Stretching a Landfill

by Paul Whitty, P.E., Proj. Mgr.; Rust Envir. and Infrastructure, Philadelphia, PA,
Anthony Eith, P.E., (A.M.ASCE), Regional Engrg. Mgr.; Waste Management, Inc., Tullytown, PA,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1998, Vol. 68, Issue 8, Pg. 52-54

Document Type: Feature article


Landfill expansions can pose engineering challenges, and the Tullytown, Pa., landfill gives an example of a horizontal expansion that added 121 acres of future disposal space. The side-by-side expansion involved constructing a new cell on the existing side slope of the old site and converting the pumping system to a gravity leachate system. The contractor excavated an area next to the site without damaging its integrity by using conventional construction techniques, such as a cofferdam and a cantilevered sheet piling system. During construction, engineers had a unique opportunity to test the liner at the older part of the landfill, which had been covered with waste and exposed to leachate for eight years. Durability of geosynthetics used as landfill liners (and geosynthetics in general) has been an issue since they began to be used in the construction industry more than 20 years ago. The Geosynthetic Research Institute in Folsom, Pa., conducted the tests and found the liners were not only as originally specified, but also passed more stringent tests for wide width tensile strength and stress cracking.

Subject Headings: Construction sites | Linings | Geosynthetics | Tensile strength | Landfills | Aerospace engineering | Leachates | Construction wastes

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