The Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) has named the Underwood Landfill in Lauderdale County Alabama’s Landfill of the Year for 2012. Thompson Engineering served as design engineer for the project, handling aspects from site selection to permitting. “Most of us don’t think about garbage after it’s in the can on the curb,” said Project Scientist Chris Gillentine. “But there’s a lot to consider before our garbage goes into a landfill, and how it is managed once it’s there.”
The William Gerald Hardy Landfill of the Year award is a new award created by ADEM to recognize landfills that are proactively managed. “Every community needs a landfill, and some are managed above and beyond standard compliance and aesthetic considerations,” said ADEM’s Scott Story. “With this award, we recognize state landfills that exceed regulations and are environmentally and community-friendly.”
Drainage, groundwater, soil conditions and aesthetics are some of the aspects scientists and engineers consider when selecting a landfill site. “As an example, there needs to be a degree of separation between garbage and our water source,” said Gillentine. “We make sure the site selected for a landfill is the one that is best for public safety.” The design of the 72-acre Underwood Landfill recognizes the area’s natural landscape, blending in with the area. The landfill is expected to have a lifespan of 50 years, collecting a maximum of 100 tons of trash per day.