There will be a strong workload for landfill capping contractors this summer due to the closure of many landfills during 2006, which has taken place as a result of the ending of the grace period for the transition from Waste Management Licences to PPC Permits under the IPPC legislation.
Many landfill owners which did not apply for PPC Permits, and instead closed their sites, were able to keep them open until the end of the year (2006), and even those closing earlier missed the summer (good weather) earthworks window for 2006. Therefore, they have been lining up their projects for this summer.
Landfill owners are required to cap and restore their sites under all legislation (old Waste Regulations and within their PPC permits) throughout Europe.
Although most savvy operators are actually sealing their sites as early as possible, and before capping, in order not to lose valuable landfill gas, which is utilised almost universally now (at larger sites) for power generation and the electricity revenue that provides.
Nevertheless, by permanently capping the site as soon as possible they provide themselves with the best permanent installation for leachate extraction at the earliest opportunity. Leachate collection from the gas wells will be minimised as soon as possible, minimising leachate generated, and reducing leachate disposal costs. At the same time the installed permanent leachate pumps will ensure maximum landfill gas yield by avoiding some wells being effectively blocked to gas production, by the presence of standing leachate.
For those. like Rowe Environmental, working in landfill Construction Quality Assurance, the summer also looks like being a very busy time.