Landfill Operations

Hours: 25 / Access Length: 12 Months / Delivery: Online, Self-Paced
Retail Price: $245.00

Course Overview:

Course Description: Using the Internet this course will provide the student with a comprehensive look at landfill operations. This class will meet or exceed requirements for the educational components of certification and/or licensing required for solid waste professionals.

Course Outline:

Lesson 1 – Waste Composition
  • Explain the process of waste decomposition, list factors that limit the decomposition rate, and list decomposition byproducts.
  • Explain the process of decomposition and its limiting factors.
  • List the products of the decomposition process.
  • Describe the typical composition of landfill gas.
  • Describe potential problems created by landfill gas and methods to control landfill gas.
  • Explain the general trend in oxygen, methane, nitrogen, and oxygen concentrations in landfill gas.
  • Describe the characteristics of landfill gas.
  • List the monitoring requirements for landfill gas and the active and passive gas collection systems.
  • Describe the methods of controlling leachate: prevention and collection systems.
  • Explain the treatment options available and monitoring requirements.
Lesson 2 – Geology & Hydrology
  • Explain what is meant by geology, hydrogeology, and hydrology.
  • List the three classifications of rock and describe how they are formed.
  • List the soil types, including clay, silt and sand, and their characteristics.
  • Describe the hydrologic cycle.
  • Explain surface water and erosion control methods.
  • Define groundwater and explain the potential impact that landfills may have on groundwater.
  • Identify the federal regulations for groundwater monitoring, the typical design of a groundwater monitoring well, and groundwater sampling.
Lesson 3 – Engineering
  • Describe the role of engineering and an engineer relative to the permitting and operations of a landfill.
  • Describe the basic tools used in engineering a landfill.
  • Explain the difference between required engineering and operations support engineering.
  • Explain the many different maps and plans that may be required to acquire and maintain a permit.
  • List and describe the basic categories of plans, reports, and maps relative to a landfill.
  • Explain the conventions used to understand and work with the data represented in plans, reports, and maps.
  • List and describe the primary applications of maps and plans.
  • List and describe the procedures used to determine if a landfill needs engineering, what specifically the engineering is needed for, and how the landfill can find and develop a good relationship with an engineer.
  • Explain how to determine the landfill's needs relative to siting a landfill and acquiring and maintaining a permit.
  • Describe how to ask for and evaluate the qualifications of outside engineering
Lesson 4 – Surveying
  • Explain the various types of surveying techniques.
  • Perform basic mathematical and survey calculations.
  • Describe the various survey applications utilized by a landfill.
  • Explain how surveying develops accurate maps and helps landfills manage airspace effectively.
  • List five important survey systems and determine each of their applications for a landfill operation.
  • Describe an advantage of GPS surveying and its potential application at a landfill.
  • Explain the purpose of aerial surveying and its application at a landfill.
  • List total station surveying equipment and explain how to read a target rod.
  • Calculate area and volume.
  • Calculate slope, distance, area, and volume for selected geometric shapes.
  • List the five primary measurements used by surveyors.
  • Explain how to write surveying notes.
Lesson 5 – Landfill Design
  • Explain the different tasks required to plan and prepare a good landfill design.
  • Describe the principles and define the terminology pertinent to landfill design.
  • Describe the issues and concerns of siting a landfill.
  • Explain the benefit and objectives of planning the siting process.
  • Explain the role of public involvement in the siting process.
  • Explain the process and criteria for deciding on a new location for a landfill.
  • List the many possible design decisions available to each landfill component.
  • List and describe the different types of liners and the design considerations for each.
  • List and describe different gas and leachate collection systems available to a landfill
  • Describe the design elements associated with a leachate storage system.
  • Explain the components and design considerations of a gas and leachate monitoring system.
  • Explain the components and design considerations of a final cap.
  • Describe the considerations necessary to provide a complete landfill design.
  • List the steps involved to place and design a landfill cell given the regulatory and physical restrictions a design may encounter.
  • Describe the varying support systems included in a landfill design and the design considerations given to each system.
  • Explain the significance of each design element relative to the economics of constructing the final design.
Lesson 6 – Landfill Construction
  • Explain the need for ongoing landfill construction.
  • Explain the basic techniques used in landfill construction.
  • Describe the steps involved in contracting from document preparation through the bid opening.
  • Explain the procedures involved in contracting a landfill construction project from the bid opening through the initiation of construction after completing this topic.
  • Describe the task and procedures involved in a successful landfill construction project.
  • Describe the construction process relative to liner construction.
  • Describe the process involved in constructing a collection system.
  • List the construction procedures necessary to construct a final cap.
  • Explain the process for preparation and implementation of a construction Quality Assurance Plan.
  • List areas that can become a problem during landfill construction if ignored or mishandled.
Lesson 7 – Landfill Operations
  • Explain the various facets of landfill operation including equipment needs, construction methods, soil excavation, cover alternatives, and waste screening.
  • Identify various heavy equipment utilized in a landfill.
  • List and describe methods to construct daily cells including methods to estimate the size of a daily cell.
  • Describe the options for daily cover of a landfill cell.
  • List the purposes for implementing a waste screening program.
  • List essential elements to include in a waste screening program, including load inspections, documentation, training, and procedures.
  • Describe the elements of a successful equipment maintenance program.
  • Describe methods for improving customer service.
Lesson 8 – Regulations
  • List and describe the differences between related federal Acts.
  • Identify the components of five federal Acts and describe their impact on landfill operations.
  • Identify key components of a landfill permit including sampling requirements, reporting requirements, and material handling requirements and identify how, landfill expansions, new landfill siting, and landfill closures affect permits. You should also understand the purpose of financial assurance and how landfill operations impact financial assurance obligations.
  • Identify the key components of a landfill permit including sampling requirements, reporting requirements, material handling requirements, and expansion/siting requirements. Additionally, you should be able to identify other permits and contracts that might be required for the management of leachate, landfill gas, stormwater, engineering services and specialized field services.
  • Identify how landfill expansions, new landfill siting, and landfill closures affect permits.
  • Explain the purpose of financial assurance and how landfill operations impact financial assurance obligations.
  • Identify services for which a landfill operation may contract and other services requiring a permit including leachate management and landfill gas management.
  • Describe handling requirements for petroleum contaminated soils and asbestos. You should also be familiar with banned materials.
  • Explain the difference between banned materials and universal wastes.


All necessary materials are included.

System Requirements:

Internet Connectivity Requirements:

  • Cable, Fiber, DSL, or LEO Satellite (i.e. Starlink) internet with speeds of at least 10mb/sec download and 5mb/sec upload are recommended for the best experience.

NOTE: While cellular hotspots may allow access to our courses, users may experience connectivity issues by trying to access our learning management system.  This is due to the potential high download and upload latency of cellular connections.   Therefore, it is not recommended that students use a cellular hotspot as their primary way of accessing their courses.

Hardware Requirements:

  • CPU: 1 GHz or higher
  • RAM: 4 GB or higher
  • Resolution: 1280 x 720 or higher.  1920x1080 resolution is recommended for the best experience.
  • Speakers / Headphones
  • Microphone for Webinar or Live Online sessions.

Operating System Requirements:

  • Windows 7 or higher.
  • Mac OSX 10 or higher.
  • Latest Chrome OS
  • Latest Linux Distributions

NOTE: While we understand that our courses can be viewed on Android and iPhone devices, we do not recommend the use of these devices for our courses. The size of these devices do not provide a good learning environment for students taking online or live online based courses.

Web Browser Requirements:

  • Latest Google Chrome is recommended for the best experience.
  • Latest Mozilla FireFox
  • Latest Microsoft Edge
  • Latest Apple Safari

Basic Software Requirements (These are recommendations of software to use):

  • Office suite software (Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, or LibreOffice)
  • PDF reader program (Adobe Reader, FoxIt)
  • Courses may require other software that is described in the above course outline.

** The course outlines displayed on this website are subject to change at any time without prior notice. **