Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A green way to cap an old landfill

Date:
February 9, 2011
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Researchers are researching alternative ways to cap landfills. One idea was to cap or seal the old landfill with trees and shrubs, planted in a mix of topsoil and compost, instead of the traditional clay caps. Vegetative caps are gaining acceptance from state agencies as a sustainable practice.

ARS microbiologist Pat Millner is developing a way to cap or seal old landfills with more environmentally sensitive vegetative caps—trees and shrubs planted in a mix of topsoil and compost—in place of conventional clay caps.
Credit: Image courtesy of United States Department of Agriculture - Research, Education and Economics

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientist Pat Millner and safety manager David Prevar have worked with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and private consultants to design and conduct a pilot study for an alternative way to cap landfills.

Millner is a microbiologist at the 6,615-acre Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC) operated in Beltsville, Md., by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the chief intramural scientific research agency of USDA.

Prevar oversees safety and health issues for the ARS Beltsville Area, which, in addition to BARC, consists of the agency's programs at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington D.C, and worksites in Chatsworth, N.J.; Presque Isle, Maine; and McMinnville, Tenn. BARC is the largest and most diversified agricultural research complex in the world.

The pilot project is on part of a long-abandoned, 30-acre municipal landfill located at BARC.

Millner's idea was to cap or seal the old landfill with trees and shrubs, planted in a mix of topsoil and compost, instead of the traditional clay caps. Vegetative caps are gaining acceptance from state agencies as a sustainable practice. EPA Region 3, which serves the Mid-Atlantic states, sees the BARC project as a potential model.

Vegetative caps reduce methane emissions while preventing rainfall from penetrating into the municipal waste and then leaching into groundwater. Also, an increase in forest canopy contributes to improving the health of the Chesapeake Bay by sequestering carbon and filtering runoff. BARC's waterways drain into tributaries of the Bay.

The Maryland Department of the Environment has been following this project closely, since there are numerous landfills statewide that would benefit from this alternative closure approach. This method of capping is more environmentally sound and economical. If accepted by Maryland, when fully implemented it would create more than 30 acres of forest canopy and critical habitat.

The project is described in the poster "An innovative Approach to Landfill Capping -- A Joint Environmental Unit & Research Project at the College Park Landfill."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. The original article was written by Don Comis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "A green way to cap an old landfill." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110209124147.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2011, February 9). A green way to cap an old landfill. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110209124147.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "A green way to cap an old landfill." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110209124147.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) — Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) — With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Big Waves In Arctic Ocean Threaten Polar Ice

Big Waves In Arctic Ocean Threaten Polar Ice

Newsy (July 30, 2014) — Big waves in parts of the Arctic Ocean are unprecedented, mainly because they used to be covered in ice. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) — Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins