Buried Treasure

by W. Robert Kelly, Principal; Clark Engineers & Associates, One Harris Street, Newburyport, MA 01950,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1990, Vol. 60, Issue 4, Pg. 52-54

Document Type: Feature article


Kelly describes landfill mining feasibility studies at two New England communities. Recently, due to rising landfill closure costs, a concept of landfill mining has been tested and shown to be a potentially viable component of solid waste management. Landfill mining involves exhuming portions of a landfill as part of a continued site development or closure strategy. The towns of Kingston, N.H., and Newbury, Mass. completed mining feasibility studies to investigate possible means to reduce closure costs and enhance their long-term solid waste management options. Both communities are under state regulatory enforcement orders to close the current unlined portions of their landfills. In both Kingston and Newbury, these studies were conducted as part of traditional hydrogeological investigations. Initial results showed that landfill mining would be a relatively low cost approach to extending the life of an existing landfill, managing the long-term site liability, reducing permanent site closure costs and providing expanded flexibility for municipal waste management programs.

Subject Headings: Landfills | Mines and mining | Feasibility studies | Mine wastes | Solid mechanics | Solid wastes | Municipal wastes | Hydrogeology | New England | United States

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