Course Description

This comprehensive course on landfill operations meets 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.

Lesson 2 – Geology and 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


Participants have 12 months to complete this self-paced online course.

All necessary materials included.


System Requirements:

Internet Connectivity Requirements:

  • Cable and DSL internet connections recommended.

Hardware Requirements:

  • Minimum Pentium 400 Mhz CPU or G3 Macintosh. 1 GHz or greater CPU recommended.
  • 256MB RAM minimum. 1 GB RAM recommended.
  • 800x600 video resolution minimum. 1025x768 recommended.
  • Speakers/Headphones to listen to Dialogue streaming audio sessions.
  • A microphone to speak in Dialogue streaming audio sessions.

Operating System Requirements:

  • Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 9, 10
  • Mac OSX 10 or higher.
  • OpenSUSE Linux 9.2 or higher.

Web Browser Requirements:

  • Google Chrome is recommended.
  • Firefox 13.x or greater.
  • Internet Explorer 6.x or greater.
  • Safari 3.2.2 or greater.

Software Requirements:

  • Adobe Flash Player 6 or greater.
  • Oracle Java 7 or greater.
  • Adobe Reader 7 or greater.

Web Browser Settings:

  • Accept Cookies
  • Disable Pop-up Blocker.
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