Landfill project ahead of schedule

Issael Cardenas, a master seamer for Hallaton Inc., checks the seam on the new landfill liner at the Shenandoah County landfill in Edinburg on Tuesday. The liner, which covers 5 1/2 acres, should be finished by Friday and the county could start using it by February. Rich Cooley/Daily

EDINBURG – A $3 million expansion of Shenandoah County’s landfill remains ahead of schedule, the facility director says.

Director of Solid Waste Management Patrick Felling took members of the Board of Supervisors and other county officials on a tour of the construction site recently.

The county awarded a $2.78 million construction contract to Sargent Corporation this past summer. The contract calls for the firm to complete the work building the new landfill cell in 180 days, or by February.

“The project manager has gotten his crew far ahead of that schedule,” Felling said. “In all likelihood they’ll be done by Christmas if this nice weather holds up.”

The county puts waste in areas of the landfill known as Phases I and II. The areas should be full in about a year, Felling said.

Work crews from Hallaton Inc, stretch this section of liner at the Shenandoah County landfill on Tuesday. Rich Cooley/Daily

The project calls for the construction of a new cell spanning approximately 5.5 acres. The county should begin putting trash in the new cell next summer. The new cell is expected to last five to 10 years.

The contractor installed a stormwater diversion system around the site. Crews cleared the area for the cell, installed a layer of clay and then a “geomembrane” liner. They also will put down gravel along ditches designed to carry leachate – liquid generated when rain travels from the top to the base of the landfill – to a pump and then to a collection pond. The leachate then is pumped to the North Fork Eventually crews will put down a layer of protective soil before using the cell.

District 4 Supervisor Cindy Bailey asked how far up the lining in the new cell would go. Felling said the liner of the new cell would connect to the liner of the phases in use. Workers then will weld the liners to create an impermeable seam, Felling said. In the future, the county would expand the landfill by four more phases.

Bailey said the liner was supposed to go further up the old cell. Operations Manager Brad Dellinger said the county would need to obtain a permit to create the “piggyback” approach. The original plan called for digging deeper but the county instead decided to go with the piggyback approach, Felling said. The project manager has said that digging down deeper would require more rock removal and increase the cost of the project by about a $1 million.

The county started receiving waste under a state permit in 1972. The section in use opened in 1985. The county has 61 acres targeted to receive waste. With the expansion the county should fill the site by 2062.

The county collected and diverted 9 million pounds of recyclable material from the landfill in 2014. So far this year the county has shipped out 750 gallons of household, hazardous waste from the landfill for proper disposal.

The county and SCS Engineers worked together on the landfill expansion project. They also are working together to mitigate the spread of methane gas, formed by decomposing gas, from entering the groundwater. A system installed in the landfill collects and directs methane to a device that burns off the gas. The gas likely comes from an old closed cell, installed before federal guidelines on landfills were imposed, that does not have a liner.

Several wells dug around the landfill allow SCS and the county to collect and monitor the levels of methane and chemicals in the groundwater.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com