The landfill at ACUA’s Environmental Park has been in operation since 1991. The landfill is separated into cells, which hold solid waste generated from Atlantic County homes and businesses. In 2014, ACUA completed construction of the final cell which meant the capacity of the landfill was close to running out.
ACUA researched ways to increase disposal capacity and decided upon an innovative structure called a mechanically stabilized earthen (MSE) berm.
The MSE berm is a structure that wraps around the exterior of the landfill. The space between the newly constructed berm and the slope of the existing landfill is used to store additional solid waste.
A Closer Look at the MSE Berm
The MSE berm is made with layers of compacted soil and geogrids. The exterior face of each layer is bound together with straw netting, a polyester geogrid and reinforced steel.
Phase two of the structure is using recycled asphalt pavement rather than traditional structural fill, which will save money while putting recycled material to good use.
In addition to the construction of the MSE berm, ACUA is installing a "litter fence" on top of the landfill. The fence is wrapping around the perimeter of the landfill and catches litter that blows away during landfill operations. The fence consists of 40-foot tall posts and netting.
Future of the Project
ACUA is permitted to build three berms that will extend 5,200 linear feet in total. Phase one of this project was completed in April 2020 and is now in use. The first phase cost $9.4 million. The second phase added approximately 2,000 linear feet and was completed in 2022. Phase three will go out to bid for construction at a later time.