South Dallas County Sanitary Landfill receives award from Iowa Society of Solid Waste Operations

Special to Dallas County News
From left, ISOWO President John Foster, Turkle-Clark Consultant Cindy Turkle, SDCL Director Mike Fountas, Adel SDCL Rep Shirley McAdon and HLW Engineer Doug Luzbetak.

The Iowa Society of Solid Waste Operations announced four award winners across the state at the 2021 Iowa Recycling and Solid Waste Conference in early October.

The ISOSWO Awards Program recognizes premier facilities, projects, programs and individuals in the Iowa solid waste management industry with accolades. 

Locally, the Innovative Project Award was given to the South Dallas County Sanitary Landfill. The project focused on soil and waste exhumation, soil reclamation, air space reclamation and Subtitle D Compliant cell development. It was nominated by HLW Engineering and Turkle-Clark Environmental Consultants.

In the fall of 2018, a study placed the remaining life of the South Dallas County Sanitary Landfill at approximately five years. The current facility is landlocked so the agency had to get creative; given that the SW area of the landfill was a brick quarry pit filled with waste during the late 1970s, the agency decided to investigate the area to determine the condition of the seven-acre area. Test pits discovered a final soil cover thickness ranging from four to 12 feet, with considerable quantities of soil between waste lifts. The agency worked with Turkle-Clark Environmental Consulting to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of excavating the SW area. They looked at cost, staff time needed, recoverable soil, additional airspace, the improved environmental conditions of building a Subtitle D cell in that area and the advantages to the overall final site design. After consultation with HLW Engineering, the Agency’s Engineer of Record, IDNR approval was obtained to excavate and redesign the area as a Subtitle D composite-lined cell.

After an operations plan and health and safety plan were developed and approved, exhumation began and was divided into phases to limit waste exposure, reduce leachate and reduce litter during excavation. Final cover is removed with a dozer, an excavator and a haul truck and is stockpiled for future use. After cover removal, a larger excavator is used to efficiently remove waste, which is then screened with a trommel screen to separate out soil for daily cover. The waste is landfilled in an existing Subtitle D cell and the soil was stockpiled.

This project is ongoing but is expected to gain about 19 years of space. This is believed to be the first major solid waste exhumation project in Iowa.

Iowa Society of Solid Waste Operations is the Iowa Chapter of Solid Waste Association of North America. The ISOSWO is a statewide organization whose members are directly involved in solid waste management issues. Its members include public and private sector employees, along with consultants, engineers, planners, regulators and local elected officials.