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Maximizing landfill airspace with geosynthetics

Products | February 10, 2022 | By:

Watershed Geo ClosureTurf final cover system plays a big role in maximizing landfill airspace at two landfills on the East Coast.

Illustration of a traditional landfill cover versus Watershed Geo ClosureTurf final cover system designed for maximizing landfill airspace
Illustration courtesy Watershed Geo

For landfill owners and operators, maximizing landfill airspace is a critical component in contributing to the bottom line of their business. The Watershed Geo ClosureTurf final cover system eliminates the use of vegetative and protective/infiltration soil layers, which drastically reduces the amount of soil and earthwork necessary for final cover construction as compared to a traditional soil cover and, thereby, maximizing landfill airspace. For example, while eliminating environmental impacts associated with land disturbance of borrow areas, ClosureTurf also typically provides a minimum 2 feet (0.6 m) of additional airspace compared to traditional landfill closures. It allows for additional waste capacity generation within the same footprint for additional revenue.

The added airspace can be realized for landfills with final cover systems permitted based on elevations of the top of the final cover. Landfill owners also account for depreciation of certain assets over time. If they can accommodate more waste within the same footprint, then the owners can realize a lower depreciation cost per ton of waste.

Maximizing landfill airspace at the Louisa County Sanitary Landfill

For the Louisa County Sanitary Landfill project in Mineral, Va., ClosureTurf allowed for an additional 2 feet (0.6 m) of waste (45,000 cubic yards [34,400 m3]) with an estimated value of approximately $1.5 million to be placed within the permitted airspace limit by eliminating the conventional 18-inch (457-mm) protective and 6-inch (152-mm) vegetative soil layers. In addition, the annual savings in post-closure maintenance costs were estimated to be $20,000/year by eliminating mowing and re-seeding, slope erosion repairs, and sediment removal in drainage ditches and stormwater basins.

ClosureTurf for Carver Marion Wareham Ash Landfill

For the Carver Marion Wareham Ash Landfill project in Carver, Mass., the ClosureTurf alternative closure solution not only required significantly less maintenance under severe weather conditions, but also offered more airspace within the same landfill footprint. Besides many other advantages of ClosureTurf, the site owner appreciated the fact that it provided 12,000 cubic yards (9,175 m3) of extra capacity for the ash by-product generated from the waste-to-energy facility. Because the 2 feet (0.6 m) of soil was not required, the site owner was able to use that space to their advantage. The value of the additional airspace can be realized in many ways, including additional revenue with the gained expansion within the same footprint and more time before opening new waste containment cells.

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