Grand Forks Landfill

Grand Forks Landfill

Location: Grand Forks, N.D.

Client: City of Grand Forks

Completion Date: Ongoing

Landfill Siting, Permitting, Design and Construction Oversight

Burns & McDonnell and its local subconsultant, Webster, Foster & Weston (WFW), were retained by the City of Grand Forks to provide assistance during the selection of a site for a new municipal solid waste (MSW) landfill. WFW initially prepared a preliminary exclusionary siting map, which identified areas in Grand Forks County that were not suitable for siting a sanitary landfill. Burns & McDonnell evaluated areas of the county outside of the exclusionary zone for site suitability, and recommended two sites ideal for the development of a greenfield MSW landfill. The city's landfill committee followed a siting process using the principles of Systematic Development of Informed Consent (SDIC). The Burns & McDonnell/WFW team was retained to perform a hydrogeological investigation of the selected site and prepared a permit application to the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDH) for the proposed landfill.

The city's existing landfill was required to be closed in September 2009 due to a Grand Forks International Airport runway expansion, so the permitting and construction of a new landfill was on an aggressive timeline. The proposed landfill pre-application to the NDDH was submitted in December 2007, approved in February 2008. Hydrogeologic investigations took place in spring and summer 2008, and the landfill permit application was submitted to the NDDH in October 2008. The air permit and solid waste permit were issued by the NDDH in April and July 2009, respectively.

Construction began in July 2009 and waste disposal activities at the new landfill were approved in October 2009.

Baling Facility Feasiblity Evaluation, Design and Construction Oversight

Burns & McDonnell performed a feasibility study comparing the operation of the new landfill as a balefill or a conventional landfill. The balefill was found to be financially competitive and offered other advantages (litter reduction, less cover soil, fewer haul trucks).

To support the balefill, Burns & McDonnell designed a baling facility. For efficiency, it was sited on property near the existing landfill and near the city. Unusual soil conditions at the site would not allow conventional foundations to support a heavy industrial building without severe and damaging settlement. A study of alternative foundation systems determined an economical and viable solution and kept construction costs within the city's budget.

The foundation was designed as a continuous concrete mat, which also doubled as the floor slab, supported on 4 feet of lightweight structural fill (geofoam) that was placed in the over-excavated building site. The facility was designed as a precast, pre-engineered concrete building with precast insulated concrete panels for the walls and roof, supported from a precast concrete frame. The building was supplied by a manufacturing company in Grand Forks.

The facility included a large tipping floor, two pit conveyor systems, two large baling machines with dust collection devices, storage space, breakroom, office space and restrooms. The site included truck scales and a modular scale house. The building featured an infrared heating system, plus ventilation system, separate HVAC for office/breakroom/restrooms, lighting and fire protection systems.

Construction services included construction submittal reviews, periodic inspections, consultation during placement of geofoam and concrete mat, analysis of mat for construction loads from the erection crane, participation in weekly construction progress meetings, and general construction oversight.

Baling Facility Upgrades and Master Planning

The baling facility's balers operated successfully since the facility's opening but are reaching their effective design life. Burns & McDonnell is providing design services and will be providing construction oversight services for replacement. Burns & McDonnell is working with city representatives and baler manufacturers to develop plans and specifications.

Burns & McDonnell is also part of a master planning effort to upgrade the baling facility. The company will provide conceptual designs for facility improvements and a new scale house. Key features being evaluated include: a new scale house with staff convenience facilities, a dust/odor misting system, video surveillance, facility access (fences and gates), an enclosed walkway from the new scale house to the tipping floor, expanded driveways and employee parking, a new on-site fueling facility, new scales, and associated demolition work.

  • Landfill planning
  • Siting
  • Landfill design and permitting
  • Baling facility design
  • Construction oversight