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West Wendover Sanitary Landfill - Class I & III

Resource Documents

  • Operating Permit

  • Facility Contact:
    City Manager
    The City of West Wendover
    801 Alpine Street
    P.O. Box 2825
    West Wendover, NV 89883
    (775) 664-3363

    Agency Contact:
    NV Div. of Environmental Protection
    Bureau of Waste Management
    Solid Waste Facilities Branch
    901 S. Stewart St., Suite 4001
    Carson City, NV 89701-5249
    (775) 687-4670

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    West Wendover will construct the new Class I & III landfill on 87 V* acres of land, within the SE % of Section 26, T33N, R69 E, MDB&M. Classification for the suitability of the parcel for landfill purposes, by the BLM, occurred under the authority of the Act of June 14, 1926, as amended (43 U.S.C. 869 et seq.) commonly known as the Recreation and Public Purposes Act. The land at the new site was conveyed to West Wendover following the approval of the previous Class II permit. An access road right-of-way was acquisitioned during the Class II permitting process. The new Class I and Class III landfill will share both the site and access road utilized by the Class II landfill.

    Facility Name West Wendover Municipal Landfill
    Facility Owner The City of West Wendover
    Facility Operator The City of West Wendover
    Facility Size & Location 87 acres located within Section 26. T33N, R69E, MDB&M.
    Facility Type Class I and Class III Municipal Solid Waste Landfill

    The landfill would accept municipal solid waste (MSW) and construction and demolition debris (C&D). MSW would be disposed in Class I cells and C&D would be disposed in Class III cells. A dead animal pit will also be contained on site in a separate area and utilized by the City. It is anticipated that organic solid waste would be composted in the Compost Facility and would therefore be excluded from the landfill. The landfill would not accept hazardous waste, toxic waste, pathological waste, infectious waste, septic tank and sump waste, chemical waste, refrigerators or other sources of chlorofluorocarbons, and PCB waste. Separation and exclusion of unacceptable waste would be accomplished at the Landfill Site by landfill operators. It is estimated that 41 tons per day (15,010 tons per year) of total waste is presently being produced and transported to the landfill (City of West Wendover Municipal Solid Waste Master Plan, November 2006). C&D makes up 30% or 4,500 tons per year of the total waste stream. Delivery of refuse to the landfill would be limited to City vehicles or commercial disposal vehicles authorized by the City. Residential customers would typically be required to deliver refuse to the public tipping areas at the Compost Facility site. A powerline service right-of-way would not be required because all electrical power at the landfill site is provided through local generation at the existing Class II facility.

    The landfill consists of excavated cells for the disposal of municipal solid waste, construction and demolition debris, and a dead animal pit. A typical Class I cell would measure approximately 535 feet by 500 feet by 25 feet in depth with a maximum height of 50 feet. The dimensions of the Class III cell would be 250 feet by 500 feet in depth with a maximum height of 20 feet. The dead animal pit would utilize a small cell measuring 350 feet by 30 feet by 5 feet in depth and would not extend above ground surface. A vehicle maintenance building, soil stockpile areas, closed cells, and on-site access roads would comprise the remainder of the landfill site improvements. It is estimated that, at the present rate of disposal of 15,010 tons per year made up of 70% MSW and 30% C&D, the cell progression would provide disposal volume for approximately 28 years for Class I cells and 25 years for Class III cells.

    A MSW cell would be constructed without the use of a flexible membrane liner or other commercially manufactured liner material. Alternatively, Class I cells would use a modified cell liner utilizing native site soils scarified and compacted to a minimum finished depth of 12 inches would be constructed. The sides of the cells would be excavated to a slope of 3 horizontal to 1 vertical below the natural ground surface. In order to facilitate daily cover, Class III cells will provide daily cover for Class I cells and the proposed cell designs would utilize an area-fill method constructed in phases to minimize the area of exposure. Cell construction would extend approximately 50 feet above the natural ground surface for Class I cells and 20 feet for Class III cells the highest points, with finished side slopes of 5 horizontal to 1 vertical. Interim closure activities would be implemented at the completion of each phase of area-fill construction to decrease the need for post-closure maintenance and minimize potential adverse effects on the surrounding environment by minimizing the infiltration of moisture.  

    Regional Geology
    The existing Class II landfill site is located within the western boundary of the Great Salt Lake Desert basin, which is part of the Basin and Range physiographic province. The site is situated near the dividing line between the Southern Great Salt Lake Desert and the Northern Great Salt Lake Desert. The area is bounded on the east by the Lake Bonneville salt flats and mudflats and on the west by the Goshute Mountains - Toana Range. The mudflats and salt flats are evaporative remnants of ancient Lake Bonneville, which inundated the valley for thousands of years until about 10,000 years ago. These surficial deposits overlie thick unconsolidated sediments derived from the adjacent mountain blocks. The mountains bounding the site to the west consist of upraised blocks of mostly Paleozoic and Tertiary sedimentary and igneous rocks.

    Local Geology
    The site is situated on the eastern flank of the Goshute Mountain range, on the alluvial fan apron originating from the mountains. Subsurface lithology at the site consists of silty sands and gravel deposits typical of an alluvial fan depositional environment. Gravel and cobbles litter the surface of the site.

    The landfill site ranges in altitude from 4500 to 4550 feet as shown on Figure 2. According to the geologic map prepared by Kruer, the site is situated entirely on alluvium and colluvium of Quaternary age (Gates and Kruer. 1981). Depth to bedrock underlying the site is unknown. An exploratory boring was drilled at the site to a depth of 150 feet without encountering bedrock. An abandoned well (Wendover Well) completed approximately 1 % miles south of the site (surface elevation of 4575 feet) was drilled to a depth of 346 feet, at which depth the lithology still consisted of interbedded alluvium and sedimentary and igneous rocks. The static groundwater level in this well was 326 feet below the ground surface. An abandoned military test hole located approximately 1 1/4 miles southwest of the site was drilled to a depth of 838 feet. No lacustrine deposits were encountered only sand and gravel typical of alluvial fan material. The static groundwater level within this hole was 367 feet below the ground surface (surface elevation at 4630).

    The nearest mapped faults are located at least three miles to the west on the flanks of the Goshute Mountains. There are no visible areas of subsidence in the area of the landfill.

    The landfill site is located on the bajada sloping eastward from the Goshute-Toana mountain range. The site is relatively flat and drains gently to the east toward the mud and salt flats at a general slope of 3%. The site is sparsely to moderately vegetated with species of phreatophytes including greasewood, shadscale, and iodine bush, with some saltgrass. sagebrush, seepweed, rabbitbrush, and saltbush. The surface soils are sandy or silty, with scattered gravel and cobbles. Ground surface elevations across the site range from approximately 4,500 to 4,550 feet above mean sea level.

    The subsurface soils at the site are typical of alluvial fan deposits, consisting of alternating lenses of intermixed gravel, sand, silt, and clay. Test pit and boring logs prepared from the field investigation of the site for the original Class II permit application are included in Appendix A.

    The climate of the area is arid with an annual average precipitation of 5.48 inches per year (Ashcroft, 1992). The annual average evapotranspiration for the area is reported to be 43.44 inches a year.  

    Regional Geohydrology
    Groundwater is present in both consolidated and unconsolidated rocks within the Great Salt Lake Desert. The majority of groundwater occurs in the unconsolidated basin fill aquifer and within the alluvial fan aquifer. A shallow brine aquifer also exists in the valley floor underlying the mud and salt flats. The water quality ranges from fresh with a total dissolved solids (TDS) content less than 1,000 mg/L, to briny, with a TDS content greater than 100,000 mg/L.

    The shallow brine aquifer is found in the upper 15 to 25 feet underlying the desert floor. The aquifer is comprised of carbonate muds and crystalline halite, with the permeability due to the presence of crystalline salt and joints in the carbonate muds. Groundwater in the shallow brine aquifer is typically briny, with a TDS content commonly over 100,000 mg/L. and in some places over 200,000 mg/L.

    The basin-fill aquifer underlies the valley floor, separated from the shallow brine aquifer by fine-grained lacustrine confining beds. The aquifer occurs mainly in unconsolidated to semi-consolidated conglomerate deposits. Groundwater in the basin fill aquifer ranges from fresh to saline, with total dissolved solids content ranging from less than 1,000 mg/L to about 35,000 mg/L.

    The alluvial fan aquifer occurs in the unconsolidated sand and gravel of the alluvial fans surrounding the valley. Groundwater in the alluvial fan aquifer ranges from fresh to saline, with total dissolved solids content ranging from less than 1,000 mg/L to about 35,000 mg/L. Most of the water moving toward the mudflats in the alluvial fan and basin fill aquifers discharges by evapotranspiration along the margin of the flats (Gates and Kruer, 1981).

    Local Geohydrology
    Groundwater is expected at a depth of 200 to 300 feet below the ground surface under the site. It is likely to be in the transition zone between the alluvial fan aquifer and basin-fill aquifer. In general, it is not possible to determine which aquifer is tapped by a given well in this transition area (Gates and Kruer, 1981).

    There are no known uses of groundwater in the vicinity of the site, probably because of its depth and poor quality. The Wendover Well was investigated during field activities at the site and found abandoned with a disabled wellhead. An old livestock trough nearby indicates that attempts were made to use it for stock watering.  

    No perennial streams originate in the southern Great Salt Lake Desert (Gates and Kruer, 1981). Runoff in the area of the landfill is negligible. In general, runoff from areas above 7,000 feet in the Goshute Mountains-Toana Range has been estimated to be about 0.6 inches (Harril, 1971). There are no perennial streams in the vicinity of the site, nor any established channels of intermittent streams on the site. The nearest intermittent channel is located directly north of the site, near the railroad main line. During the field activities in the summer of 1997, this channel showed no evidence of recent water flow. Runoff apparently occurs only as a result of thunderstorms or during brief periods of spring snowmelt (Gates and Kruer, 1981). It is apparent that the majority of precipitation at the site infiltrates into the subsurface3.4

    As part of the original Class II permit application, a limited subsurface investigation was conducted at the site to determine the subsurface lithology and the engineering properties of the site soils. On June 6, 1997, a series of seven test pits were excavated at the site at the locations shown in Figure 2. The test pits were excavated with a tracked hydraulic excavator to depths ranging from 15 feet to 22 feet below the ground surface. Additionally, an exploratory boring was drilled at the site between June 30, and July 1, 1997 to a depth of 150 feet. A geologist logged all the test pits and the exploratory boring. Logs are included in Appendix A.

    The soils encountered in the test pits are typical of alluvial fan deposits, consisting of alternating and intermixed beds of silt, sand, gravel and cobbles. A layer of silty clay was encountered in several of the borings at a depth of 10 to 15 feet below the ground surface. The exploratory boring encountered alternating layers of silt, sand, and gravel.

    No groundwater was encountered to a depth of 150 feet below the ground surface and the soils at the 150-foot depth were only slightly damp.

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