Site Preparation and Landfill Operation

Site preparation involves making a site ready to receive MSW and can include (O'Leary and Walsh 1991d):

• Clearing the site

• Removing and stockpiling the soil

• Constructing berms around the landfill for aesthetic purposes and surface water control. Berms are usually constructed around each landfill phase.

• Installing drainage improvement, if necessary. These improvements can include drainage channels and a lagoon.

• Excavating fill areas as phases are built (only for excavated landfills)

• Installing environmental protection facilities, including a liner, leachate collection system, gas control equipment, groundwater monitoring equipment, and gas monitoring equipment

• Preparing access roads

• Constructing support facilities, including a service building, employee facilities, weigh scale, and fueling facilities

• Installing utilities, including electricity, water, sewage, and telephone

• Constructing fencing around the perimeter of the landfill

• Constructing a gate and entrance sign as well as landscaping

• Constructing a convenience center, either for small vehicles to unload waste (to minimize traffic at the working face) or for the collection of recyclables

• Installing litter control fences

• Preparing construction documentation

An efficient landfill is operated so that vectors, litter, and environmental impacts are minimized, compaction is maximized, worker safety is ensured, and regulations are met or exceeded. Regulations control or influence much of the daily landfill operation. For example, regulations require some or all of the following:

• Traffic control

• An operating plan

• Control of public access, unauthorized traffic, litter, dust, disease vectors, and uncontrolled waste dumping

• Measurement of all refuse

• Control of fires

• Minimization of the working face area

• Minimization of litter scatter from the working area

• Frequent cleaning of the site and site approaches

• 6 in of soil cover on exposed waste at the end of the operating day

• Special provisions to handle bulky wastes

• Separation of salvage or recycling operations from the working face

• Exclusion of domestic animals

• Safety training for employees

• Annual reports and daily record keeping

Landfill equipment falls into four groups: site construction; waste movement and compaction; cover movement, placement, and compaction; and support functions (O'Leary and Walsh 1991d). Conventional earth moving equipment is usually used in landfill construction. However, specialized equipment is required for liner installation. The vehicles that bring waste to the landfill dump on the working face. Therefore, operators accomplish waste movement and compaction at the landfill by moving and spreading the waste around the working face and traveling over it several times with heavy equipment, usually compactors or dozers. If soil is used as cover material, it is transported using scrapers or trucks. If trucks are used, additional equipment is needed for loading. Cover soil compaction is done by the same equipment that compacts the waste. The use of an alternative cover material, such as foam or blankets, may require special equipment. A common support vehicle is the water truck, which reduces road dust and controls fires. The selection of land fill equipment depends on budget and the daily capacity of the site.

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