Alternative waste covers

In many countries national environment legislation considers the landfills as a source of environmental risks. In EU countries Directive 1999/31/EC on the landfill of waste and amending Directive 2018/850 from 30. May 2018 determines the main environmental risks sourced at the landfills of waste:

Annex I

5. Nuisances and hazards

Measures shall be taken to minimize nuisances and hazards arising from the landfill through:

– emissions of odors and dust,

– wind-blown materials,

– noise and traffic,

– birds, vermin and insects,

– formation and aerosols,

– fires.

Most of nuisances, hazards and environmental risks caused by the landfilling of waste, especially biodegradable waste can be reduced or completely eliminated by the waste covers.



Traditionally soil was used for the waste isolation. According to the environmental legislation or regulations of many countries the thickness of waste isolating soil layer varies from 150 mm (6 inches) to 250 mm.

The volume of soil used for the waste isolation during landfill body formation can be evaluated as 10-20% of stockpiled waste volume. Soil use as waste cover materials have numerous disadvantages:

  • landfill capacity and landfill operator revenue decrease;
  • cause soil delivery costs (soil cost, transportation cost);
  • increase landfill operation costs (labor, fuel, equipment maintenance);
  • soil interlayers in the landfill body can be an obstacle to leachate migration and drainage;
  • soil interlayers can create pockets in the landfill body, obstructing gas extraction;
  • some types of soil are enough impermeable not to be sufficient barrier to gases and water.


Taking in consideration the soil waste covers disadvantages numerous alternative solutions were developed.

Alternative waste covers, also known as ADC (alternative daily covers) substitutes waste isolating soil layers. 

ADC can be of various types. ASTM D6523 “Standard Guide for Evaluation and Selection of Alternative Daily Covers (ADCs) for Sanitary Landfills” defines the following major types of ADC:

  • Foams
  • Spray-on Slurries
  • Reusable Geosynthetics
  • Nonreusable Geosynthetics
  • Indigenous Materials

To our opinion most versatile are spray-on slurries or sprayable ADC.


To choose sprayable cover materials for your landfill, to estimate material demand, sprayable cover materials and application costs please contact us. We will provide you complete cover solution customized to your landfill.