A C&D landfill in Mobile, Ala. discovered that it had unknowingly accepted a mercury-bearing hazardous waste over a two-year period. The waste, Glass Syntactic Polyurethane (GSPU), is a hazardous material as classified by the US EPA Toxicity Leaching Characteristic Procedure (TCLP).
SES supervised test pitting to determine the feasibility of excavation and separation of hazardous waste from debris within the landfill. Following a settlement for funding, SES prepared a plan detailing the excavation, screening, and removal of the hazardous waste from the landfill. The plan was approved by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management and excavation, screening, and removal of waste occurred from 2009 through 2010.
Depths of waste within the landfill exceeded 60 feet from land surface over a 25-acre portion of the landfill. Approximately 500,000 cubic yards of waste were screened and 400,000 pounds of GSPU waste was removed and underwent proper disposal at a hazardous waste facility.
A secondary benefit of the screening process allowed for the recycling of metal goods and concrete that were placed in the landfill prior to the benefits of recycling being known and the screening allowed for the recovery of layers of cover material that will be utilized for years to come. Overall, a gain of approximately 25% of air space within the area of remediation was realized and added 3 to 5 years of disposal space.