Unlike the lyrics of a famous Rolling Stones song; “Time is on my side, yes, it is”, in the environmental world folks don’t have time when it comes to landfill expansions. Sure landfill expansions may not be required for seven to ten years down the road for instance; however planning should always be front and center.

There are too many times where environmental managers place expansion (long-term) landfill planning on hold for a variety of reasons; more pressing projects, political landscape is too hostile, or they think they have a lot of time before they run out of airspace. Regardless of the reasons “sticking your head in the sand” and waiting for another time is not a good strategy.

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The timeframe for landfill expansions is increasing and if environmental managers don’t have a Plan B, C, or D; they could run out of time if the initial plan is denied. Environmental managers spend years developing their landfill strategy —most trying a traditional approach to solve a less than traditional problem.

“Your landfill design process must plan for headwinds and develop a Plan B, C, D, etc.”

– John P. Swenson


Place More Importance on the Process – Your landfill design process must be malleable, flexible, and scalable to meet changing regulations and expectations.

Anticipation – Your landfill design process must plan for headwinds and develop a Plan B, C, D, etc.

The Right Tools for the Job – Your landfill design process must find and allow for alternatives to traditional methods.

Continuous Quality Improvement – Your landfill design process must always be self-improving every step of the way.

In most cases, it is no longer good enough to deal with environmental challenges by applying traditional timelines – Forcing environmental managers into bad decisions.

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