The Problem:

New Jersey has reported that there are 854 inactive landfills in the state. The Fenimore Landfill in Roxbury, NJ, was partially reopened to prepare the site for construction of a solar field. As part of the permit to reopen the landfill, waste wallboard and sheetrock were accepted. Once the landfill started accepting this debris, landfill gas emissions began immediately impacting the surrounding community.

Residents reported smelling a very strong rotten egg odor, which is consistent with emissions produced by decay of sheetrock. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) responded numerous times to these complaints, but by the time they arrived with handheld instruments the odors had dissipated. To protect the public, town officials recognized they needed a better way to measure these landfill emissions.

Our Solution:

The town sought an effective and efficient way to measure potential landfill gas contaminants 24/7 at very low concentrations, in parts-per-billion (ppb) sensitivity. These measurements needed to be taken simultaneously and in real-time, and at many locations surrounding the landfill.

Emilcott Technologies installed nine hydrogen sulfide (H2S) monitoring stations at strategic locations around the landfill and in the surrounding community near sensitive receptors (e.g. playing fields and schools). The system was designed to operate automatically and to be monitored remotely, eliminating the need for full-time onsite personnel. Using our Greenlight Environmental Monitoring System™, the H2S data were integrated with airflow data from five wind speed and direction sensors.

The Results:

The results were streamed live through the town website and soon accessed by hundreds of town residents, officials, and regulatory personnel. The air sampling system also sent out alerts and notifications directly to subscribers. The system reliably captured fugitive landfill H2S gas levels down to 3.0 ppb.

The data collected by the Greenlight™ system provided evidence that significant H2S gas was being released from the landfill and was impacting the surrounding community at concentrations ranging up to 400 ppb. Within two months, the landfill was taken over by the NJDEP with the goal of curtailing the landfill gas emissions. The landfill has since been capped and emissions have been drastically reduced.

● The air monitoring system has been operating reliably 24 hours a day, seven days a week for over 2.5 years, with 98.5% uptime.
● Over 2 million H2S samples have been taken.
● An automatic software validation protocol was developed to eliminate false positive spikes from the live web view and notification systems.
● The system has been operated automatically and remotely, translating to labor savings exceeding $1.5 million.
Emilcott Patents Applicable to the Project: USP# 20080148816 and 20090090167