Plastic products in municipal solid waste result in the extraction of phthalates in leachate that also contains large amounts of organic matter, such as humic substances, ammonia, metals, chlorinated organics, phenolic compounds, and pesticide residues. Phthalate esters are endocrine disruptors, categorized as a priority pollutant by the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). Biological processes are inefficient at degrading phthalates due to their stability and toxic characteristics. In this study, the peroxone (ozone/hydrogen peroxide) process (O3/H2O2), an O3-based advanced oxidation process (AOP), was demonstrated for the removal of diethyl phthalate (DEP) in synthetic leachate simulating solid-waste leachate from an open dump. The impact of the O3 dose during DEP degradation. the formation of ozonation intermediate by-products. and the effects of H2O2 dose, pH, and ultraviolet absorbance at 254 nm (UVC) were determined during ozonation. Removal of 99.9% of an initial 20 mg/L DEP was obtained via 120 min of ozonation (transferred O3 dose = 4971 mg/L) with 40 mg/L H2O2 in a semi-batch O3 system. Degradation mechanisms of DEP along with its intermediate products were also determined for the AOP treatment. Indirect OH radical exposure was determined by using a radical probe compound (pCBA) in the O3 treatment. © 2019 by the authors.