Scales Road Landfill Closure

Georgia’s population growth over the past 20 years resulted in an unprecedented building boom across the state. But along with construction of new housing, commercial districts, schools and infrastructure comes waste from these activities. Landfills specifically built to take this construction and demolition (C&D) debris dot the state. One of those is the Scales Road Landfill in DeKalb County.

The Scales Road Landfill began accepting waste in 1990, and by the time it ceased operating in 2004, it covered nearly 25 acres and contained approximately 2 million tons of waste.

In 2000, the landfill’s owner declared bankruptcy, soon to be followed by the insurance company that provided financial assurance for landfill closure. In 2005, the owner informed EPD the company did not have the funds needed to properly close the landfill and abandoned the site. Because the landfill was not properly closed, environmental conditions deteriorated: erosion exposed waste and fires began to break out. In addition to the fires, other environmental threats included increased sedimentation in nearby surface waters due to runoff and contamination of groundwater with leachate (rainwater that falls on the landfill and percolates to the bottom, picking up pollutants along the way). Gases, such as sulfides and methane, from the landfill also threatened the quality of life of the roughly 10,000 people who live within a two-mile radius of the site.

The EPD began cleanup and closed the landfill in order to protect human health and the environment. Because the landfill owner and its insurance company were insolvent, EPD budgeted money from the Solid Waste Trust Fund for the project. In March 2007, EPD awarded a $4.9 million contract to Cooper Barnette & Page, Inc. to close the landfill. The majority of the work on the landfill was completed in FY 08, for a total of $4,382,372.47.

The final cost of the project was within the projected budget of approximately $4.9 million, which also provided for the CBP, Inc. to maintain the site, and monitor groundwater for 12 months after EPD accepted the final closure report.

Scales Road Successes

• Work completed under budget.

• Work completed on time.

• Risks to environment reduced.

• Results of methane gas monitoring are below explosive hazard levels.

• SWTF dollars responsibly managed by EPD with appropriate oversight and accountability.