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The Role of Road Rollers in Landfill Compaction

What are the important aspects of landfill compaction?

  1. Compression and Size Reduction
  2. Layer Thickness
  3. Moisture Content


Did you know that road rollers can be used for landfill compaction? Landfills are structures built as layers on top of the ground where trash is isolated from the surrounding area. The layers of isolation consist of a bottom liner and daily covering with soil. Sanitary landfills use clay liners to keep trash away from the surrounding environment. Municipal solid waste landfill uses a synthetic liner to isolate the trash.

Remember that a landfill is different from a compost pile. Compost piles are made so that trash decomposes quickly. Landfills are created because it’s essential that the trash is separated from groundwater, moisture, and air.


All About Landfills

Landfills are constructed and operated over a period of several years. The personnel you decide to hire should continually consult the landfill plan to ensure the longevity of the site. Landfill sites are divided into stages and are completed even prior to the site’s opening and operations. These stages must be documented precisely in case of repairs.


The factors to consider when creating a landfill site consist of:

  • The land area for the landfill.
  • The composition of the soil and bedrock.
  • Surface water flow over the landfill site.
  • The environmental impact of the landfill in the local area and wildlife.
  • The value of the site in terms of historical or archaeological value.


The landfill starts with an environmental impact study. The next step would be acquiring the necessary permits and budget. After this, construction is kick-started. If it doesn’t exist already, an access road to the site must be built. After the roads, the landfill is ready to be excavated. The depth of the landfill is entirely dependent on the plan created prior to construction.


The basic parts of the landfill are:

  • The bottom-liner system separates trash from groundwater.
  • Cells are where the trash is stored within the landfill.
  • The storm water drainage system collects the rain that falls on the landfill.
  • The leachate collection system collects the water that percolates through the landfill. This water also contains contaminants.
  • The methane collection system collects methane gas that’s formed when the trash is broken down.
  • The covering or cap seals the top of the landfill.


Compression and Size Reduction

Compression and Size Reduction

Compression is essential during the landfill compaction process. The pressure from the road roller is used to compress the trash. The compression of the trash should be done carefully and with precision. Too much compression can cause compressed trash to become too rigid and difficult to manage. Depending on your road roller, the right pound-force per square inch should be used to create the right waste mass.

Another process in landfill compaction is the size reduction. Size reduction breaks up the bulky trash which can include old furniture, wood, and other debris. Reducing the size makes the compression more uniform. The smaller the waste, the less landfill space is used. This also greatly reduces the amount of covering or capping to be used. Capping is required so that the waste won’t be exposed to outside factors such as insects, rodents and birds. These can easily spread human disease.


Layer Thickness

Layers are better when they’re thinner. When layering, it’s much better to be patient and do it one layer at a time. This is especially helpful when dealing with bulky compacted waste. Creating voids between layers is highly discouraged. To create a proper layer, the right blending must be used. Mixing different types of waste can create a compacted component with the maximum density, which in the future can prevent voids from forming. Blending waste also distributes moisture throughout the mass. This is one way to maximize the land excavated.


Moisture Content

Moisture Content

Moisture content also allows the waste to have better compaction. Moisture can enter the landfill through wet waste. To maintain the balance, using materials such as paper, cardboard, the pressed board can be compacted in between the wet waste for better compaction. Moisture produces uniform layers and when combined with materials like paper, can help you compact more material while reducing the amount of space you’re using.

Warmth and humidity can also build over time under the cap. To alleviate this, removing the cap and compacting it again before placing a new layer of waste can make the compaction smoother. When compacting, moisture shouldn’t be alarming, as long as you blend a balanced mix of waste.


Key Takeaway

Road rollers definitely help out in landfill compaction. The right way to use this machine is for layering. Layering can create a uniform surface and will maximize the amount of landfill used. Landfill compaction can be environmentally sound when done right. Be sure to follow the guidelines and plans made by your engineer. Use road rollers for a better landfill today.

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