The present paper reports the results of the application of a control system, based on artificial intelligence concepts, for the automation of a bench-scale SBR treating leachate generated in old landfills. Attention was given to the nitritation and denitritation processes in order to enhance the nitrogen removal efficiency. Nitrification and nitrogen removal were usually higher than 98% and 95%, respectively, whereas COD removal was approximately 20-30% due to the low biodegradability of organic matter in the leachate from old landfills; therefore, external COD was added to accomplish the denitrification process. Adjusting the length of the oxic phase, almost complete inhibition of the nitrite oxidizing organisms was observed. The results confirm the effectiveness of the nitrite route for nitrogen removal optimisation in leachate treatment. A significant saving of approximately 35% in external COD addition was achieved.