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US EPA Landfill Capping

usepa-landfill-cappingThe following applies to the typical RCRA Subtitle C Landfill Cap System

Landfill Capping is the most widespread type of remediation since it is in general less pricey than other technologies and actually manages the human being and environmental risks allied with a remediation site.

Landfill caps can be used to:

* Reduce exposure on the surface of the rubbish facility.
* Avert vertical infiltration of water into wastes that would create contaminated leachate.
* Contain waste while treatment is being applied.
* Manage gas emissions from underlying garbage.
* Generate a terrain surface that can maintain plants and/or be used for additional purposes.

The plan of landfill caps is location specific and depends resting on the proposed functions of the system. Landfill Caps can range from a one-layer system of vegetated soil to a multifaceted multi-stratum technique of soils and geosynthetics. In general, less complicated systems are necessary in arid climates and more intricate systems are essential in damp climates. The fabric used during the assembly of landfill caps involve low-permeability and high-permeability soils and low-permeability geosynthetic products. The low-permeability materials reroute water and preclude its path into the rubbish. The high permeability materials move water away that percolates into the cap. Further materials could be used to increase slope stability.

The most significant components of a landfill cap are the barrier layer and the drainage layer. The barrier layer can be low-permeability soil (clay) and/or geosynthetic clay liners (GCLs). A flexible geomembrane liner is placed on top of the barrier layer. Geomembranes are usually supplied in large rolls and are available in several thickness (20 to 140 mil), widths (15 to 100 ft), and lengths (180 to 840 ft). The candidate list of polymers commonly used is lengthy, which includes polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylenes of various densities, reinforced chlorosulfonated polyethylene (CSPE-R), polypropylene, ethylene interpolymer alloy (EIA), and many newcomers. Soils used as barrier materials generally are clays that are compacted to a hydraulic conductivity no greater than 1 x 10-6 cm/sec. Compacted soil barriers are generally installed in 6-inch minimum lifts to achieve a thickness of 2 feet or more. A composite barrier uses both soil and a geomembrane, taking advantage of the properties of each. The geomembrane is fundamentally impermeable, but, if it develops a leak, the soil component prevents significant leakage into the underlying waste.

For facilities on top of putrescible wastes, the collection and control of methane and carbon dioxide, potent greenhouse gases, must be part of facility design and operation.


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