Building a Landfill on Mud(Available only in Geo/Environmental Special Issue)

by Michael J. Byle, (M.ASCE), Project Manager; Gannett Fleming, Inc., Suite 100, 650 Park Ave., P.O. Box 60368, King of Prussia, PA 19406,
Anne M. Germain, P.E., Senior Engineer; Delaware Solid Waste Authority, Dover, DE,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1996, Vol. 66, Issue 7, Pg. 12A-16A

Document Type: Feature article


In the early 1980s, officials at the Delaware Solid Waste Authority (DSWA) thought they had found the ideal site for a new municipal landfill: low acquisition cost, direct access from an interstate highway and no nervous neighbors. The only disadvantage: few people were holy enough to walk on its surface. Despite that drawback, DSWA did locate the New Castle County municipal solid waste landfill at Cherry Island, a former dredge disposal site at the confluence of the Delaware and Christina Rivers. An existing wastewater-treatment plant occupies part of the 537 acre island, which had been diked and separated into two distinct dredge disposal areas; one became the landfill while the other continued to be leased and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for dredge disposal. Over the years, as the agency required more landfill cells, the Corps has released areas for development. The island's surface—8-35 m of soft saturated dredge spoils—has required some unique design features and the integration of geotechnical instrumentation into the daily operation of the landfill.

Subject Headings: Municipal wastes | Dredging | Landfills | Solid mechanics | Solid wastes | Islands | Highways and roads | Waste disposal | Delaware | United States

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