GSI - Solid Waste Landfill Failures WebinarGeosynthetic Institute logoOn Wednesday, March 9, the Geosynthetic Institute will hold a live webinar on “Behavior and Analysis of 20 Solid Waste Landfill Failures.” The session will begin at 11:30 am (EST) promptly and last for approximately 75 minutes. Question time will be available at the end. Participants may earn 1.5 PDHs, with successful completion of a 10-question multiple choice test.
Register online
Cost: USD $200 for GSI Members ($250 for Non-Members)
Dr. Robert Koerner will lead the session. He is also delivering a keynote address at GeoAmericas 2016 in Miami, April 10 – 13. That event is the 3rd Pan-American Conference on Geosynthetics.


In comparison to the number of worldwide solid waste landfills that exist, the incidence of failure is quite small.  Nevertheless, when they do fail the mass of waste involved can be enormous.  Six of the 20 failures described in this webinar involved over 1,000,000 m3 of waste. The failures were also responsible for three deaths.
The analysis of each failure using the computer program ReSSA (3.0) identified the most sensitive unknown variable, while individual reports identified the “triggering mechanism” which brought the already low FS-value into an incipient failure state.
Some of the salient findings are as follows:

  • 7 of 11 unlined cases were rotational failures
  • 8 of 9 lined cases were translational failures
  • Service lifetimes were from 1 week to decades
  • Duration of failures was from 1 min. to a few hours
  • Average height of waste mass was 26 m
  • Height-to-length of failed waste was approximately 0.42
  • Average density of waste was 12.1 kN/m3
  • Average waste shear strength was 26° and 13 kPa
  • Geomembrane shear strength varied from 5.1 to 16.2° (none were textured)
  • Waste and/or liner shear strength was generally the greatest uncertainty
  • Liquids were involved in all 20 cases; i.e., in the waste, liner system or foundation soil and was invariably the “trigger” causing failure

This webinar should convince all involved and interested in landfill technology of the serious implications of failure and of the necessity for proper design, installation, filling, cover, and maintenance practices.
Robert Koerner, Director Emeritus
Geosynthetic Institute


GeoAmericas 2016