This article is part one in a four part series.
There is a big difference between a dump and a landfill. Landfills are designed to protect our environment from the trash, and right now Rumpke is in the process of constructing the highly engineered structure that is a landfill cell to house the region’s waste.
For the past 8 years , Rumpke has been excavating a hole in the ground that is more than 150 feet deep and 14 acres wide. This section is called a cell, and it’s where Rumpke will be putting our trash in the very near future.
By the end of the summer, this cell will start to be filled with the trash from residents and businesses within a 60 mile radius of Rumpke’s Colerain Township Landfill. However, before we put trash into the cell a liner system is put in place to protect the environment surrounding the cell.
Currently, we are in the process of putting down the first layer of the cell: clay.
Three feet of re-compacted clay is placed on the side slopes and the floor of the cell. The clay is very thick and very dense, making it hard for liquid to penetrate. Our design will keep everything placed in the landfill, inside the structure and away from groundwater and soil. However, before the clay can be put down a series of test are conducted on the clay. The clay is tested by a third party firm to ensure specific moisture and compaction is being maintained. Rocks above a certain size are also picked out of the clay before final approval.
Eventually, the entire cell will be covered in the clay liner, which can take a few months. Once, it is covered we can move on to the second layer on the liner system we put in place: high-density polyethylene. Look out for they’re doing what to the hole in the ground? Part Two: High-density polyethylene to see the next step in the liner process!
About the Author: Jessica Darling is the summer 2016 corporate communications intern at Rumpke.