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Closed Yale Landfill

Closed Yale Landfill

Location – Between University and Yale Blvds. West of the Airport

Dates of Operation – 1948 -1965 by the City of Albuquerque

Acres – 114.4 acres

Estimated Original Amounts of  Waste – 966,600 tons or 1.9 million cubic yards

Depth to Groundwater and Direction – 350-450 feet and site-specific flows is to the east

Site Description

The closed Yale Landfill is located between University Blvd. SE and Yale Blvd. SE just west of the Albuquerque International Sunport.  The original area of the landfill was 114.4 acres and received waste from 1948 to 1965.  Approximately 966,000 tons (1.9 million cubic yards) of waste was landfilled.  The landfill is composed of four distinct fill areas:  the northern, central, southern and hotel fill areas.  In the 1970’s waste was removed from beneath the Airport Hotel; however, waste remains beneath the parking areas.  All waste was excavated from beneath the airport terminal exit road between the airport and the hotel parking lot.  In 1988, approximately 200,000 tons of waste was excavated from the footprint of the Post Office building and relocated directly west on the slope of the existing landfill and covered with two feet of fill material.  Between 1995 through 1997, approximately 285,000 tons of waste was excavated during the construction of Sunport Boulevard that included removal of waste below the relocated George Road and University Boulevards.  This excavation created the northern, central and southern fill areas.

Landfill gas studies conducted by the City of Albuquerque Environmental Health Department since 1997 identified methane and chlorinated solvent gases.  A total of 52 landfill gas monitor wells have been sampled regularly since 2003.  None of the perimeter wells have exceeded 5% methane.  The interior wells have shown methane concentrations as high as 51%.

Eight groundwater monitoring wells around the landfill are monitored annual by the City of Albuquerque Environmental Health Department.  Chlorinated solvent contamination is present in monitor well Yale-4 (directly west of the Post Office) at concentrations around 8-10 micrograms per liter.

The buffer zone for this landfill is established at 500 feet from the landfill boundary.  Building projects and development projects located within the buffer zone are reviewed by the City of Albuquerque Environmental Health Department for landfill gas impacts.

Current Status

  • Continue semi-annual landfill gas and annual groundwater monitoring.
  • A vapor extraction test within the landfill is planned for 2016 to determine landfill gas concentrations, recovery rates, and methane generation.
  • Results of the test may require the installation of a landfill gas recovery system.
  • A topographic and subsurface geophysical survey is planned for 2016.

Project Documents