The last trash to be dumped at the Hartford landfill will be delivered tomorrow afternoon. The 68-year old landfill is closing because there’s no more room for garbage.
You can’t miss it. A one hundred acre mound of earth, covered at times with plastic tarps and visited by hungry seagulls. It’s one of the first sights a visitor from the north sees when approaching the city of Hartford. The North Meadows Landfill, as its known, started as an open dump around 1940. Since 1982 Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority has run it. Robert Isner with the Department of Environmental Protection says even though the gates are closing CRRA and the state will monitor the site for another 30 years, at a cost of about 17 million dollars.
“The formal closure will entail high tech engineering design where a large plastic cap is placed over the landfill to minimize infiltration of precipitation. That plastic cap will be covered by a very thick two-foot earthen layer and then it will be top-seeded so that it will have a vegetative cover. That will all occur with very specific engineering detail... to minimize any potential problems in the future.”
Eisner says any precipitation that runs through the landfill will be collected to avoid contaminating the Connecticut River and other waterways. There’s also a system to recover methane gas.
By 2011 Eisner says the landfill should look like a large grassy knoll, which could be used for recreational activities.
CRRA is considering building a new landfill in Franklin. In the meantime ash and solid waste will be hauled to private landfills in Connecticut and Massachusetts.