Bioreactor Landfills & Leachate Recirculation 201


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A synopsis of the current state of bioreactor landfill practice and leachate recirculation that highlights how prior research and implementation of that research has advanced the bioreactor landfill concept. A history of the bioreactor landfill concept is also discussed.

Upon completion of this course, the attendee will be able to:

  • Discuss the benefits and obstacles of bioreactor landfill technology
  • Define the elements of leachate hydrology & waste settlement
  • Discuss the performance of various North American bioreactor landfills in terms of their leachate quality & gas production

Course Length

99 minutes

Additional information



Presenter Biography

MORTON A. BARLAZ, Ph.D., P.E. is Professor and Head of the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering at North Carolina State University. He received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Wisconsin. He has been involved in research on various aspects of solid waste since 1983. Over this time, he has conducted research on biological refuse decomposition, methane production, and the biodegradation of hazardous wastes in landfills. He has participated in two state-of-the-practice reviews of bioreactor landfills. His research forms the basis for much of the work done to assess the impact of landfills on methane emissions inventories. Dr. Barlaz is also recognized for his research on the use of life-cycle analysis to evaluate environmental emissions associated with alternate solid waste management strategies. Dr. Barlaz is the author of over 90 peer-reviewed publications and has made over 200 presentations at conferences throughout the world. In 1992 he was awarded a Presidential Faculty Fellowship from the National Science Foundation. Dr. Barlaz has been active in service throughout his career. He is an Associate Editor for two journals (Waste Management and Journal of Environmental Engineering) and serves as co-chair of the bi-annual Intercontinental Landfill Research Symposium. He has served as chair of the Government Affairs Committee and the Lectures Committee for the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors. Finally, he serves on the Science Advisory Committee for the International Waste Working Group. P.E. license number 018626 (North Carolina).

TIMOTHY G. TOWNSEND, Ph.D., P.E. is a professor in the Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences at the University of Florida. He received his Doctoral degree from the University of Florida in 1995. Dr. Townsend’s area of specialty in teaching and research is solid waste management. He teaches undergraduate and graduate students on a variety of waste-related topics, including landfill design and general solid and hazardous waste management. Areas of expertise include bioreactor landfills, construction and demolition debris, waste leaching, and management of special wastes. Past research efforts included examining the formation of odor-causing compounds as a result of drywall disposal in landfills and developing techniques for minimizing this problem. He has published over 100 technical publications on his research topics. He has consulted on landfill and solid waste issues throughout the US and abroad. Dr. Townsend is a registered professional engineer in Florida and currently serves as the Jones Edmunds Professor of Environmental Engineering at the University. P.E. License number 60283.

CHRISTOPHER A. BAREITHER, Ph.D. received his BS in geological engineering in 2004 from the University of Idaho. He did his graduate work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) in geological engineering, and completed his MS in 2006 and his PhD in 2010. His research at UW has focused on the mechanical properties of geomaterials, particularly the shear strength of naturally occurring sands and gravels and compression mechanisms of municipal solid waste. He is currently a research associate and instructor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


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