technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number127484
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
StatePublished - Aug 10 2021


  • Environment management
  • Membrane technology
  • Policy analysis
  • Waste water
  • Water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Environmental Science
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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