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Albuquerque’s Landfill Wins 2020 Recycling Award for Innovative Use of Mulch

Albuquerque’s Cerro Colorado Landfill used an innovative approach when undergoing a partial closure and drainage improvement project and successfully diverted organic materials away from the waste stream.

When a portion of a landfill is at capacity, it must be carefully capped and closed.  Albuquerque’s Cerro Colorado Landfill used an innovative approach when undergoing a partial closure and drainage improvement project for its, “cells one through three.” The City’s Solid Waste department led efforts to close a portion of the landfill, while diverting organic materials away from the waste stream. This project earned the Diversion Project of the Year award from the New Mexico Recycling Coalition, a statewide non-profit. The project led by Daniele Berardelli, Superintendent of Disposal, Jill Holbert, Associate Director of Solid Waste, and Matthew Whelan, Director of Solid Waste, used almost 30,000 cubic yards of woody mulch, or approximately 6,000 tons, as cover in the closure of 37 acres of a 395-acre landfill.  This innovative end use for organic materials and alternative cover design was proposed by the design team and accepted by the New Mexico Environment Department: it is the first of its kind in New Mexico.  It includes an evapotranspiration erosion control layer, which consists of six inches of woody mulch to replace the standard prescriptive cover system. Evapotranspiration covers use the water storage properties of soil to retain water until the water is either transpired through vegetation or evaporated from the soil surface, leading to cleaner surface water and healthier soils at the site.

Watch: 2020 NMRC Virtual Awards