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Municipal Solid Waste Landfills

small map of active MSW landfills
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Active MSW Landfills

Solid Waste means any garbage, refuse, sludge from a wastewater treatment plant, water supply treatment plant, or air pollution control facility and other discarded materials including solid, liquid, semi-solid, or contained gaseous material, resulting from industrial, commercial, mining and agricultural operations, and from community activities, but does not include solid or dissolved materials in domestic sewage, or solid or dissolved materials in irrigation return flows or industrial discharges that are point sources subject to permit under 33 USC 1342, as amended (86 Stat. 880), or source, special nuclear or by-product material as defined by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (68 Stat. 923) except as may be provided by existing agreements between the State of New York and the government of the United States.

Municipal Solid Waste means combined household, commercial and institutional waste materials generated in a given area.

Mixed Solid Waste means combinations of putrescible and nonputrescible waste materials.

Putrescible waste means solid waste that contains organic matter capable of being decomposed by microorganisms and of such a character and proportion as to be capable of attracting or providing food for disease vectors.

Landfill means land or a disposal facility or part of one where solid waste or its residue after treatment is intentionally placed and which is not a land application facility, surface impoundment, injection well or waste pile.

Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Landfills in New York State

Landfilling of solid waste will continue to be a necessary part of integrated solid waste management systems, since there will always be a need to dispose of waste that cannot be economically reused or recycled or incinerated for energy recovery.

As of January 2015, there were 27 active MSW landfills in New York State. At the end of 2010, the landfills had approximately 220 million tons of capacity remaining including capacity actually constructed and that which was not yet constructed but permitted to be constructed. This equates to approximately 28.5 years of capacity at 7.7 million tons per year.

The minimum liner required for an MSW landfill is a double composite liner with primary and secondary leachate collection and removal systems. The double composite liner system allows for the performance of the system to be regularly evaluated to ensure adequate protection of groundwater resources.

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