PVC in Landfill
PVC resin is non-toxic and inert and can be disposed of safely in landfill. Nevertheless, as there is a growing scarcity of suitable landfill space, recycling, incineration and waste to energy are considered better options for disposing of PVC.
There is no evidence that PVC products, consisting of resin, additives and other materials, contribute to the toxicity of leachate in landfill. A 2003 report by Dr. John Scheirs for Environment Australia found:
"On the basis of the available research and evidence the landfilling of end-of-life PVC seems to be environmentally acceptable when mechanical recycling and thermal treatment processes are not possible. The overall conclusion of the most recent studies is that PVC products do not constitute a substantial impact on toxicity of landfill leachate and gas."
View Dr. Scheirs’ full report: PVC Final Report [http://www.environment.gov.au/archive/settlements/waste/index.html]
Concerns have arisen about vinyl chloride occurring in landfill. The gas can form when chlorinated hydrocarbons break down. Studies report that because PVC shows no sign of degradation in landfill, vinyl chloride gas does not originate from the PVC.