Landfill Construction and Management
Our landfills are engineered to be secure spaces to put trash, meaning the groundwater and surrounding area are protected from the trash inside using the best available practices and technologies.
Landfills are designed to protect groundwater, surface water and air quality. Each section (cell) of a Granger landfill takes about two years to construct (under the best possible weather conditions). This two-year schedule allows for the precise excavation of the cell, construction of a complex liner system for protection of groundwater and placement of a piping and drainage infrastructure (used to collect liquids and landfill gas for energy).
The liner contains layers of different materials to keep trash contained within the landfill. The materials include clay, a geocomposite material made from bentonite (a type of clay), a flexible membrane (plastic) liner, geosynthetic material to protect the membrane liner, pipes and sand.
Also within the landfill are numerous perforated, high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes used to collect landfill gas and leachate (liquid that has come in contact with trash).
The leachate is collected and safely removed from the landfill.
Landfill gas collected from the landfill travels through the pipes to an on-site facility and is used to make renewable energy. Occasionally, there is more landfill gas than the generators can receive. When this happens, the gas is flared. Utilizing landfill gas in both of these ways reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
Landfill Construction Diagram
View specific layers of a landfill liner system and final cover system on our detailed landfill construction diagram.
Rules, regulations and policies for Michigan landfills are set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) and local communities. Landfill owners follow stringent regulations, plus their own best management practices for landfill construction and operation in order to protect the environment.
These rules also determine which waste materials are prohibited from being disposed of in the landfill and from which areas of the state waste can be accepted.