Who owns and operates Congress Landfill?
Congress Landfill is owned by Congress Development Company and operated by Allied Waste Transportation, Inc. Although it is a closed landfill, meaning it no longer accepts waste, the site is still actively managed.
How much waste is accepted daily?
The facility no longer accepts waste as it is a certified closed site. However, the site is still actively managed to protect public health and the environment.
What environmental protection systems are in place?
Congress Landfill is operated in a manner that protects public health and the environment. Although no waste is accepted at Congress, we work closely with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) and the Cook County Department of Environmental Control to ensure that we meet all state and federal regulations. There are many environmental protection systems at Congress Landfill, including but not limited to the following:
Gas collection: Once trash is disposed of, it naturally decomposes and produces gas. A landfill gas management system collects gas through a series of pipes and 145 gas wells. This gas is piped to an on-site flare system where it is safely destroyed. The landfill’s surface and exterior gas probes are also regularly monitored to ensure the landfill gas system is operating properly.
Leachate collection: Protection of all water sources is a priority at Congress Landfill. The Landfill is designed with a highly engineered composite liner final cover system designed to minimize the infiltration of liquids into the Landfill. Liquids that are within the Landfill are collected and pre-treated on-site at our wastewater treatment facility. Once pre-treated, the water is discharged to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. In addition, Congress Landfill assesses groundwater with 53 individual groundwater monitoring wells and storm water in our on-site surface pond. We routinely test each well and the surface pond to verify groundwater and storm water safety.
Rainwater collection: Rainwater that does not touch any waste must also be managed appropriately. Stormwater runoff is collected and contained in a detention pond, which allows soil particles to settle before the water is discharged. Visual inspections are conducted routinely, and analysis is done quarterly.
Groundwater monitoring: Congress Landfill assesses groundwater with 53 individual groundwater monitoring wells and storm water in our on-site surface pond. We routinely test each well and the surface pond to verify groundwater and storm water safety.
Final capping: We have placed a final cover over the top of the landfill to entomb the waste. This cover – which includes soil, a manufactured liner and topsoil and vegetation – keeps liquids out and gases in to protect the environment.
Who permits and inspects the facility?
Congress Landfill is fully permitted and inspected by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the Cook County Department of Environmental Control.
How do you control odors?
Landfill gas and odors are controlled with responsible landfill management practices, including an effective landfill gas collection and control system. The landfill gas system is monitored on a regular frequency to ensure the landfill gas system is operating properly.
What is the life expectancy of the Landfill?
Congress landfill is a closed landfill, meaning it no longer accepts waste. The site is still maintained, which includes groundwater monitoring, leachate management and landfill gas system operations.
What happens once the Congress Landfill stops being used as a landfill?
Now that the Landfill no longer accepts waste, a final landfill capping system that consists of an engineered soil liner, cover soils, and a vegetation layer has been installed and is being maintained. The site will be maintained until at least 2058, which includes continued groundwater monitoring, leachate management and compliance reporting until which time the IEPA approves the site for final closure.
How long does it take for something to breakdown in a landfill?
Organic waste can decompose within months, while non-organic waste such as plastics and glass can take 450-1,000 years to fully decompose.
When is the Landfill open for business?
Congress Landfill is open Monday through Friday from 7:00 am – 3:30 pm. Congress Landfill is closed on Saturdays, Sundays and major holidays.
Can I take a tour of the Landfill?
Yes, landfill tours are offered. Please call (708) 544-5195 to arrange a time for a tour.