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Protecting Our Groundwater Landscape View

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Protecting Our Groundwater

Posted: 3/8/22

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It’s national groundwater awareness week, and preserving our groundwater is a key part of our purpose to protect human health and the environment. When people hear the words “hazardous waste,” it might conjure up mental images of nasty sludge or radioactive material. In reality, most hazardous waste is generated from the production of many everyday products, like vehicle, electronic, and pharmaceutical manufacturing, and can include anything from oil based paints, batteries, expired medication, and fluorescent bulbs. You still don’t want any of this getting into the environment, and we don’t either, which is why companies like Heritage Environmental exist. We safely and compliantly transport, treat, and if necessary, dispose of hazardous waste based on the rigorous set of standards laid out by the EPA and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Our company was founded the same year as the EPA, over 50 years ago, and we’ve been developing new and innovative ways to treat, reuse, and recycle, or provide  alternative uses since our inception. In this way, we can promote sustainable development, allowing for these products to continue to manufactured and sold while keeping any harmful byproducts out of the environment.

While we strive to find a solution through the aforementioned methods, there are some types and aspects of waste that do not have a recycling or reuse application, and must be disposed of. Similar to household waste, it does go to a landfill at times, however the process and the technology involved goes above and beyond that of your average municipal landfill. All waste destined for the landfill is treated by stabilization methods at one of our facilities to ensure it meets RCRA land disposal restriction limits prior to being landfilled if did not already meet those limits.  Our RCRA Subpart B permitted Hazardous Waste Landfill was the first to be permitted in the United States. Like many landfills, it is comprised of multiple cells that are engineered and constructed to completely contain the waste.. Cells are built as needed, and consist of two synthetic liners . The liner system serves to collect and remove liquids resulting from precipitation and moisture compressed from the waste under its own weight as the cell is filled. The liners are tested both during production at the factory and multiple times during installation. Additionally, the facility monitors the interstitial space between the two liners to detect for leaks.  Check out the graphic below for more details on the multiple layers comprising the full liner, which is a 6-foot of protective system.

The collected leachate is transported to Heritage Environmental’s centralized wastewater treatment facility, which has consistently met the highest standards for this category.  The synthetic liner system is underlain by a 36-inch thick engineered soil liner, which has an extremely low permeability providing an additional layer of security. This layer includes an undrain system that allows the removal of groundwater that might otherwise create upward pressure on the synthetic liners.  Lastly, the waste in the cells is covered daily to minimize the generation of leachate from precipitation.

Everything about our landfill is designed to be protective of the environment.

 

 

 

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