The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) and the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) have partnered to create a website that gathers together some of the most recent research on the topic of elevated temperature landfills (ETLFs). The site is intended to inform discussions around the issue.
ETLFs, often incorrectly labeled as landfill fires, have sparked in-depth discussions across the nation due to the management challenges and regulatory issues faced by landfill operators. An ETLF is neither a surface nor a subsurface fire. Rather, these landfills exhibit high temperatures, potentially as high as 150 degrees Fahrenheit to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, which leads to landfill gas operational compliance issues. Not much is known about the mechanisms leading to ETLFs, but research to better understand the causes is currently being conducted.
Among the various management challenges caused by ETLFs are increased leachate quantity, higher concentrations of contaminants in leachate, damage to pipes and gas wells, deteriorating landfill gas quality and damaged public perception.
Both EREF and NWRA hope the website can serve as a resource to better understanding, highlight gaps in research and assist landfill operators tasked with managing ETLFs. Both organizations believe the site will prove useful to both members of the waste industry and the public at large.
The content found on the site includes a summary of EREF-funded ETLF research awarded to a multidisciplinary team consisting of researchers from the University of Virginia, North Carolina State University, City College of New York and Geosyntec Consultants.
Articles from solid waste experts and academics outlining causes and identifiers of ETLFs can also be found, along with ETLF-focused presentations from the Global Waste Management Symposium and FAQs defining ETLFs and the issues surrounding them.
As additional research becomes available, the site will be updated to share the most current information.