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Alternative Cover Systems for MSW Landfills

Publication date: December 2014. This report compares alternative cover systems for closed landfills with traditional, prescribed final cover systems.

Additional Information:

The final cover system serves as the closed landfill’s most important feature for protecting public health and the environment. We can expect the geomembrane installed as part of a traditional final cover system to last for 500 years. However, some shortcomings are:

  • Loss of landfill airspace due to cover soil and infiltration soil requirements
  • Veneer slope stability
  • Soil erosion
  • The continual need to mow and maintain the cover vegetation

A number of alternative cover systems have been developed and constructed on both a demonstration scale and commercial scale. In this report, their benefits, risks, service lives, and costs are compared with traditional, prescribed final cover systems.

December 01, 2014
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