Invited Session: Closing Dumpsites

Dump Closure as Part of Guam’s Solid Waste System Turnaround (0.5 CEU)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
15:30 – 16:00
Room 323

Moderator: Robert Watts, Executive Director, Chester County Solid Waste Authority, Pennsylvania

Because of GBB’s experience and knowledge, Guam’s solid waste system has turned from deplorable to dependable. In 2008, the Chief Judge of the United States District Court of Guam issued a court order appointing GBB as Receiver to achieve what the Government of Guam was unsuccessful in reaching during the previous 22 years—compliance with the Clean Water Act as set forth in a Consent Decree. What the judge tasked GBB with, and what the Consent Decree requires, is a complete 180-degree turnaround of a completely dysfunctional solid waste management system while closing a dump that has been open for nearly 70 years. This presentation will walk attendees through cover selection given site background, locational constraints, geophysical conditions, and weather impacts that are in the extreme range relative to other locations in the world. The site is a 70-year old solid waste dumpsite on a tropical island with precious water resources, limited land, limited financial resources, and remotely located—far from recycling hubs. The presentation has a focus on the outer protective cover layer that employs a geocell system that protects the geomembrane cover system which prevents landfill gas release and precipitation from generating leachate.

By attending this presentation, participants will better be able to:

  • Evaluate other closure system options that can step out of the slope constraints regulatory agencies impose by using this example and format to convince them to allow alternative methods, steeper slopes, and smaller closure footprints
  • Develop their own strategy for a dump closure using lessons learned in this case study
  • Proactively identify challenges that might arise during a dump closure project


Christopher Lund, P.E., PSS, CPESC, Senior Vice President/Owner, Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc. (GBB), Virginia

Christopher Lund

Christopher Lund is a senior vice president and an owner of GBB, a national solid waste management consulting firm. He has 30 years of experience working on engineering and environmental projects across the country both as a solid waste management consultant and regulator for a state environmental protection agency. He works to help clients find efficient, environmentally acceptable solutions to their solid waste management issues, from strategic planning, permitting and design development to construction management and start-up operations. He brings this project talk all the way from the Island of Guam in the western Pacific with applications to close existing dumpsites throughout the world.