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Sustainability Projects


Liquids Managed Naturally at a Georgia Landfill


Every landfill contains some liquids. Sources can include fruits and vegetables mixed in with garbage, milk not emptied from cartons and even rainwater. Any liquid at a landfill that comes in contact with garbage is called leachate. This liquid is captured and managed a number of different ways at landfills. At Republic Services’ Watts Road Landfill in Atlanta, Georgia, we are using a green technology that harnesses the ability of specific trees and plants to naturally filter pollutants. This capping approach is called “phytoremediation.” Landfill surfaces are covered, or capped, with trees and shrubs identified to be particularly good for this purpose.

Since 2010, more than 2,600 trees have been planted in conjunction with the installation of a subsurface irrigation system as a means of naturally treating the liquids collected on-site. This phytocap initiative saved more than 3,000 truck miles and eliminated the need for off-site disposals.

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