What is a landfill and its advantages
Recultivation of the "Steigriemen landfill" has many advantages
Until the end of 2017, the Huber family used their piece of land Steigriemen between Gommiswald and Kaltbrunn as pasture for their cows and for grass farming. The land is now being used temporarily, i.e. for the next two to three years, as a landfill for unpolluted excavated material type A: In the summer of 2017, after seven years of planning, JMS received the permit for the “Steigriemen landfill”.
Landfills are constantly on the move
While only unpolluted excavated material is used for backfilling at dismantling sites, materials are deposited in landfills in a way that is subject to waste legislation. Material can also be deposited as unpolluted excavated material (landfill type A) or, if the subsoil is suitable, also as building rubble (landfill type B). After the landfill has been replenished, a professional recultivation will restore a new landscape that is integrated and blended into the area, so that the interventions in the landscape are only of a temporary nature.
This photo shows the location of the Steigriemen landfill at the end of August 2018: The filling of area 1 has been completed and recultivation has taken place. The further filling takes place in area 2. Plant area and recultivation follow one another step by step.
Construction of the Steigriemen landfill began six months before the opening: the so-called installation work began in the summer of 2017. This means that JMS first created the required transport tracks as well as the area of the entry control and the unloading points for the trucks. Regular landfill operations began in February 2018.
Diversion of groundwater sources
Since the Huber couple and their five children live right next to the new landfill, JMS has taken special measures to make operations as safe and emission-free as possible. In addition to noise and dust protection, this includes the protection of the groundwater: so that the residents can continue to use the water, JMS secured various groundwater sources in advance and diverted them where necessary. Until now, the springs ran about two meters underground, now up to 15 meters deep. The new depth is required so that the groundwater circulation can continue to be maintained on the existing dam and the landfill refill does not affect the quality of the groundwater. The JMS was aware that there were groundwater sources on the site. Accordingly, it has included their protection and diversion in the planning. “Although this represented a considerable additional effort, it was an important concern for us and compliance with the legal requirements was a matter of course,” says Urs Fäs, head of the JMS gravel pit.
Replenishment and recultivation bring many advantages
Thanks to Realland Replacement, the Huber family can continue their business without restrictions despite the landfill. And the new final design of their pastureland by the JMS brings further advantages for the family. Thanks to the filling, the terrain is no longer so steep and can be managed better. The house is also better protected against street noise.
According to the gravel pit manager Urs Fäs, it will take several years for the soil to return to its original state. "Our goal is to even increase the soil fertility through high-quality recultivation with seepage aids and an optimal soil structure with sufficient subsoil and topsoil." The Huber family is already recognizing the positive effects of these efforts: that part of the landfill that was recultivated in a first stage in spring 2018 has survived the hot summer well and the water flows off without any problems.
The newly recultivated meadow (to the left of the farm, stage 1) survived the hot summer well.
In the spring of this year, the JMS carried out the first seeds. In July / August, two clearing cuts to remove weeds could already be carried out. At the beginning of September the freshly sown meadow was cut for the first time. And soon the cows of the Huber family will be able to graze peacefully on the climbing belt again.
Farmer Cornelia Huber tells us in an interview what a landfill on the doorstep means and how she experiences working with JMS.
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