Curated Session: Closing Dumpsites

Closing Open Dumps and Landfills

Monday, September 25, 2017
16:00 – 18:00
Convention Center

In 1976, the passage of U.S. federal legislation known as RCRA pushed for the closure of open dumps and encouraged the development of modern sanitary landfills. In the 1990s, the U.S. EPA issued rules implementing such requirement. As a result, thousands of open dumps were closed.

In this panel discussion, the following perspectives will be presented.

  1. European perspective. European countries have assumed a different approach to close landfills by adopting regulations that raise non-compliance fees and offer fiscal incentives for treatment, recycling, reuse and other non-landfill management systems, with heavy emphasis placed on waste to energy. How has the European experience to closing open dumps of the mid-20th century differed from the U.S. experience?
  2. Developing Countries Current Status. Many developing countries are only now beginning down the path to closing open dumps. How are efforts being developed and implemented? What are the successes and challenges? What is needed to move this activity forward?
  3. Closed may not be closed. Although many old U.S. dumps have been closed for many years, a new discussion is now upon us as to the perspective on post-closure and long-term care of these facilities. What have we learned about long-term management of these facilities and how might that benefit the developing countries that are only now beginning to deal with this issue? Is there a way that they can begin to determine when the landfills may no longer need additional oversight and management?


NC Vasuki, former ISWA president, former Delaware Solid Waste Authority CEO

NC Vasuki

Bio forthcoming.

James Law, Project Director, SCS Engineers, North Carolina

James Law

James Law is a project director at SCS Engineers and has more than 32 years of experience in civil, geotechnical, and landfill engineering and solid waste management on both national and international projects. He serves as the vice-chair of the ISWA Working Group on Landfills. He is certified by ISWA as an International Waste Manager with International Status. He is an active member in the SWANA Landfill Management Technical Division, in the Post-Closure Care Management and Leachate Management Committees. He is certified as Manager of Landfill Operations, as well as Leachate Management and Bioreactor Landfills. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in applied science and Master’s degree in geotechnical engineering from the University of Toronto. He is licensed as a Professional Engineer in multiple U.S. states and certified as BCEE by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers with specialty in environmental sustainability. On going green and practicing leadership in energy and environmental design, he is a LEED Accredated Professional (AP) in Building Design and Construction (BD&C) by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

John Skinner, Environmental Consultant, John Skinner Environmental Consulting, LLC (former ISWA President and former executive director of SWANA)

John Skinner

John H. Skinner is an independent environmental consultant working out of Washington, D.C. He retired as the executive director and CEO of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) in April 2015, a position which he held since 1996. Prior to that, Dr. Skinner was a senior advisor to the United Nations Environment Programme in Paris, France, for four years. He was a senior executive of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C., from 1972 through 1992. He is a past president of the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) and was a member of its Board from 2010-2016. He is a Board Certified Environmental Engineering Member of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers. He is the recipient of many awards and honors including the Presidential Distinguished Meritorious and Distinguished Executive Awards from Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He received a NASA Fellowship to study at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) where he received a Ph.D. and Master’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in engineering science from Hofstra University, where he graduated cum laude and with honors. He has published widely in the solid waste and environmental fields and is the co-editor of two books on international solid waste management programs.

Luis Marinheiro, Senior Environmental Engineering Consultant, Chair of the Working Group on Landfill of the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA)

Luis Marinheiro

Luis Marinheiro is an environmental engineer who has worked in both the public and private sectors of the waste management for more than 20 years. He holds an environmental engineering degree from the University of Aveiro, Portugal, and a Master’s degree in biological engineering from the University of Minho, Portugal. Mr. Marinheiro began his professional career as an environmental engineer. At the beginning, he benefited from working in a small company representing an international equipment for landfill leachate treatment and landfill gas treatment, which gave him the opportunity to be involved with the day to day landfill operational activities. This practical experience, together with his academic background and his wastewater industry knowledge, gave him the skills and knowledge to become technical director of one of Portugal’s leading company on waste management. There, he was responsible for general coordination, design, execution and operation of urban services (collection, transportation and transfer of solid waste) and of waste treatment and landfill projects, as well as for providing technical input to applications for master planning, environmental assessment and site permits. In a Portuguese Polytechnic Institute, he has taught undergraduate courses in waste management, wastewater microbiology, wastewater treatment and environmental management. Working as a consultant, advisor, coordinator and technical director, Mr. Marinheiro also was manager and coordinator of projects and contracts to provide services in environmental areas such as waste management, drainage and wastewater treatment, sustainable construction, environmental impact assessment and environmental management. Mr. Marinheiro now works as senior independent consultant on environmental engineering projects in such diverse areas as Portugal, Brazil and Angola. He is the author of many articles and research studies. In 2010, Mr. Marinheiro was elected President of the Environmental Engineering College of the Portuguese Association of Engineers and held this position until 2016. Since 2004, he has represented APESB, ISWA’s Portuguese National Member, on ISWA’s Landfill Working Group. In 2014, Mr. Marinheiro was elected Chair of the Working Group on Landfill of the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA). He also serves ISWA as a Vice-Chair and a member of the Board of the Scientific and Technical Committee, and as a member of the European Group.

Derek Greedy, retired, ISWA National Member, United Kingdom

Derek Greedy

Derek Greedy first worked in the waste management industry as a regulator from 1975–1985 following which he then held operational and technical positions for two of the major waste management operators in the UK. From 2001 he worked as a consultant before joining Warwickshire County Council in May 2005 as their Principal Waste Management Advisor. Mr. Greedy has been a member of ISWA since 1996 and has been a member and chair of ISWA's Landfill Committee during that period. Mr. Greedy has chaired the Scientific and Technical Committee of CIWM as well as being a member of its General Council and Executive Committee. He was the President of CIWM for the year October 2011 to October 2012. He is currently the ISWA National Members representative on the ISWA Board.

Dr. Agamuthu Pariatamby, FASc, Research Associate, Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, Malasia (Editor-in-Chief of WM&R)

Agamuthu Pariatamby

Prof. Agamuthu is a senior professor at the University of Malaya (UM) and is the president of the Malaysian Society of Waste Management and Environment. He is also the vice-president and international Advisory Board Member of the Society of Solid Waste Management Experts in Asia and Pacific islands (SWAPI) and a member of the International Solid Waste Management Association (ISWA). He is the Head of the Center for Waste Management Research, UM. He started his career as lecturer at the faculty of science since 1989 and was promoted to professor in 2001. Since 1996, he has supervised more than 100 Bachelor’s and Master’s degree students, as well as four doctorate research students. He is supervising 20 Master’s degree research projects and seven doctoral degree research projects. Prof. Agamuthu also is associate editor of Waste Management & Research Journal, editor-in-chief of the Malaysian Journal of Science and was a Senate Member of UM (2005–2007). He also is an Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management (Japan), Journal of Safety and Environment (China), reviewer for the Journal of Hazardous Wastes (USA), Journal of Environmental Management (USA) and International Journal of Environment and Waste Management. He is also the Registered Subject Expert (solid waste management, under Section 34A, Environmental Quality Act, Malaysia). Prof. Agamuthu has authored more than 350 scientific publications and several books on solid waste. He is a Senior Advisory Group Expert to the Executive Secretary of Basel Convention, Geneva, and United Nations Environment Programme.

Dr. Sahadat Hossain, Ph.D., P.E., Professor, Department of Civil Engineering Director, Solid Waste Institute for Sustainability University of Texas at Arlington

Sahadat Hossain

Dr. Sahadat Hossain is a professor of civil engineering and Director of the Solid Waste Institute for Sustainability (SWIS) at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay, India, and Master’s degree in geotechnical engineering from the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Bangkok, Thailand. He also holds a Ph.D. degree from North Carolina State University (NCSU) at Raleigh in the United States. Dr. Hossain’s research and scholarship are well recognized nationally and internationally. He is an expert in sustainable waste management. For the past 20 years, he has been working on different aspects of sustainable waste management including bioreactor landfill engineering design and operational practices. Dr. Hossain is working on research, development and implementation of innovative solutions for sustainable waste management and to provide support for waste management in the USA and developing countries. The major objective of his research is to develop and test innovative, cost-effective and sustainable technologies for sustainable solid waste management systems, including bioreactor landfill technology, landfill to gas to energy, use of waste materials for sustainable and reusable construction materials, and landfill mining.

Jeremy O’Brien, Director of Applied Research, SWANA

Jeremy OBrien

Jeremy K. O’Brien, P.E., is a solid waste management researcher and consultant who has more than 30 years of experience in the industry. Since February 1999, he has served as the Director of Applied Research for the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) and has continued to provide consulting services to local governments on solid waste management. From 1989–1999, Mr. O’Brien was employed by HDR, Inc., a global architectural, engineering and consulting firm with more than 7,800 employees in 180 offices through the United States. From 1979–1989, Mr. O’Brien worked for Public Technology Institute, a local government research organization which serves as the technical arm of the National League of Cities and the International City Management Association. Mr. O’Brien began his career by serving as a research associate at the National Center for Resource Recovery in Washington, D.C., from 1977–1979. He received an M.S. degree from Duke University in urban and environmental engineering in 1977 and obtained his Professional Engineering license in 1984.

Anastasia Welch, Vice President/Project Director, SCS Engineers, Kansas

Anastasia Welch

Anastasia Welch grew up on the banks of the Missouri River in Jefferson City, Missouri. She attended the University of Missouri–Columbia and enrolled in the Engineering College after learning about landfills in an environmental geology class. Ms. Welch graduated with her Civil and Environmental Engineering Degree in December 2000 and got to work in the solid waste field. While groundwater compliance was her main focus initially, her experience is now diverse enough to cover all aspects of solid waste work including compliance, construction, design, landfill gas, general management, and planning. Ms. Welch manages a team of engineers in the Kansas City office of SCS Engineers and is actively involved in the Missouri Waste Control Coalition, Solid Waste Association of North America, and Air and Waste Management Association.