MSW LANDFILL LININGS

Throughout history there has always been the need to dispose of the waste generated by man. Raw sanitary and industrial sewage was emptied into rivers and lakes. Solid wastes were either incinerated, buried or deposited in the ocean. When the population of the earth was much smaller than it is now, these methods provided the most efficient means of disposal. They were also relatively safe in so far as public health was concerned as nature was able to safely break down the disease carrying bacteria and other organic materials and render them harmless. However, as the population grew the lakes and rivers became so saturated with sewage that nature was unable to keep purifying the waters and pollution of such major proportions occurred, that it threatened public health. At the same time sanitary landfills were being used without any regard for water purity, with the result that the pollution found its way into our groundwater causing many problems ranging across a wide spectrum.

One solution to prevent this pollution was to place a liner within the landfill. Some of the materials used were clay, bentonite, asphalt and plastic membrane liners. Since impermeable plastic membranes have been used successfully for years in preventing the seepage of water and various waste liquids, it was only logical that these be considered for sanitary landfill use. In addition, they have long life, are highly resistant to leachate and have the proper mechanical properties to be successful in this application.

Federal RCRA Regulations enacted in the mid 1980's has dramatically increased the demand for landfill linings.

Working with various government authorities and industry associations, QA/QC procedures and specification guidelines have been adopted. Both PVC and Polypropylene have been used in this application successfully.


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