Vertical expansion provides an opportunity to increase the landfill volume and provide the residents with the maximum service life within the existing footprint of the permitted Landfill. This method creates a sustainable landfill site and provides better environmental protection at the same time.
A landfill can run out of its airspace or storage capacity prematurely for a variety of reasons such as unanticipated population growth due to rapid urbanization, response to huge amount of debris waste from a natural disaster like a tropical storm or hurricane, poor waste placement operations, or unable to obtain permission or a longer than anticipated regulatory approval process for a new landfill site. From the cost-benefit and timing standpoints, an expansion of an existing landfill laterally by piggyback approach or vertically between two existing landfill mounds provides an excellent and innovative waste management solution to solve the problem of airspace shortage as stated above. Some of the important technical considerations that need to be addressed are: slope geometry configuration and its stability, foundation support and waste settlement due to additional loadings, existing bottom liner system integrity, connecting a new bottom liner system deployed between two mounds, additional leachate and landfill gas controls, stormwater drainage management, potential relocation of existing utility lines, constructability, filling operations and staging/phasing, and environmental or leak monitoring. A case study site located in South America was presented with key technical considerations and results of the landfill airspace gained and life span extended were evaluated and discussed.
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