Burying By the Bale

by Linda M. Burke, (M.ASCE), Sr. Proj. Engr.; STS Consultants Ltd., Northbrook, IL,
Andrew E. Haubert, (M.ASCE), Principal Engineer; STS Consultants Ltd., Northbrook, IL,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1991, Vol. 61, Issue 8, Pg. 58-60

Document Type: Feature article


The Gallatin National Landfill, now under construction in central Illinois, incorporates multiple safeguards to isolate refuse from surrounding water and soil with an inward gradient design. A soil-bentonite cutoff wall surrounds the 80 acres of Phase 1, located on some 2,700 acres of abandoned strip-mined land. Within the wall, but outside the landfill, are controls that keep the ground water higher than the leachate level in the landfill. Water seeping into the landfill is removed through the leachate pump system and treated. The site has a capacity of nearly 10 million cu yd, 13 years of operating life at about 1,000 tpd. It serves two six-county regions, one in central Illinois and another in the Chicago area. When formally opened in late 1992, the facility will accept baled waste, but no radioactive, hazardous, hospital or asbestos waste. An on-site composting facility will further conserve landfill volume by transforming reusable yard waste into compost that will be used to improve soil quality in the area. About 8 acres of wetlands must be disrupted for access roads, rail and other facilities, and this required a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit in addition to the Illinois EPA (IEPA) development and operating permit.

Subject Headings: Landfills | Soil water | Core walls | Leachates | Health care facilities | Radioactive wastes | Composting | Permits | Illinois | United States | Chicago

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