Invited Session: Smart Technologies

Using Monitoring Data to Design a Sustainable Landfill Expansion (0.5 CEU)

Wednesday, September 27, 2017
9:00 – 9:30
Room 321

Moderator: Allison Trulock, Executive Consultant, Environmental Practice, NewGen Strategies & Solutions, LLC, Florida

Cherry Island Landfill (CIL) has been in operation since 1985 by the Delaware Solid Waste Authority (DSWA). DSWA had “NO TIME TO WASTE” as the CIL was approaching permitted capacity and a vertical expansion using conventional techniques was economically unfeasible, permitting a new landfill site was initially considered. In 2006, the construction of an 8,000-ft long, 70-ft high mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) berm began. The MSE berm was constructed over soft deposits that exhibited shear strengths as low as 200 psf. The expansion project was demonstrated to be economically viable through the implementation of an innovative, cutting-edge design and construction approach. This project was a finalist of the Outstanding Civil Engineering Award, an international competition organized by the American Society of Civil Engineers. This is the first time that a solid waste project had ever been selected as a finalist of this prestigious award. In addition, this project was selected to be the only representative from the U.S. in the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering “Outstanding Geotechnical project” award competition.

This presentation will discuss the successful design and construction of this massive earth structure over extremely soft dredge material using innovative design and construction techniques. It will examine the possibilities for designing the reuse of existing landfill facilities, delaying siting of a new landfill and will compare opportunities for raising levees and dykes cost effectively at critical locations along rivers that are prone to flooding. Although construction and operation over extremely soft foundations requires extensive monitoring, the potential drawbacks pale in comparison with the significant advantages. This project is expected to serve as a bellwether for similar projects.


Lucas De Melo, P.E., Senior Principal Engineer, Geosyntech Consultants, Maryland

Lucas De Melo

Lucas de Melo has more than 17 years of experience in design of solid waste management facilities and coal ash disposal sites, including capping systems, geotechnical design and field studies and hazardous materials remediation. His experience includes assessment of stability, liquefaction potential and stress-strain behavior of concrete and earth dams, design of retrofits for dams and embankments development geotechnical monitoring strategies, analysis of geotechnical field data, engineering recommendations for closure systems, foundation and retaining structures, engineering analyses for landfill designs and stormwater management systems, preparation of construction bid documents (including technical specifications), engineering drawings and construction plans, analysis of waste properties and the evaluation of settlement of residues. His experience includes the analysis, monitoring and assessment of geotechnical data associated with design, monitoring and construction on dredge disposal and mine sites. He also is experienced in quality assurance procedures for geosynthetics and soils. In addition, he is responsible for the geotechnical curriculum at the Johns Hopkins University, where he acts as an adjunct faculty member.

Lynsey Baer, S.C., P.E., Facility Manager, Delaware Solid Waste Authority, Delaware

Lynsey Baer

Lynsey K. Baer, P.E., BCEE, is a civil engineering professional with 13 years’ experience in the solid waste management field. She received her Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and Master’s degree in civil/geotechnical engineering from the University of Delaware. Her background includes experience in geotechnical engineering, environmental regulations, permitting, landfill and solid waste systems design, construction and operation. She is the facility manager at the Cherry Island Landfill, Pigeon Point Landfill and Pine Tree Corners Transfer Station with the Delaware Solid Waste Authority. Ms. Baer has been a SWANA member for more than 10 years and currently serves as the Chair of the Young Professional Steering Committee and as the Landfill Management Division International Board Representative. She is SWANA certified, passing the Manager of Landfill Operations Training Course.