Curated Session: Resource Management and Waste Diversion

Evaluating the Impact on Waste Management caused by the Changing Waste Stream Composition

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
16:00 – 18:00
Convention Center

Moderator: TBD

Solid waste management, and in particular sanitary landfilling, is being impacted by changes to waste composition. One notable change is an overall decrease in tonnage. Reasons for the reduced quantity may be attributed to factors such as: increased diversion of recyclables, increased diversion of vegetative organics, evolving diversion of food waste, changes to packaging, expansion of fresh organic foods lifestyle, expansion of fitness lifestyles, as well as other generational life choices. These changes are manifested in the continued reduction in waste requiring land disposal, a trend that began with the economic downturn of 2009-2010; current generation quantities have not fully recovered from the downturn.

While this description relates to the traditional composition of waste requiring landfilling, other societal factors are also changing material composition.

  • Oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) using hydraulic fracturing methods (fracking) generates E&P drilling waste that requires disposal. Often this material is disposed of at existing landfills, necessitating re-evaluation of design criteria such as slope stability.
  • The elimination of coal combustion residual (CCR) impoundments has resulted in additional coal ash being diverted to landfills.
  • The European Union has mostly banned organics from landfills which changes the landfilling practices throughout that sector.

We will discuss the following topics:

  1. Changes in quantity and composition of U.S. MSW
  2. Potential impact of landfill gas generation caused by organic diversion from the landfill
  3. Stability issues that should be considered with waste composition changes, specifically E&P waste and other high moisture content “special” wastes during co-disposal
  4. Problems in international areas with landfill failures (Asia, South America, and Africa) and what can be done to prevent the problems
  5. The operational changes necessitated by organic diversion and its impact on a “sustainable resource management center” model


Robert Schoenberger, P.E., Ph.D., Board Member, Chester County Solid Waste Authority

Robert Schoenberger

Bob Schoenberger has been professionally involved with landfilling, incineration, recycling, composting, RDF processing of solid waste for more than 45 years. His experience includes 15 years on the faculty of Drexel University, where he served as chairman of the Department of Environmental Engineering and Science, principal investigator of numerous research projects on incinerator residue, sanitary landfilling, and leachate treatment. He also spent 15 years as senior vice president and practice leader on solid and hazardous waste management at Roy F. Weston, Inc., including design of specialty landfills such as Subtitle C, low level radioactive waste and uranium mill tailings. Dr. Schoenberger also spent years in private practice specializing in solid and hazardous waste management including design of sanitary landfills and energy recovery from liquid and solid waste in cement kilns. He now spends most of his time restoring antique clocks and mechanical watches and serves as chairman of the Chester County Solid Waste Authority, Narvon, Pennsylvania.

Alex Stege, Senior Project Advisor, SCS Engineers, Arizona

Alex Stege

Alex Stege is a senior project advisor for SCS Engineers with over 30 years of experience in environmental research and consulting, including twenty-seven years at SCS Engineers. For the past 20 years, Mr. Stege has supported U.S EPA, the World Bank, landfill owners, and LFG project developers in evaluating landfill gas recovery potential and LFG utilization project feasibility at hundreds of sites throughout the world. Mr. Stege leads SCS’s LFG modeling practice, which is based on the scientific application of actual flow and site data to develop an empirically calibrated LFG recovery model. Mr. Stege has given presentations on modeling landfill methane generation and recovery at conferences hosted by the following organizations: ISWA, SWANA, LMOP, the Global Methane Initiative (GMI) Partnership, the Environmental Research and Education Foundation (EREF), and the Global Waste Management Symposium. Mr. Stege was the author of LMOP/GMI LFG models for Central and Eastern Europe (2014), Colombia (2010), Ukraine (2009), Mexico (Version 1 [2003] and Version 2 [2009]), and Central America (2007). Mr. Stege also is a primary author of the Solid Waste Emissions Estimation Tool (“SWEET”), which is currently being developed by SCS Engineers and Abt Associates for the Climate and Clean Air Coalition.

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).

Tim Mitchell, P.E., Project Manager, Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc.

Tim Mitchell

Tim Mitchell, P.E., is a project manager with Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc. Since 2006, he has been involved with solid waste management projects, including residual and municipal waste landfill design, permitting and construction; transfer station design and permitting; and general engineering support for waste facilities. Mr. Mitchell received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in civil engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. He is a professional engineer registered in the state of Pennsylvania and is an active member of the Solid Waste Association of North America.

David Dugger, S.C., Landfill Manager, City of Denton, TX

David Dugger

Bio forthcoming.