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Enviro Cover System by EPI Environmental Products Inc.

Alternative Daily Cover Comparison

The impermeable extended duration feature of Enviro™ Cover as an Alternative Daily Cover (ADCM) can provide environmental, operational, performance and economic advantages over other daily cover applications.

Application rate is unmatched and operating costs are lower:

- Enviro™ Cover is a geosynthetic film which unlike conventional tarps, does not require removal before the next day’s start of operation - saving time, space and manpower needed to retrieve, fold and store the reusable tarps.  There is also damage and maintenance associated costs to consider when using reusable tarps.   

- Application of the Enviro™ Cover is rapid and efficient using one of the Enviro™ Cover Deployers which are either self-propelled or simply attach to the blade/bucket of a landfill’s prime mover – all of the Deployers are easy to operate.

- In comparison with using soil cover, there are also reduced operating costs due to the expense of time, space and manpower needed to import, move, spread, compact, recover and store large soil quantities.  Many landfill soils suitable for daily cover are not readily available, therefore must be purchased and transported to the site.  This increases operational cost, traffic in and around the landfill, and the generation of dust.  The manpower and equipment required in obtaining, storing and placing soil as daily cover may not be the most economical use of these resources.

- Enviro™ Cover saves substantial air space over soils, as it takes up almost zero volume versus the required minimum of 6 inches of soil cover. Regulatory requirements stipulate a minimum thickness to effectively cover the working face which is primarily dependent on the operator and smoothness of the surface and is an important operational and economic consideration. Rain or freezing temperatures can also impact the efficient use of soil - making excavation, transport and placement more difficult and time consuming.  

- Using indigenous materials as daily cover can include saving of landfill capacity and soil cost with the additional tipping fees from receiving these materials at the landfill, but they depend on local availability in sufficient quantities on a regular and continuous basis.  If these conditions are not met, the necessary capital investment and operation cost or other costs associated with their use may not be operationally or economically justifiable. Indigenous cover materials are similar to soil cover. Most are transported to the landfill using trucks and applied onto the working face in a similar manner as soil, using dozers and compactors to spread it.  They are also required to be applied at approximately the same 6 inch (15cm) thickness – consuming valuable “air space”.  

- Compared to using foams or sprays-ons, there is no pre-labor mixing, preparation or post-labor clean-up of applicator equipment and no delays in application or inability to use them due to adverse climatic conditions.

Most effectively controls disease vectors, fire, odors, blowing litter and scavenging:

- Enviro™ Cover provides a complete conforming continuous closure to the active working face to maintain complete environmental control. Water and moisture are kept out of the landfill by its compression sealed overlapped panels, minimizing leachate generation and creating an excellent water runoff system, while odors and gas emissions remain contained from the time of the cover’s application. 

- Enviro™ Cover provides a constant impermeable barrier between landfill waste and the environment. Unlike using soil, foams or spray-on slurries, which can be permeable, it does so without the risk of spray and foam ‘shadowing’ during application or permeability gaps caused by uneven soil distribution.  

- Removable tarps may provide effective control over disease vectors, fires, odors, blowing litter and scavenging or offer leachate and gas management, but only when they are in place.   Once removed, this control is lost.  Consideration must also be taken in handling the pathogenic tarps. Application often requires manual placement of sandbags, soil, inert materials or tires along edges and overlaps in order to anchor the edges of the panel(s).  Removable tarps can only provide a barrier between the waste and the environment or prevent air intrusion to reduce fire risk when in place.

Most efficient and effective coverage in adverse climatic conditions:

- Enviro™ Cover Deployers all feature a low to the ground direct distribution of ballast material (anchoring material) which securely anchors the cover on the working surface during deployment. Placement is unaffected by windy conditions since extra ballast can be released when needed to secure the panel to the working face. 

- Application of Enviro™ Cover is unaffected by rain and snow.  Using foams or sprays in wind, rain and snow can cause delays or even prevent effective cover application.  Conventional tarps may require extra manpower and equipment to place and securely anchor during high winds. Soil can become unconsolidated and difficult to move, spread and compact in any adverse climatic condition such as wind, rain, snow and freezing temperatures. 

- Certain soils used as daily cover may also not be very effective in shedding rainwater from the working face, thereby increasing moisture infiltration and potential leachate production.  In contrast, the anchoring of Enviro™ Cover can be assisted by the weight of rain or snow onto the film and being impermeable, it sheds rainwater extremely well, allowing very little moisture into the landfill once the cover is placed.  

- In dry windy conditions, using soil cover can create a problem with dust control - obscuring visibility, fouling machinery, impacting water quality and polluting the air.

- Adverse climatic conditions can impact the use of indigenous materials in the same manner as soil. Rain makes many of them more difficult to apply and increases moisture infiltration, while dry and windy conditions can cause problems with unwanted generation of dust. Furthermore, many indigenous materials contain contaminants that could be leached out by rainwater, posing environmental risks.

- Foams and Spray-ons are difficult to apply in rain, as there is possible dilution and infiltration of precipitation. They generally cannot be applied at all during heavy rainfall which reduces their effectiveness as a daily cover. Freezing temperatures can also be a major concern and special ancillary tools are needed to maintain the dispersing equipment and to keep the chemical composition intact in order to remain effective. 

Within a landfill, Enviro™ Cover will not impede leachate or methane gas movement and provides better control for air and water pollution prevention, as well as odor and gas containment:

- Unlike using removable tarps, foams, spray-ons and soil as a daily cover, Enviro™ Cover provides operators a fully conforming continuous impermeable barrier over regulated cover periods and beyond to block fluid penetration while preventing the escape of odors and gas emissions.

- Enviro™ Cover facilitates the controlled movement and collection of leachates and gases for ultimate disposition. Enviro™ Cover is mechanically destroyed by subsequent placement of waste and by stress conditions within the landfill,, allowing landfill gas to flow freely to collection systems and it will not form “perched water” pockets or create blockage of fluids which could impede leachate movement. 

- By contrast, daily soil cover with high clay/silt content can easily become compacted, trapping leachate to become leachate “seeps”, as well as disrupting the flow of methane gas to collection systems by creating intervening barriers within the landfill.

Working face relocation is made simpler with Enviro™ Cover and the shape or size of the area to be covered is not restricted:

- The Enviro™ Cover film can be left on the working face for one day, for several days, for weeks or for months until operation returns to the original location.  

- Using removable tarps, additional sets of membranes are needed to cover each working face. They would also require “picture-framing” the areas in order to form a complete cover. Additional soil, machinery and personnel may also be necessary to maintain the required coverage within the tarp’s capacity and dimensions. In contrast, Enviro™ Cover is not restricted at all by the size or shape of a working face.

Landfill Waste

Alternative Daily Cover