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 April 25, 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 April 25, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, April 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) A disease that has killed more than six million cave-dwelling bats in the United States is on the move and wildlife biologists are worried. White Nose Syndrome, discovered in New York in 2006, has now spread to 25 states. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Pictures of Ship That Sank in 1888

New Pictures of Ship That Sank in 1888

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) Federal researchers have released new images of the City of Chester, a steamship that sank in San Francisco Bay in 1888. Researchers recently found the shipwreck while mapping shipping routes. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Risk of Asteroid Hitting Earth Higher Than Thought, Study Shows

Risk of Asteroid Hitting Earth Higher Than Thought, Study Shows

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 23, 2014) A group of space explorers say the chance of a city-obliterating asteroid striking Earth is higher than scientists previously believed. Deborah Gembara reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

AFP (Apr. 23, 2014) The UN mission in Cyprus (UNFICYP) led a mine clearance demonstration on Wednesday in the UN-controlled buffer zone where demining operations are being conducted near the Cypriot village of Mammari. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
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