Invited Session: Closing Dumpsites

Technical Problems and Challenges of Closing Open Dumps (1 CEU)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
14:45 – 15:15
Room 323

Open dumps remain as the main waste management and disposal method in most developing countries. The most noticeable problems at any open dumps are the widely dispersed uncovered waste that is easily contributed to air blown litters, almost no application of daily cover soil, poor access roads, open burning of waste, no compaction of waste or control of waste placement, poor recording keeping of incoming waste, scavenging at the working face, no security fence or check points, presence of vermin, animals and other vectors, no odour, leachate or gas collection and treatment systems, and on top of all, no planning or engineering and monitoring measures or control systems. All these problems and issues are real challenges when closing of an open dumpsite. The presentation addresses these common problems as challenges when closing open dumps in developing countries and aims to stimulate audience participation and discussion. Several innovative solutions and alternative closure materials usage such as bio-covers are worth mentioned and discussed. A traditional U.S. Subtitle D closure system may not be suitable for these developing countries, considering the material availability, cost-benefit and overall environmental protection performance.


James Law, Project Director, SCS Engineers, North Carolina

James Law

James Law is a project director at SCS Engineers and has more than 32 years of experience in civil, geotechnical, and landfill engineering and solid waste management on both national and international projects. He serves as the vice-chair of the ISWA Working Group on Landfills. He is certified by ISWA as an International Waste Manager with International Status. He is an active member in the SWANA Landfill Management Technical Division, in the Post-Closure Care Management and Leachate Management Committees. He is certified as Manager of Landfill Operations, as well as Leachate Management and Bioreactor Landfills. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in applied science and Master’s degree in geotechnical engineering from the University of Toronto. He is licensed as a Professional Engineer in multiple U.S. states and certified as BCEE by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers with specialty in environmental sustainability. On going green and practicing leadership in energy and environmental design, he is a LEED Accredated Professional (AP) in Building Design and Construction (BD&C) by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).