The Waste Word Blog

  • How We’re Increasing Disposal Capacity at our Landfill
    August 27, 2019

    Updated April 13, 2020

    The landfill at ACUA’s Environmental Park has been in operation since 1991. It is separated into sections called cells, which hold solid waste generated from Atlantic County homes and business. When one cell reaches capacity, it is closed off, and a new cell is constructed to begin making space for more trash. The landfill was originally permitted to contain eleven cells. ACUA’s final cell was constructed in 2014, and is now in use. 

    To prepare for the future, ACUA researched ways to increase disposal capacity and decided upon an innovative structure called a mechanically stabilized earthen (MSE) berm, which has been used by other landfills in the region.

    MSE Berm 2

    MSE berms are barriers made of compacted soil that are stacked in 18-inch layers on a slight angle, giving it a steep formation. The face of each layer is bound with straw netting, a polyester geogrid and reinforced steel.

    MSE Berm 3

    MSE Berm 4

    Landfill Cell Layout

    ACUA’s MSE berm will wrap approximately 5,500 feet from cell 9 to cell 3, creating added space along the landfill’s interior slope to store trash. Height will vary across different sections; the maximum will be approximately 60 feet tall.

    The project is broken into three phases. Construction is currently being completed on the first phase of the project which will cost $9.4 million. In order to adapt the landfill to the new structure, multiple tasks needed to be completed including relocating a pump station, extending pump risers upward along the slope of the berm, extending the landfill liner system across the interior slope of the berm and installing new storm drain channels.

    Recently, a "litter fence" was installed on top of the landfill. The fence will wrap around the perimeter of the landfill and is will catch litter that blows away during landfill operations. The fence consists of 40-foot tall posts and netting.

    Litter Fence 1

    Litter Fence 2

    Litter Fence 3

    Once the MSE berm is completed, grass will be planted along the exterior of the berm. The final phase of the project is scheduled for completion in 2026.

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