Over the past years, our Kewaunee County Landfill has struggled with the daily cover at our landfill. The DNR requires that each day any waste is added to the landfill that, after the end of the day, that waste must be covered with an approved material in order to reduce odors and keep the waste in place.
Daily cover is a complex issue. Depending on the density of the cover type, the number of cubic feet of space consumed on a daily basis can be significant. Too much cover negatively impacts the overall economic well-being of the landfill. The goal is to keep the daily cover to 20% or less, thus consuming less air space that would be available for more waste. So with that in mind, our landfill staff and landfill committee set about to find a more economical way of handling daily cover that would be approved by the DNR.
Kewaunee County received approval from the DNR to employ a new Enviro Cover that in effect is sort of like covering the landfill open space daily with a 1.25 mil of degradable plastic covering (sort of like the green garbage bags you use at home). Although this type of landfill cover is used extensively in some other states, Kewaunee County Landfill is the first landfill in the state of Wisconsin to use this cover type.
In the picture provided, Steve Wegner is applying the cover to the landfill utilizing the Enviro Cover System that is attached to the front of a Cat loader. The Enviro system lays down a 16 foot wide cover while at the same time applying a material (dirt, sand, shredder fluff, etc.) to hold it in place on the landfill. Steve caught on very quick and even with a good stiff wind blowing, had no difficulty in applying the strips of degradable film over the waste. The seagulls? Well, they were wondering what happened to their food source.
It appears this system will work well for our landfill as it will reduce the amount of space consumed by daily cover. Also, from the standpoint of efficiency, one man can do the job by himself. It is estimated that it will take 30-40 minutes each day to seal off the landfill. There are different grades of the degradable films that would allow us to seal an area off for up to five weeks before having to apply more fill in that area.