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Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority

Get an inside look at CRRA's capping the Hartford landfill

These time-lapse videos go behind the scenes of CRRA's $30 million project to install a state-of-the-art synthetic cap over the Hartford landfill.





Len Besthoff of Ch. 3 Eyewitness News had details on April 14, 2011:

The Hartford Courant called it "a great idea" in an editorial on April 12, 2011


On April 12, 2006, CRRA held a public meeting to discuss its plans to close the landfill and to solicit input from the community on the landfill's future. (Click here to see the April 12, 2006, presentation.)

The landfill, which was opened by the City of Hartford in 1940, was leased by CRRA in 1982 to serve CRRA's Mid-Connecticut Project. The City has always owned the landfill, and will continue to own it once it is closed, and the City will bear ultimate responsibility for developing its future use. Today, the landfill consists of two parts:

  • An 80-acre municipal solid waste landfill which receives bulky waste and other waste which could not be processed at the Mid-Connecticut Project trash-to-energy facility. CRRA did not deposit unprocessed trash here.
  • A 16-acre ash landfill for combustor ash produced at the Mid-Connecticut Project trash-to-energy facility.

The landfill accepted its final deliveries of material on December 31, 2008, and CRRA is now covering it with a state-of-the-art synthetic cap.

Following its leasing the site from the city, CRRA installed several environmental control systems at the landfill, all of which will function for a minimum of 30 years after the landfill is closed:

  • A gas extraction and collection system in which 82 wells capture gas before it enters the air, virtually eliminating odors, while using that gas to generate enough electricity to power about 1,500 homes.
  • A slurry wall, made of Bentonite clay, poured around three sides of the landfill. The slurry wall, when connected to the steel sheet piling in the flood control dike along the Connecticut River, creates, in effect, a giant bathtub to ensure that whatever is put in the landfill stays there and does not spread into neighboring land or ground water.
  • A groundwater collection and pumping system that captures and treats groundwater that may flow under the landfill.
  • An ash-leachate collection system that collects and treats rain water percolating through the ash landfill.
  • A groundwater monitoring program ensuring the area surrounding the landfill is safe and remains so.

CRRA also contracts with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to control nuisance birds in the area of the landfill.

A 1998 study by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, concluded that "air emissions generated by the Hartford landfill do not pose any short-term or long-term health effects to residents who live nearby."

CRRA's revised closure plan has been approved by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. The plan includes:

  • A state-of-the-art enhanced synthetic cap which will allow 90 percent less rainwater infiltration than the clay cap.
  • A uniform 3:1 slope around the entire municipal solid waste landform. Under this grading plan, CRRA filled in a small sliver of space (as shown in slide 8 of the April 12, 2006, presentation) to receive waste through 2008.
  • A restatement of CRRA's commitment to end deliveries of waste by Dec. 31, 2008.
  • Conceptual discussion of future uses of the landfill.

The City of Hartford is now working on plans for potential future uses of the landfill. Others have been used for walking and biking trails, fitness courses and parks. As you can see in Slides 21, 22 and 23 of the April 12, 2006, presentation, the landfill has some spectacular panoramic views of Hartford and the areas east of the Connecticut River. Already, the landfill is a habitat to unusual species of birds, such as hawks, plovers and sandpipers. In fact, the Hartford Audubon Society visits the landfill as part of its June and December bird counts.


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This CRRA.ORG page was last updated on April 15, 2011.
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