Original Date: 01/22/2001
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Iris Glen Environmental Center
The Iris Glen Environmental Center is a solid waste landfill that employs a promising solution to waste management practices. Located near the center of town, the facility features a state-of-the-art liner system which satisfied contractual requirements and quelled community concerns. In addition, the liner system incorporates a methane gas recovery system that can provide future economic gains for the Center.
The Iris Glen Environmental Center is a government-controlled sanitary landfill commissioned in 1994, which is owned by Johnson City, Tennessee and operated by Waste Management, Inc. Located near the center of town, the facility handles solid waste from Johnson City as well as from many of the surrounding counties. Like other landfills, it has faced traditional concerns raised by the public sector such as types of material handled, water safety, traffic routes, and odor elimination. However, the Center has quelled the anxieties of the opposition by using a state- of-the-art landfill liner system (Figure 3-1) that exceeds EPA regulations.
The Iris Glen Environmental Center is unique in that the natural geological make-up of its underlying materials provides an excellent composite site for constructing a man-made solid waste landfill. The chosen site was an abandoned shale mining operation with a 200- to 800-foot sevier shale bedrock. Shale is an excellent shock absorption material which prevents any disturbances within the liner system that may induce leakage of liquids or gases emitted by the waste. The liner system also incorporates an intricate plumbing system which recovers liquid waste leachate from solid waste. The liquid is stored in holding containers and treated prior to discharge into the City’s sanitary sewer system. To date, however, the use of the methane gas recovery system has not been pursued due to the quality of the gas and the refining costs associated with it.
Since commissioned, the Iris Glen Environmental Center has operated without any significant safety issues and meets the requirements of the Solid Wastes Management Act of 1991. The Center also hosts educational sessions on waste management and recycling for teachers and students from local schools.
Figure 3-1. Dynamic Liner System
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