Landfill Vegetation Management

The maintenance of landfills in the United States is regulated and enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA grants authority to enforce federal standards to state regulatory agencies. One such state regulatory agency is South Carolina’s DHEC (Department of Health and Environmental Control). These state regulatory agencies are responsible for all types of landfills. These include Industrial Waste, Hazardous Waste, Construction, Demolition Debris, and Municipal Solid Waste landfills.

Local governments often own landfills but many are owned by private enterprises. By statute, landfills are required to be maintained for thirty years after they are closed. This puts an enormous burden on the owner. Effective, cost-efficient management of vegetation becomes an important issue. Opterra Solutions is the perfect vendor to provide many cost-saving vegetation management services to this industry.



One of the most important vegetation management services that Oopterra provides is mowing of the cap. Basic cutting of the vegetation must be performed regularly and provides several benefits. Mowing the cap makes:

 Methane gas detection much easier
 Assessing the condition of the cap easier and more effective
 It's possible to find damage caused by the roots of woody vegetation
 It's possible to find exposed waste from toppled trees

It is generally much less expensive to maintain the vegetation than to repair the cap after discovering problems caused by erosion or roots.

Storm Water Systems Maintenance and Repair

Stormwater systems at landfills can include swales, culverts, detention basins, drainage ditches, and other stormwater structures. Failure to maintain these stormwater systems may cause serious damage to the cap. Uncontrolled water can also result in undesirable flooding, excess leachate generation, and significant erosion. Opterra has all of the experience and resources necessary to maintain and repair Stormwater Management Systems.


Hydroseeding is another service Opterra provides to landfill management companies. When erosion is discovered, or repairs have been made, Opterra is often called on to hydroseed affected areas. This process helps to establish desirable vegetation quickly and prevents continued or repeated repair issues.

In addition to Hydroseeding, Opterra offers a broad array of other erosion control methods. These methods include:

 Installation of seed and straw mats
 Installation of Rip Rap and Rock
 Installation of Silt Fencing
 Other stormwater control devices


Vegetation Management with Herbicides

One of the tools that Opterra uses to maintain vegetation effectively is through the use of herbicides. Many landfills choose to use only mechanical methods to control vegetation at landfill sites but the use of herbicides to supplement mechanical methods is a perfectly viable option. Incorporating herbicide applications as another tool for safe, efficient, and cost-effective vegetation management is something that each landfill owner should consider.

Graveled lots, roadbeds, fence lines, and rail spurs are examples of areas where total vegetation control is often desirable. Our “bare ground” applications eliminate to control weeds mechanically while protecting the environment. All of the herbicides used by Opterra have been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency for use at landfills.

Caps and other areas where maintaining turfgrass is a benefit from herbicide applications that remove weeds and undesirable vegetation. These applications not only remove undesirable vegetation, but they also promote the growth of desirable low growing grasses. Certain herbicide applications can regulate the growth of these grasses and create a denser ground cover. Through the use of herbicides, customers benefit from cost savings due to a reduced mowing cycle. In some cases, mowing becomes unnecessary.


Equipment Requirements

Safe, efficient, and cost-effective vegetation management at landfills brings with it some specific equipment requirements. Opterra primarily utilizes dual-wheel tractors, mowers especially designed for slopes, excavators with rotary cutting attachments. Mulching attachments are also used with the excavators for certain vegetation issues. Skid-Steer or Bobcat loaders are often used with rotary cutters in areas deemed unsafe for excavators.