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Clean Closure and the Small Landfill
Author: Guy Graening
Date: 7/112
MSW Management, Vol. 21, No. 3, May 2011, pp. 72-78

In many cities across the United States, there are old landfills on prime property that are out of sync with general plans and shifting demographics. At the end of a landfill's useful life, capping is the traditional approach for closure. This is primarily because modem landfill cover systems are reliable, many contractors are available for installation, and permitting is relatively straightforward. However, the landfill owner incurs significant capital costs for cap installation and indefinite recurring costs for cap maintenance and monitoring. Future development or use of the property is severely restricted, if not prohibited. For small landfills, a better long-term solution may be a "clean closure" where the fill and any impacted soil are removed. Although capital costs are considerably more than capping, clean closure results in eliminating regulatory oversight and the associated recurring costs for complying with the closure permit. In addition, the property is ready for unrestricted sale and development, which can offset the capital costs and improve the land use. The various aspects of this type of closure are illustrated by the city of Folsom's recent dean closure of its corporation yard landfill.

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