Who owns and operates Benson Valley Landfill?
Benson Valley Landfill is owned and operated by Republic Services.
How much waste is accepted daily?
The facility accepts approximately 720 tons of waste within a 75-mile radius daily.
Where does the waste originate?
The waste disposed of at Benson Valley Landfill is generated at homes and businesses from all across Central Kentucky.
What types of wastes are accepted at the Landfill?
Benson Valley Landfill accepts Municipal Solid Waste, Commercial Waste and Non-Hazardous Industrial Waste. We cannot accept tires, batteries or hazardous wastes.
What environmental protection systems are in place?
Benson Valley Landfill is operated in a manner designed to protect public health and the environment. The Cabinet for Health and Human Services also monitors the landfill for compliance with employee safety regulations.
We regularly monitor and report our activities to the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet’s divisions of Air, Water, and Waste Management, and we strive to meet or exceed all state and federal regulations. All waste is disposed of within the boundary of a constructed landfill area that has been engineered to protect the environment and meets all federal, state and local regulations. There are many environmental protection systems at Benson Valley Landfill.
Landfill liner: The liner at the base of the landfill consists of 2-3 feet of compacted clay liner, a high-density polyethylene liner, a fabric drainage layer, gravel drainage corridors and leachate collection pipes, and 2 feet of protective cover. In total, there are 5 feet of constructed liner between the waste and the natural environment. All of the liners are thoroughly tested to meet regulations and ensure proper engineering construction standards.
Leachate collection: Protection of all water sources is a priority at Benson Valley Landfill. The Landfill is designed with a state of the art composite liner system designed to contain any leachate that percolates through the solid waste. Once collected, the leachate is transported to a facility where it is treated for disposal. Surface water runoff is controlled through a series of diversion berms and drainage ditches to preserve its quality.
Rainwater collection: Rainwater that does not touch any waste must also be managed appropriately. Stormwater runoff is collected and contained in detention ponds, which allow soil particles to settle before the water is discharged to a nearby waterway. Visual inspections are conducted quarterly, and analysis is done monthly.
Groundwater monitoring: Benson Valley Landfill assesses groundwater with 15 individual groundwater monitoring wells. Each well is routinely tested to verify the groundwater’s quality.
Gas collection: Once trash is disposed of, it naturally decomposes and produces gas. A landfill gas management system collects gas through a series of pipes and more than 105 gas wells. Collected gas is collected and safely destroyed at an on-site flare. The gas collection system is regularly monitored to prevent gas emissions and gas migration.
Final capping: Once we bring our elevation to final grade, we place a final cover over the top to entomb the waste. This cover keeps liquids out and gases in and ensures protection of the environment. The cap includes 6 inches of compacted clay, a low-density polyethylene liner, a geocomposite layer, and 36 inches of topsoil and vegetation.
Who permits and inspects the facility?
The facility is fully permitted and inspected by Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet’s divisions of Air, Water, and Waste Management annually, or more often.
Why do we need a landfill?
The residents and businesses of Central Kentucky generate hundreds of tons of municipal solid waste on a daily basis. Benson Valley Landfill serves as one outlet for proper disposal for this waste.
Is the Landfill really important to our community?
The landfill is an integral part of the local economy and infrastructure. It provides jobs for local residents and affordable, responsible waste disposal options for residents and businesses.
What additional steps are taken to ensure that the Landfill is a good neighbor?
Proper daily operations are critical to environmentally sound waste disposal. All employees at Benson Valley Landfill are trained to handle incoming waste in the most environmentally responsible manner. The facility tracks and records all waste shipments with gate receipts and a network of video cameras. Each load of incoming waste is visually inspected to ensure that only permitted materials are accepted for disposal. Once unloaded, the waste is visually inspected again. At the end of each working day, daily cover is placed over the waste. Steps are also taken to control dust, litter and odor. Periodic watering of access roads prevents dust from rising when trucks travel in and out of the landfill. Litter is minimized by limiting the size of the active disposal area, applying daily cover and using fencing on windy days to catch blowing materials. Any litter that blows off-site is collected by landfill personnel daily.
How do you control odors?
Landfill gas and odors are controlled with responsible landfill management practices such as waste compaction, applying daily cover per our permit, and the use of an effective landfill gas collection and control system, which includes 105 individual landfill gas wells. Landfill personnel conduct routine odor inspections to prevent off-site odor and deal with odor as quickly as possible once detected. The landfill gas system is dynamic and can be adjusted throughout the life of the site. We also use water misting and odor neutralizers to assist in odor control.
What is the life expectancy of the landfill?
There is capacity for approximately 44 more years of disposal at current disposal rates.
What happens once the Benson Valley Landfill stops being used as a landfill?
Once the Landfill is filled to capacity, a final landfill capping system will be installed that consists of an engineered soil liner, cover soils, and a vegetation layer. At that time the site could be used as an open green space, parks, wildlife viewing area, or nature trails.
The site will also be maintained for an additional 30 years in post-closure care after the final closure. This care includes continued groundwater monitoring, leachate management, and compliance reporting until such time the KYDEP approves the site for final closure.
How long does it take for something to breakdown in a landfill?
Organic waste can decompose within months, while non-organic waste such as plastics and glass can take 450-1,000 years to fully decompose.
When is the Landfill open for business?
Benson Valley Landfill is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 am-4:30 pm, and on Saturdays from 8:00 am-12:00 pm. Benson Valley Landfill is closed on Sundays and major holidays.