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Alternative Landfill Technologies Training Courses
The Alternative Landfill Technologies training courses address design, evaluation, construction, and post-closure care associated with alternative final covers.
Bioreactors are landfills where controlled addition of non-hazardous liquid wastes, sludges, or water accelerates the decomposition of waste and landfill gas generation. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there are approximately 2,500 permitted municipal solid waste landfills (MSWLFs) currently in operation in the United States. Approximately 10% of these facilities will involve retrofitting bioreactors and commence leachate recirculation on existing landfill infrastructures. Current trends indicate that 10-15 new landfills are being constructed each year, with 2-4 facilities being constructed as bioreactors.
The bioreactor process enhances gas generation that can provide a revenue stream and decrease the contaminant load in the leachate. Both of these activities reduce the potential risks associated with the landfill while increasing its long-term stability. When evaluating the bioreactor landfill concept, three additional advantages can be identified:
This training, based on the ITRC Characterization, Design, Construction, and Monitoring of Bioreactor Landfills (ALT-3, 2006), teaches the principles used to make critical decisions faced by regulatory agencies, consultants, and industry during permitting, operating, and monitoring a bioreactor landfill. This training also provides a general understanding of the biological degradation of solid wastes under aerobic and anaerobic waste conditions and the degradation products associated with each process.
Solid and hazardous waste landfills are required by federal, state, and/or local regulations to cover waste materials prior to or as part of final closure. The ITRC Alternative Landfill Technologies team believes that the solid and hazardous waste regulations clearly provide a mechanism to permit, design, construct, and maintain landfills with alternative cover design. Several primary types of alternative landfill covers have been proposed for solid, hazardous, and mixed waste landfills; however, the design is in the science and engineering and should not be categorized or prescriptive. Alternative covers have been constructed and are fully operational at industrial waste, construction debris, municipal solid waste, and hazardous waste landfills. Alternative final covers (AFCs) may be used on bioreactor, conventional, or other types of landfills. Types of AFCs may include, but are not limited to, asphalt covers, concrete covers, capillary barrier covers, and evapotranspiration (ET) covers.
This training and associated guidance focus on ET covers and the decisions associated with their successful design, construction, and long-term care. ITRC developed the guidance document Technical and Regulatory Guidance for Design, Installation and Monitoring of Alternative Final Landfill Covers (ALT-2, 2003) and this associated training course to provide tools and resources when considering the application of alternative final landfill covers. The ITRC guidance and training course focus on a class of landfill final covers ('alternative' covers) as integral parts of an overall landfill system that differ in both design and operational theory from those designs prescribed in RCRA regulations.
Since 1988, more than 6,100 municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills have closed (see www.epa.gov/msw/pubs/mswchar05.pdf). Determining when the regulatory post-closure care (PCC) period can be ended for a permitted solid waste disposal facility is one of the greatest challenges facing the solid waste industry in recent times. Using a performance-based process, conducted on a site-specific basis, to determine if a closed landfill poses a threat to human health and the environment provides information necessary to defensibly conclude that the closed landfill does not pose a threat and allows termination of the regulatory post-closure care period.
This training, based on ITRC'sTechnical and Regulatory Guidance:Evaluating, Optimizing, or Ending Post-Closure Care at Municipal Solid Waste Landfills Based on Site-Specific Data Evaluations (ALT-4, 2006), describes a method to evaluate the performance of Post Closure Care (PCC) at a landfill and determine when leachate recovery, landfill gas management, groundwater monitoring and cap maintenance can be reduced or even ended based on threats (to human health and the environment) posed by the closed landfill. The training and document describe "custodial care" as those requirements the property owner must follow after PCC has ended. They include de minimus site management and care activities including meeting end-use obligations, maintaining institutional control, controlling access, satisfying local ordinances, and fulfilling other applicable regulations and are included as deed restrictions or other enforceable means which follow all land transfers. The training and document focus on PCC of municipal solid waste landfills. However, PCC is relevant to closed sites and facilities managed in accordance with a variety of regulatory programs including RCRA, CERCLA, Solid Waste, Brownfields, Voluntary Cleanup, mined land reclamation, and others. Solid waste professionals and other landfill decision makers (e.g., owners; operators; consultants; Federal, state, and local government; and the public) should attend this training.