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Best Practices for Construction and Demolition Waste Landfills

  • • Use construction and demolition waste minimization practices. (See Best Practices Construction and Demolition Waste Disposal above.)
  • • See Solid Waste Disposal for Municipal Landfills above for information on siting, design and construction, operation, groundwater problems, leachate, gases, etc.
  • • Use appropriate soil covering techniques on a daily basis to reduce the potential for stormwater infiltration into the waste material.
  • • Collect and remove leachate to be treated before release into any body of water.
  • • Conduct frequent tests in the air and in the leachate to determine levels of hydrogen sulfide or reducible sulfates. The leachate can be a substantial source of hydrogen sulfide.
  • • Divert drywall from construction and demolition waste landfills. Recycle into either agricultural soil amendments or new drywall.
  • • Use moisture control techniques which include minimizing the landfill working face, grading it properly, and covering it at the completion of each operation as well as at the end of the day and weekly.
  • • Dispose of materials containing drywall at the highest level of the landfill, and immediately cover with other waste and soil cover.
  • • Use various soil amendments in the cover material such as ammonium nitrate fertilizer, coal ash, compost, concrete fines (less than 2.5 cm), Fuller’s earth which is a clay-like substance, lime, steel tire shreds, and metallic filter materials.
  • • Finally, the landfill site should have a low permeability layer of material. Make it erosion resistant with a substantial vegetative thick growth on top of the low permeability area.
  • • Do not allow any hot wastes to be placed within the landfill.
  • • Have a written evaluation of all wastes being deposited and look for those which are incompatible and may lead to hot events. Separate or ban them from the landfill.
  • • Check the temperature of the landfill in various places and make sure that it is not increasing substantially.
  • • Determine where oxygen intrusion is occurring and limit it.
  • • If a fire breaks out, immediately put it out in an appropriate manner.
  • • Conduct regular inspections and look for unusual or rapid settlement, vegetative cover which is stressed, smoke and steam, new odors, and excessive amounts of liquid in gas extraction wells.
  • • Analyze the landfill gas for methane, levels of oxygen, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, hydrogen, gas pressure, temperature, and whether or not there is hot leachate. These could indicate a hot environment.
  • • Use a thick layer of low permeable soil as a cover to help suppress hot events. It may also be necessary to use a foam, liquid, or inert gas suppressant. (See endnote 79.)
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