Tunnel Hill Reclamation Landfill is now WIN Waste Innovations

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about Tunnel Hill Reclamation Landfill

When did the landfill first open?

Tunnel Hill Reclamation (THR) began operation in 2007.

When do you expect the landfill to be full?

At the end of 2018, THR had 18.5 years of capacity remaining at current volumes. A requested expansion would extend its life by an additional 17 years at current volumes.

How big is the landfill and how much trash is buried there?

Landfill space is measured in cubic yards. The total authorized amount of waste that can be disposed in the landfill is 37.7 million cubic yards. This is roughly equivalent to filling 280 football fields eight stories high. About 11 million cubic yards of waste were in the landfill as of late 2018.

How much waste does the landfill process every day?

The landfill is permitted to accept 8,000 tons per day, but THR typically disposes about 5,500 tons per day.

What is being done to minimize potential odors?

The landfill applies soil cover daily over the working face and checks for gas emissions several times a day. The facility’s gas collection network is expanded at least annually to collect and destroy landfill gases that could cause odor. Gas is routed through the system’s pipes to a flare where it is burned off.

How is THR contributing to the New Lexington community?

THR is an active member of the community, working with residents and local officials on environmental and civic projects that benefit Perry County. We’ve included some of our community contributions in the News section of our website.

Who can bring trash to the landfill?

THR is approved to accept municipal solid waste (MSW). MSW is solid waste generated from community, commercial, municipal and agricultural operations. This includes wastes from households, offices, stores and other nonmanufacturing activities. Individuals and businesses may bring their trash to the landfill as long as it is nonhazardous and meets our acceptance criteria.

What does the landfill accept and what does it not accept?

The landfill can accept municipal solid waste as well as other nonhazardous solid waste from residential, commercial and industrial sources (e.g., spent nontoxic foundry sand, nontoxic fly ash and bottom ash, impacted soils, and construction and demolition debris).

MSW landfills cannot accept hazardous wastes, radioactive wastes, regulated PCB wastes, CFC containing appliances, batteries, bulk liquids or wastes containing free liquids, untreated infectious waste, scrap tires or yard waste, as required by Ohio law.

Why does THR accept waste from out of state?

Federal law does not allow restrictions to be placed on acceptable wastes from other states. THR’s permits authorize it to accept waste that the landfill can safely and properly manage, regardless of where it originates.

Does the landfill serve local residents and businesses?

THR is pleased to provide disposal services to local residents, businesses and communities.

What will happen when the landfill is full?

Ohio’s regulations encourage a “cap as you go” process whereby the landfill closes and covers portions of the landfill as they reach capacity. When the entire landfill is full, it will be covered with a final cap and monitored for a minimum of 30 years.

What protects the environment from what’s buried in the landfill?

THR protects the environment in a number of ways. First, a bottom liner, which consists of three feet of compacted clay, a geosynthetic clay liner and a high-density polyethylene liner, prevents contaminants from entering the ground or groundwater below the landfill. A leachate collection system, consisting of a network of pipes and pumps, collects all water that comes in contact with waste so it can be transported off-site for treatment.

Another protection is soil cover, which THR routinely applies during operations to cover and keep the waste in place. Methane and other gases are collected by a vacuum gas collection piping system to prevent them from escaping the landfill. When the landfill closes at the end of its operational life, a final cap will be added over the waste to prevent rainwater infiltration and contain landfill gases.

What happens to all of the methane gas that is produced?

Methane and other gases are collected by a gas collection system consisting of a network of gas wells, vacuum piping, and a flare system, which collect the gas and convey it to a flare where it is burned off.

Could the landfill convert trash into a source of clean energy?

Gas-to-energy projects are fairly complex and depend on numerous factors such as gas quality, the location of end users and available infrastructure. THR periodically investigates the potential for uses of its gas and will continue to do so.

Does the landfill attract birds?

Birds are naturally drawn to some of the waste found at municipal solid waste landfills. We minimize this by adding a soil cover over top of the waste soon after it is placed.

What are the long-term environmental effects of decomposing trash in the landfill?

Due to the environmental safeguards required by Ohio solid waste laws and regulations to prevent decomposing materials from ever coming into contact with the air, soil or water, long-term effects are minimal to nonexistent.

What impact does the landfill have on public health?

THR is subject to numerous state and federal environmental regulations and employs best management practices to ensure there is no impact from our operations on public health.

How does the community know if the landfill is taking the proper safety and environmental precautions?

THR must renew its license annually with the Perry County Health Department and is subject to a number of state and federal laws and regulations designed to protect public health and the environment. In addition to keeping detailed monitoring data and other logs, which are subject to review by the Perry County Health Department, Ohio EPA and U.S. EPA, personnel from these agencies regularly inspect the facility to confirm that applicable regulatory requirements are being met.

Is there a governing body that oversees or monitors the landfill?

The Ohio EPA and the Perry County Health Department are the authorities responsible for inspecting THR Landfill on a routine basis.  In addition, numerous operational logs, monitoring data, written plans, engineering drawings and permit applications are submitted to these agencies for review and approval before implementation of operational changes or facility modifications.

Why is the landfill seeking to expand?

Municipal solid waste arrives at THR every day. In order to minimize the impact of the landfill and efficiently manage its operations, THR works only within small, well-maintained “cells” until the lifecycle of that cell is nearly complete. At that time, a new cell is prepared and developed. Expansion occurs by developing new cells on land that THR already owns to best manage incoming waste materials.

What is a cell?

Because it’s not practical to construct an entire landfill all at once, landfills are typically built in discrete segments known as cells. A cell is a distinct area within the landfill where wastes are placed until the cell is filled. A new adjacent cell is then developed for continued operations.