A Solid Waste Solution

by Teresa Austin, Asst. Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1993, Vol. 63, Issue 7, Pg. 40-41

Document Type: Feature article


Burgeoning growth and diminishing landfill capacity have been propelling Broward County, Fla. toward a solid-waste crisis. The county, located along Florida's southeastern coastline, has experienced tremendous growth. Since the early 1950s, the population has increased 1,300% to 1.2 million people, making it one of the nation's fastest growing counties. More than 1.5 million tons of solid waste are generated annually by residents, businesses and visitors, a rate that is expected to grow to 2.3 million tons/year by 2010. Of the county's two landfills, one had reached capacity and was closed in 1987. The other would have to close by the mid-1990's unless the area waste stream was decreased. Expansion of this landfill or the siting and development of a new one had become increasingly difficult because of the sharp decrease in available land, stricter environmental regulations and public concern over potential contamination of the vulnerable ground-water aquifer, the region's primary source of drinking water. The answer to this solid waste problem has been found in the design of a comprehensive waste-management system that includes two mass-burn resource recovery facilities (with a combined processing capacity of 4,500 tons/day, expandable to 6,000 tons/day); a double-lined ash monofill; and a 590 acre contingency landfill, in addition to the existing landfill for unprocessable waste. The entire system was awarded the American Society of Civil Engineers' 1993 Outstanding Civil Engineering Award of Merit.

Subject Headings: Landfills | Solid mechanics | Solid wastes | Soil pollution | Groundwater pollution | Light rail transit | Shores | Rivers and streams

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