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About Landfill Liners

Date Added: December 17, 2010 08:24:24 PM

Much of the garbage generated in cities and towns is disposed of in landfills. But the waste in landfills can mix with water and other liquids to produce leachate, which can mix with groundwater and pollute local water supplies. To prevent environmental contamination, liners are installed in the bottom of landfills during construction.

Several factors should be considered when selecting and installing landfill liners, but the single biggest priority is preventing or minimizing the escape of leachate from the landfill. Landfill liners are generally composed of a layer of compacted clay, overlaid by either an HDPE geomembrane (high-density polyethylene) or an LLDPE geomembrane (linear low-density polyethylene).

Additional factors should be considered when selecting landfill liner material. One particularly challenging factor can be damage of the geomembrane during installation. The geomembrane must be able to resist tearing and puncturing during installation in the landfill.

One other factor to consider is the slope of the sides of the landfill. Steep landfill slopes can present a number of challenges for landfill liners, such as more challenging installation, more difficulty adhering to the surface of the landfill, and increased shear tension due to the weight of the waste in the landfill against the steep slope. This is one reason LLDPE geomembranes, which offer greater tensile strength and anti-tear properties, are sometimes used. In addition, textured geomembranes as opposed to smooth geomembranes are sometimes utilized to help the liner find traction against the slope of the landfill.

Government regulatory bodies in many countries, such as the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States, have issued guidelines or regulations for landfill liner manufacturers. Check with the applicable regulatory agency or agencies in your area to determine local requirements for landfill liner construction and installation.