Invited Session: Climate Change

Reducing Our Carbon Footprint with Exposed Geosynthetic Cover Systems (0.5 CEU)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
15:30 – 16:00
Room 316

Moderator: Cristina Polsgrove, Public Information Officer, City of Tucson, Arizona

An exposed geosynthetic cover system (EGCS) is an earth-friendly and economical alternative to a conventional soil closure of a landfill. Use of these systems results in a reduced carbon footprint improved downstream water quality and financial benefits for the owner. A conventional soil cover system consists of a gas relief layer + geomembrane + geocomposite + cover soil. In contrast, an EGCS consists of a gas relief layer + high-quality geomembrane or a gas relief layer + composite synthetic turf system. EGCS eliminates mining of cover soil and clear cutting of cover soil mining sites. There are no emissions from trucking cover soil to the site or from equipment used to spread cover soil. Ongoing maintenance of a conventional soil cover system involves frequent mowing, creating emissions in perpetuity, which is unnecessary with the EGCS. An EGCS also allows for an excellent method of greatly reducing the emissions of landfill gas since landfill gas (a major carbon source) is collected in a gas collection system underneath the impermeable ECGS. By designing landfills with earth-friendly alternatives at each phase of the project, we can contribute to the reduction of our carbon footprint.

By attending this presentation, the audience will understand the environmental and economic advantages to using an exposed geosynthetic cover system.


Clay Reichert, P.E., Technical Manager, GSE Environmental, Georgia

Clay Reichert

Clay Reichert, P.E., is a technical manager covering the Eastern United States and Eastern Canada for GSE Environmental. He is a professional civil engineer licensed in Georgia, Florida and North Carolina. Mr. Reichert graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a Master’s degree in civil engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. He has 23 plus years of diverse professional civil engineering consulting experience, which includes geosynthetics, grading, drainage, roadways, site, water and wastewater projects.