Municipal Solid Waste Landfills

Geosyntec’s municipal solid waste (MSW) landfill practice specializes in addressing the most complex and challenging landfill projects through our innovative technologies and designs. Our practitioners assist clients with permitting greenfield sites, maximizing disposal capacity at existing sites, solving complex site challenges, and addressing waste issues. With more than 400 facilities and numerous contract-research projects with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) completed, we continue to develop practical, innovative approaches to design and construction challenges associated with liner and cover systems, geotechnical and seismic stability, increasing and maximizing site capacity, gas management and conversion, and leachate management.

Greenfield and Existing Site Development and Maintenance

To address greenfield and existing site structural and geological issues, our practitioners apply advanced concepts in geotechnical engineering and ground improvement methods to design innovative foundations that will meet and often exceed the life cycle of the site. Through techniques such as prefabricated vertical drains to accelerate consolidation of reclaimed river sediments and dredged materials, to dynamic compaction to address subsurface conditions associated with potential liquefaction during the design earthquake, Geosyntec’s practitioners ensure that every facility is stable, regardless of any event that may affect the site.

Capacity Expansion

In order to add capacity to existing sites with limited property boundaries, we pioneered the use of earth retention systems to maximize airspace volume for landfills. Our practitioners developed and implemented vertical expansions using mechanically stabilized earthen walls to add capacity through airspace volume while maintain existing site footprints.

Gas Collection and Optimization

As landfill cells are constructed and closed, we work closely with owners and operators to optimize the construction of landfill gas collection and control systems through phased management plans. Through proper sequencing, we can take advantage of the installed infrastructure and ensure that landfill gas continues to flow and operates as a fuel source. These management plans optimize the value of the gas collection systems, minimize the need to abandon sections of the system as lifts of waste are placed, and provide a steady revenue stream for direct use, power generation, or conversion.

Leachate Management

We design and install vertical-flow constructed wetlands to treat leachate at existing and closed landfills as an economical alternative to on-site storage and off-site treatment. This passive treatment technology provides significant cost savings when compared to alternative on- or off-site treatment plans. Remote site and closed facilities can also significantly reduce costs when using our adaptation of this technology.

Continued Practice Development and Technology Innovation

Our practitioners continue to design and develop new technologies and methods to address the challenges associated with solid waste disposal. In collaboration with industry representatives and researchers, Geosyntec is developing landfill bioreactor technology for selected waste streams to increase disposal capacity, accelerate gas generation, manage leachate through reuse, and reduce post-closure care costs.

These innovations are devised to usher in the next generation of landfill design to improve adaptability and reduce cost and maintenance needs for owners and operators.  By taking advantage of current technologies and developing new and innovative designs, methods, and products, including enhanced waste separation and processing, enhanced waste degradation, and resource recovery, our practitioners are meeting the complex challenges of our clients and the communities they serve. Through the development of these strategic and tactical innovations, we hope to solve the future MSW management challenges and meet the evolving cost, compliance, and service objectives for our clients.

Lead Consultants

  • Stefanie Fountain, Ph.D., P.E., PMP
    Stefanie Fountain is a Senior Principal Engineer based in Tennessee with more than 17 years of professional experience focused in the areas or radiological waste management; on-site disposal facili ...
  • Jeremy Morris, Ph.D., P.E.
    Jeremey Morris is a Principal Engineer and internationally recognized subject matter expert based in Maryland with more than 18 years of experience in the waste management and renewable energy sect ...
Geosyntec Consultants
Geosyntec is a consulting and engineering firm that works with private and public sector clients to address new ventures and complex problems involving our environment, natural resources, and civil infrastructure.

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