A cost/benefit study of earthen landfill covers

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University of New Brunswick


The vast majority of landfill covers that are currently in use contain a barrier layer. This layer's purpose is to minimize the peculation of water into the waste and thereby avoid ieachate generation. These covers are expensive to construct as well as being difficult and expensive to repair if they fail. Evapotranspiration landfill covers work under the principle that the soil on top of the waste acts as a reservoir for water. This water is then removed from the soil through evaporation and transpiration. The soil layer is thick enough that the water does not penetrate into the waste. It is less expensive to construct and easier to maintain than the conventional barrier cover. It has been found that Evapotranspiration Covers work well in semi-arid and arid regions. They can also be used in other regions but are site specific. It has been determined that Evapotranspiration Covers can be used as an economic alternative to the more conventional barrier type covers in Fredericton which resides in a temperate climate. An Evapotranspiration cover is found to produce significantly more Ieachate than conventional cover systems in New Brunswick's temperate climate; however the cost of treating this Ieachate is inconsequential in the city of Fredericton. ET covers are less expensive to construct than both conventional cover systems and the cover system currently in place in the Fredericton. Taking this into consideration it has been found that evapotranspiration covers are an economically viable option in the Fredericton area.