Long-term study of organic compounds in the particles suspended in the atmosphere was conducted in Algiers city area from 1998 to 2006. Wide year-time modulations were observed which is mostly attributed to rapid growth of population in Algiers and hence fast increase in traffic road in one hand and the emission from industrial installations, on the other hand. The year-time variability of organic aerosol composition in the biggest waste landfill of Algiers located in Oued Smar, Algiers, was influenced by the meteorological conditions in addition to rate and nature of waste deposited and burnt day-by-day into the landfill.

Combining the results of diagnostic ratios of PAH, the distribution profiles of linear-chain alkenes and carbon preference index (CPI) for the whole period, it was concluded that

• the automobile exhaust emissions are the main source of particulate organic matter in downtown Algiers;

• the year-time dependence of organic fraction content of aerosol in Algiers appeared to be related to average meteorological conditions which led n-alkanes and PAH to be present at pronounced levels during the cold season;

• the distribution profiles of linear-chain alkenes in the waste landfill indicated that they were of petrogenic origin, although some contribution derived from other anthropogenic sources including tire burning-dust; and

• the incomplete combustion of mixed organic material (whose nature could be fully determined) was recognized as a source of PAH.

The results obtained in this work indicate that the traffic road and municipal waste landfill of Oued Smar are the most important sources of organic aerosols affecting the Algiers city air.

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