Rule Sets Standards for Leachate Effluent

April 1, 2000

3 Min Read
Rule Sets Standards for Leachate Effluent

Steve Webb

Non-hazardous waste landfills, including municipal solid waste landfills in the United States that discharge treated leachate into surface waters, now are required to meet new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Washington, D.C., standards.

The EPA rule, which went into effect February 18, may require some facilities to upgrade their treatment equipment to meet the new effluent limitations.

"Meeting the limitations will depend on the age of the leachate treatment system. If a landfill is using older equipment, it may not be able to meet all the standards," says Ed Repa, director of environmental programs for the National Solid Wastes Management Association, Washington, D.C.

However, most landfills do not discharge leachate into rivers, lakes and other surface water systems, Repa says. The most common technique is to dispose of the leachate at an offsite wastewater treatment facility. The new rule does not apply to leachate that is treated at publicly-owned treatment works (POTW). It also does not cover discharges from "captive" landfills, which are facilities located onsite with industrial or commercial operations.

"The rule will not have a gigantic impact because the vast majority of landfills do not discharge leachate into surface waters," he says. "Probably less than 25 percent of the facilities are doing this."

Before the EPA adopted the rule, effluent was subject to state-administered National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits, Repa says.

Under the new rule, 9 parameters - biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), total suspended solids (TSS), ammonia, zinc, a-terpineol, benzoic acid, p-cresol, phenol and pH - will be subject to standardized effluent limitations.

In addition to leachate, the rule applies to other wastewaters generated at the landfills that are discharged after treatment into surface water, including gas con- densate, drained free liquids, laboratory wastewater, contaminated storm water and washwater from washing trucks, equipment and railcar exteriors.

According to the rule, new landfills must comply with the standards as soon as they begin discharging treated wastewater into surface waters. Existing landfills must comply upon issuance or re-issuance of their NPDES permits.

The rule was published in the Federal Register on January 19 (65 FR 3008). For additional information, call Ed Repa at (202) 364-3773. Copies of the rule are available at

ATLANTA - Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta is a big draw for locals and tourists alike.

So when the park's managers began shopping for garbage containers last summer, they knew they didn't want anything to detract from the park's appeal. Those metal containers, so common on city streets, definitely were out.

After looking into several companies' products, the park's managers awarded the container contract to Toter Inc., Statesville, N.C., which last fall supplied the park with its 60-gallon decorative litter containers.

"We think they fit nicely in the park, especially when you look at the alternatives. These are classy looking containers," says Mark Banta, general manager of Centennial Park. "One of the things we like about them is they have an insert that we can take out and wash."

The 21-acre park, built to honor the 100th Olympic Games held in Atlanta in 1996, features such attractions as a water fountain of Olympic rings, pathways of commemorative bricks, a six-acre lawn and a 1,200 seat amphitheater.

Dotted throughout the park are the 60-gallon containers, which can be picked up either manually or with an automated lifter. Made of polyethylene, the container has a granite pebble finish. The base is filled with sand to secure the container, and the Centennial Park logo is molded into its exterior.

John Scott, Toter's vice president of marketing, says decorative litter containers are increasingly in demand in downtown districts, parks and beaches.

"We've received a lot of orders from downtown associations," Scott says. "They don't want to put out a typical container. They want something that looks upscale but that can be picked up."

The company also supplied about 800 of its 1-cubic-yard tilt units to the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC), which manages the park. The convention center will host WasteExpo 2000 May 15-18.

Centennial Park is adjacent to the convention center.

Stay in the Know - Subscribe to Our Newsletters
Join a network of more than 90,000 waste and recycling industry professionals. Get the latest news and insights straight to your inbox. Free.

You May Also Like