increasing landfill airspace

September 30, 2022

SCS Engineers Environmental Consulting and Contracting
Landfill longevity, more airspace, reduce construction and OMM costs.

 

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Advice from the Field – Modern Landfill Design

 

Landfill Partial Final Covers and Associated Features  Engineers weld the final cover geomembrane to the bottom lining system geomembrane for cases when there is a bottom lining system below the waste. The welding completely seals the landfill interior space from the outside environment and keeps regulated materials, such as waste, leachate, and gas, within the sealed system…

 

Knowledge of Landfill Sites and Efficacy of Conducting Due Diligence  It is not unusual to see several different landfill designers providing services at a specific site over many years. Each landfill designer brings their preferences and designs …

 

Standard Coordinate Systems for Landfill Topographic Maps  Landfill engineers rely heavily on topographic maps in their design work. Topographic maps present elevation contours, known as contour lines, for changes in the ground surface. Surveying companies create contour …

 

Familiarization with Site History before Design Work for Landfills  Landfills are large and dynamic systems that can take several decades to develop. Unlike many other infrastructure projects with a beginning and an end to the construction of the …

 

Long-Term Performance of Landfill Final Covers  There are several hundreds of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) landfills in the United States. Many of these landfills are anticipated to remain active …

 

Elevated Temperature Conditions in Landfills: Sharing Innovative Designs and Strategies  Landfill operators have known about elevated temperature conditions in landfills for nearly a decade. Some operators have already incurred numerous expenses to control adverse …

 

Temporary Caps – Becoming a No-Brainer for Landfills  Landfill slopes that have reached final grade or will receive waste in the distant future have maintenance challenges. Environmental elements continually affect surface conditions, and remedial work is required routinely …

 

Final Cover System and Landfill Gas Piping – Design Considerations  Landfills are complex systems with many pipes for liquids and landfill gas running in many different directions. Some of these pipes are at the bottom of the landfill, such as …

 

Landfill Leachate Seeps – Prepare Ahead to Avoid the Consequences  Leachate seeps from relatively wet landfills are a fact of life for some operators.  Leachate seeps increase in intensity and frequency after a storm, and you’re wondering, how many seeps …

 

Landfill Airspace – Are You Maximizing Your Greatest Asset? Landfills, especially large regional landfills, are huge enterprises with many different operations ongoing daily. A landfill’s tangible assets are equipment, buildings, machinery, construction materials …

 

Emerging Design Concepts to Facilitate Flow of Liquids on Landfills  It’s basically a circular hole with a gravel pipe in the middle, constructed at different stages of landfill filling operations, which enables water to flow through quickly while removing gas. The first tier is typically installed over 100-80 feet of waste, and the next one over another 100-80 feet of waste with structures that connect the tiers. “How many tiers are installed depends on waste thickness at different locations within the landfill. It can go up to four or five tiers,” he says.

 

Landfill Gas Header: Location and Benefits  By continuing to design gas header construction on landfill slopes, all of the components end up on the landfill slope as well. You can imagine what type of complications the landfill operator will face since all of these components are in areas vulnerable to erosion, settlement, future filling or future construction. Additionally, any maintenance requiring digging and re-piping necessitates placing equipment on the landfill slope and disturbing the landfill slope surface for an extended period.

 

Gas Removal from Leachate Collection Pipe and Leachate Sump  Keeping gas pressure low in and around the leachate collection pipe promotes the free flow of leachate through the geocomposite or granular medium drainage layer to the leachate collection pipe and improves leachate removal from the disposal cell. Using gas removal piping at leachate sumps is highly recommended for warm or elevated temperature landfills where efficient leachate removal from the leachate collection system is another means for controlling landfill temperatures…

 

Leachate Force Main Casing Pipe and Monitoring for Leaks  Landfill operators may add a casing pipe to their leachate force main for additional environmental protection. Consequently, the leachate force main is entirely located inside a casing pipe where the …

 

Designing the Landfill Disposal Cell Base Slope with Consideration for Transmissivity Value  One of the most important regulatory requirements on landfill bottom lining system drainage layer is that the maximum head of leachate over the liner should not exceed 1 ft. When …

 

Landfill Designers Play an Important Role in Landfill Safety  Today’s landfill design professionals can help eliminate unsafe configurations and institute features that can proactively warn of and minimize hazards for operator and customer safety. Designers consider subgrade conditions, geotechnical …

 

Landfill Disposal Cell Base Slope Design  When geonets and geocomposites entered the market, the unwritten consensus among solid waste engineers and regulators was that the maximum head of leachate at the base should not exceed the thickness of the geonet or geocomposite drainage layer. With that in mind, the reduction in transmissivity of geocomposite laid over steeper slopes can adversely impact the maximum leachate head over the liner…

 

Addressing High Gas Pressure Near the Bottom of Landfills  The pipes are extended to outer limits of the cell and to the top of the perimeter berm where they connect to a vacuum source. These pipes will successfully remove excess gas pressures that may develop near the bottom lining system and prevent adverse impacts of the high pressures on the free flow of leachate through the bottom lining system drainage layer.

 

Vertical Drains in Landfills Offer More Efficient Leachate and Gas Collection Reducing Capital Investment  Vertical drains help landfill liquids reaching the gas well gravel pack to flow to the leachate collection system at the bottom of the landfill; thus preventing watering out the gas wells. This sustainable alternative keeps gas production efficient and is environmentally sound, requiring less capital investment…


Shall We End the Herringbone’s 50-Year Reign in Landfill Design?
Ali Khatami makes his case for the landfill chevron pattern. For at least the past 50 years, our industry has referred …

 

Innovative Landfill Design Technologies and Industry Pioneers  SCS Engineers is a leading environmental consulting and contracting firm with over 50 years of expertise in designing, permitting, constructing, and operating landfills. The firm is a pioneering force …

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 2:05 pm

November 20, 2019

Welcome to the SCS Advice from the Field blog series.

Airspace is a golden egg, the equivalent to cash that a waste operating company will have overtime in its account. With each ton or cubic yard of waste received at the landfill, the non-monetary asset of airspace converts positively to the bottom line of the waste operating company’s books.

The larger the airspace, the larger the non-monetary asset, and the larger future cash potential in the account.

Therefore, it is extremely important to design landfill footprints optimally in consideration of planned operations at the site, and design landfill features maximizing airspace within the selected landfill footprint.

Optimization takes into consideration the land available for development, including the various facilities and systems necessary for operations. The type of design, depth of landfill, base slopes, leachate collection pipe slope, perimeter berm geometry and size, slopes of landfill side slopes, terraces on slopes, and many other parameters determine the airspace volume available to the landfill operator. The designer’s goal is to provide the most volume to the landfill operator.

How does the operator know that a proposed design is maximizing airspace?

If SCS is the site designer, the maximization of airspace is inherent in proposed designs for permitting. On numerous occasions, when SCS is not the site engineer, our designers have proposed a re-design of landfill features to maximize the airspace within its permitted footprint. Under these circumstances, it is not easy to convince a landfill operator of the benefits of SCS’s proposal. Naturally, one assumes a designer would not propose a lesser design on paper and carry it through the high cost of permitting, so it is common for the landfill operator to express doubts about our proposed changes. Once the operator and SCS review the technical design changes in detail, the demonstrated value becomes apparent. It is not a simple process, but on every occasion, we have successfully increased the airspace for the client, increasing potential revenue for millions of dollars beyond the originally permitted amounts.

Driven by the success of our clients, it is our culture to serve our clients completely as trusted professionals making your challenges our own. SCS is proud to say that at the date of this publication, our designers have created over $400,000,000 of additional financial benefit out of thin air for clients at a dozen landfills with more efficient landfill base grades that maximize airspace and cost less to construct.

As we move toward our 50th year, we hope to continually improve, evolve, and strive to maximize airspace at more landfills, adding value to our clients’ bottom line. Contact our nearest office if you are interested in a landfill evaluation for maximizing airspace and reducing construction costs. As always, our SCS authors are available to answer your questions or comments.

Landfill Design

 



About the Author:  Ali Khatami, Ph.D., PE, LEP, CGC, is a Project Director and a Vice President of SCS Engineers. He is also our National Expert for Landfill Design and Construction Quality Assurance. He has nearly 40 years of research and professional experience in mechanical, structural, and civil engineering.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am