Disposal - Landfill

All wastes,  accepted at the South West Solid Waste facility at Hemlock Knoll sanitary landfill is placed in a containment cell.  Check out the diagram of a typical cross section of a cell below. Note the different layers in the design of a cell.

Left is a photo of cell #5 as the clay layer stage of construction nears completion. Third party engineers check all stages of work to insure that all stringent specifications are met. For photos on actual stages of construction check out how cell # 4 was designed.

Cell #5 is at the final stages of constuction. The liner, which is covered, will contain the leachate. To the left is the slope of cell #3 and cell #4.

Each cell represents a significant investment at about 1 million dollars and can last, depending on configuration, up to 3 years. This is the big difference between the old style “dumps” releasing leachate directly into the environment and a modern landfill.

This engineered space is maximized by  staff using heavy equipment such as the Cat D6 and the Caterpillar 826 Landfill Compactor. The waste is formed into layers or lifts and then covered to ward off vectors such as bears and coyotes.

Landfill gas, consisting predominately of methane, is created as a by product of the decaying process of waste under anaerobic conditions.

Cell diagram with leachate

Cross section of how a cell is constructed
(Outreach Productions Ltd.)

South West Solid Waste also operates a comprehensive pest control program to guard against rodent activity at the site.