The Kenai Peninsula Borough Solid Waste Department’s monitoring network has been declared insufficient by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.
The announcement came after DEC reviewed the borough’s solid waste department landfill research reports from 2012 and 2013
The review followed the landfill’s move into cell 2 in April, said Jack Maryott, director of the Solid Waste Department.
“So it’s a reasonable assumption as the landfill continues to grow and we put more mass in that (DEC) may recommend or suggest or ask us to … enlarge our monitoring network,” Maryott said.
In July, the Solid Waste Department submitted an updated monitoring plan, which includes installation of six nested probes, to DEC. The active landfill currently has three gas probes around its perimeter.
“We’re required to assure landfill gas is not leaving the site property, property boundaries, and then to quantify that,” Maryott said.
DEC accepted the plan.
The Solid Waste Department estimates the design and installation to cost $60,000, which the borough assembly is scheduled to consider appropriating at its Tuesday meeting.
In the future, Maryott would like to harness the gas the landfill produces.
“In our active, lined cell, we are currently burying gas collection lines so we are collecting and venting the gas,” Maryott said.
“Ultimately the long-term goal is to capture that gas and convert it into a fuel source for our (leachate) evaporator.”
Before that can happen, Maryott said the landfill needs to grow in size and volume. According to the Solid Waste Department’s design for the landfill, it will move into a new cell every five years. However, if the there is a population boom in the area, that timeline could be accelerated.
“As we see increased activity and increased disposal, which is beyond what is calculated, yes that influences that and we need to adjust and stay out ahead of that,” he said.
Maryott expects the gas probe installation project to last the landfill five to 10 years.
As the landfill continues to expand east, Maryott said the DEC may ask the solid waste department to put more probes further out.