Municipal solid waste is a type of solid waste generated from community, commercial and agricultural operations. This includes wastes from households, offices, stores and other non-manufacturing activities.
Municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills can accept municipal solid waste as well as all other solid waste and exempt wastes (e.g. spent nontoxic foundry sand, nontoxic fly ash and bottom ash, and construction and demolition debris).
MSW landfills cannot accept hazardous waste, regulated PCB wastes, bulk liquids or wastes containing free liquids, untreated infectious waste from a large generator, scrap tires or yard waste.
Modern MSW landfills are well-engineered facilities that are located, designed, operated, and monitored to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations. MSW landfills are required to meet design, siting, operating, closure and post closure requirements. There are design standards for the composite liner system (consisting of re-compacted soil overlain by a flexible membrane liner), a leachate management system (designed to limit the level of leachate on the liner system to one foot), a multilayer cap system and surface water management. To accommodate advances in technology, the rules allow alternative materials and thicknesses. Every 10 years the facility undergoes a review of the landfill design to demonstrate it is consistent with current design standards.
Siting criteria provide for protection of ground water and drinking water wells, as well as setbacks from parks, surface waters, property lines, and domiciles. Additionally, there are restrictions associated with airports, flood plains, earthquakes and unstable areas.