Landfill owners trying to propose a new landfill or an expansion of an existing landfill in an urban or suburban setting often face challenges with communities regarding the aesthetic aspects of the landfill.
Many times, landfill owners are required to lower the landfill based on an arbitrarily selected peak elevation height, which causes the landfill to lose valuable airspace. A solution to this problem is proposed in this paper which consists of a comprehensive visibility and airspace study using an interactive three-dimensional (3D) computer model established utilizing a digital terrain model, a high resolution aerial image, proposed landfill grades, and prominent landmark features that surround the landfill site. A landfill visibility influence chart can be created to illustrate the landfill visual impact to the surrounding communities. In addition, a landfill airspace optimization chart can be developed to show how the landfill peak elevation and corresponding airspace relate to the probability of the landfill not being visible. This chart can be used to achieve a good balance between maximizing landfill airspace and minimizing visual impact to surrounding communities.