Civil Engineering

Solid Waste Engineering

McGill Associates recognizes that solid waste management practices are an important element of environmental awareness. Our solid waste team has extensive experience in providing solid waste management consulting services, including master planning, gas-to-energy facilities, material recovery facilities, recycling center design, resource recovery planning, and waste management facility development. We are dedicated to assisting clients with developing innovative solid waste solutions that not only meet the needs of the community served, but also enhance quality of life of by protecting critical ground and surface water resources and air quality. We are also leaders in applying innovative designs and new technologies, such as landfill bioreactors, which can provide new revenue sources to closed and operating landfills, and in using science and research to minimize the impact of prescriptive regulations, while maximizing resources and operational efficiency, and ensuring protection to the environment.

case study

CLIENT: Catawba County
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: McGill Associates has worked continuously with the Catawba County solid waste program for more than 15 years. During this time, our team of experienced solid waste professionals has completed numerous projects, including:

Industrial Site Planning
McGill Associates assisted the County in planning and acquiring an 80-acre site adjacent to the Blackburn Landfill for new industries that produce products related to solid waste, recycling or energy recovery.

Enterprise Fund Financial Analysis
McGill Associates prepared a capital improvement program, revenue study and cash flow analysis of the County’s solid waste fund. The analysis demonstrated that current rates were adequate to amortize planned capital investments, and the firm made recommendation to the client relative to its future capital financing program. McGill Associates has maintained an ongoing relationship with the County’s management staff and provides continuing assistance to the program in technical, finance and real property matters.

Blackburn Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Landfill:

  • Solid Waste Master Plan: Prepared a master plan for development of the more than 600-acre property owned by the County. The 20-year plan consisted of initiatives to provide MSW disposal areas, a construction / demolition disposal area, to sequence the use of on-site borrow areas for re-use as industrial and recreation area, and to provide financial analysis and cash flow projections for all solid waste activities.
  • Landfill Site Suitability Study: Prepared a general update for the site suitability study for the existing Blackburn Landfill properties, reflecting new developments on the site including additional waste areas, an office facility, the new convenience center and changes to the methane recovery system.
  • Blackburn Landfill Convenience Center: Designed a replacement waste collection center for Blackburn Landfill. The project included site design, erosion control, stormwater, on-site utilities, bidding services, construction administration and financial services.
  • Site Study: McGill Associates performed testing, field investigation and research required to prepare a landfill site study for a 245-acre expansion site.
  • Unit 3, Phase I: Performed design, permitting and construction administration of 22 acres of Subtitle D MSW landfill.
  • Unit 2, Phase II, Stage 2: McGill Associates prepared plans to permit and construct a 14-acre cell attached to Unit 2, and a piggy back onto the old unlined Unit 1 cell.
  • Unit 2, Phase II, Stage 1: McGill Associates prepared plans to permit and construct a 16-acre cell attached to Unit 2, Phase I and Unit 1.

Gas-to-Energy Project
The Catawba Gas-to-Energy Project involved a co-generating electric power plant at the Blackburn Landfill in Catawba County. The facility consisted of three one-megawatt Jenbacher gen-sets and associated switch-gear and controls. Three reciprocating engine gen-sets are fueled by landfill gas. Power generated is exported to the Duke Energy grid and supplements the power needs at the Blackburn Landfill. McGill Associates provided conceptual planning, project feasibility analysis, project management, structural and civil engineering, and assisted the County with final procurement of the contractors and equipment. The facility has been in operation for approximately five years.

Newton Landfill

  • Cap Repairs: Developed plans to permit and construct repairs and reconstruction of the landfill cap on a 60-acre landfill.
  • Methane Remediation: Assisted the County in developing an emergency methane remediation plan to contain the spread of methane gas beyond the limits of the landfill property, vent the gas and flare it.
  • Groundwater Recommendations at Newton Landfill: Assisted with state negotiations for monitoring and planning project objectives.

Bio-Energy Facility
In conjunction with the Gas-to-Energy project, McGill Associates assisted the County with the Catawba Bio-Energy Facility. This project involved a steam-production boiler plant that was used to generate steam heat for wood-drying kilns and for electric production through the use of steam turbines. The fuel source for the bio-energy facility was obtained from landfill wood waste combined with sawdust and fines from an on-site wood processing plant manufacturing dimensional lumber for commercial use. McGill Associates provided conceptual planning, financial / feasibility analysis and project management. The firm was also responsible for the preparation of procurement documents for a design, build and operate contractor, and assisted the County in final selection of the successful bidder. Other potential components of this facility include a bio-energy facility, bio-solids facility, greenhouses, brick/ pottery kiln and turf research facility.

Methane Recovery Project Assistance
McGill Associates assisted the County with evaluating the financial feasibility, options for contracting for gas recovery services and specifying generating equipment for gas recovery and electric generators at the Newton and Blackburn Landfill sites.

Industrial Site Access Road and Tunnel
McGill Associates designed an access road from an industrial site to a landfill disposal area. The project included a 30-foot diameter structural culvert to allow off-road equipment access under a NCDOT roadway.

Construction and Demolition Landfill Design
McGill Associates assisted the County in designing, permitting and constructing the County’s Construction & Demolition (C&D) Landfill. This project posed substantial logistical challenges, involving a major change in the location of the landfill. Inherent in the relocation were several operational changes, including the relocation of scale facilities, changes in internal circulation patterns, and modification of many routine practices involving the processing and disposal of C&D waste.

at a glance

Design / Permitting / Compliance

  • Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Facility
  • Construction and Demolition Landfill
  • Transfer Station
  • Recycle Material Recovery Facility
  • Integrated Waste System
  • Landfill Closure
  • Leachate Collection/Disposal Systems
  • Groundwater Monitoring and Remediation
  • Landfill Bioreactors / Leachate Recirculation

Planning / Studies

  • Solid Waste Master Planning
  • Solid Waste Disposal Alternatives Analysis
  • Waste Collection System Planning
  • Recycling Program Evaluation/Planning
  • Operations Efficiency Analysis
  • Reassessment of Post-Closure Care (PCC)
  • Pro Forma Development
  • Regulatory Compliance Evaluation
  • Site Suitability Studies
  • Landfill Borrow Material Studies
  • Landfill Site Reuse Assessment
  • Financial Assurance Compliance
  • Safety and Security Planning
  • Capital Improvements Planning
  • Financial Assessments

Landfill Gas

  • Landfill Gas Management Studies / Design
  • Energy Utilization / Reuse Evaluation
  • Carbon Credit Generation