Waste Pits in the Former Tire Pile Area

In 2005, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency modified the Lowry Landfill cleanup plan, formally known as the Record of Decision, to prescribe a new method for addressing contamination at three waste pits in an area of the landfill known as the “Former Tire Pile Area.” Comprised of 54 acres immediately north of the main landfill area, the Former Tire Pile Area is called that because the vicinity’s waste pits—each 20 to 30 feet deep—previously were covered with millions of tires, which have since been removed, shredded, consolidated and re-located for potential future re-use as fuel.

Called “Capping with Product Recovery,” the new cleanup method for the Former Tire Pile Area was initiated in 2005-2006 and involved:

  • Pumping contaminated liquids from the waste pits;
  • Transporting them offsite for disposal;
  • Maintaining a cap on the waste pits; and
  • Monitoring groundwater migrating from the waste pits.

Waste Pit Status

In 2006, contaminated soils that had been removed from the middle waste pit in 1999 were moved to a new, permanent location within the main landfill. Moving the treated soils to their new location means they will be underneath the final protective landfill cap so that contaminated groundwater will continue to be captured by existing groundwater collection systems and treated in Lowry Landfill’s onsite wastewater treatment plant. The middle pit has since been certified as construction complete by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

On Oct. 6, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency certified as complete the south waste pit, as well. That milestone completes a 15-year process that included cleanup design, construction and testing; liquid product removal; and monitoring and reclamation of the waste pit.

The third and final waste pit, the north pit, is in the final phase of product recovery and is scheduled for completion in 2012. When that occurs, cleanup of the Former Tire Pile Area will be complete.

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Benefits

  • Reduces and prevents new groundwater contamination
  • Prevents exposure to humans and the environment of contaminated groundwater
  • Prevents migration of contaminated groundwater