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Geosynthetic Barriers in Waste Containment Facilities

One of the largest uses of geosynthetic barriers in the world is in the construction of barriers for waste containment facilities. The two main uses of geosynthetic barriers in these facilities are as the bottom liner barrier system, under the solid waste that prevents liquids and contaminants from entering the underlying soil, groundwater, and environment; and as the final cover barrier system after solid waste placement is complete to prevent precipitation from entering the facility and creating additional contaminated liquid, i.e., leachate. The combination of the bottom liner and final cover
barrier systems encapsulate the solid waste so no liquid can enter and liquid and gas can only leave through controlled outlets after closure for treatment, which protects the groundwater regime and connected streams and rivers.

Learn more about how geosynthetics support safer waste containment in landfills.

This document was prepared by Jonathan Shamrock and Timothy D. Stark for the IGS Technical Committee on Barriers (TC-B). Updated February 2022.