Your GPS Guide: Compact™ Achieves Landfill Compaction Best Practices

By Matt Kurmas

Your GPS Guide logoThe goal of any professional landfill is the same: Compact the trash tightly while spreading material efficiently and uniformly, to ensure maximum revenue and life expectancy. The AMW Compact Software offers a highly accurate tool that aids in the completion of all compaction and landfilling best techniques.

As mentioned in Rick Zettler’s article for Public Works Magazine, Five Landfill Compaction Best Practices, there are only a few basic rules and techniques necessary for success in landfill waste compaction.

Compact the entire area

The AMW Compact system achieves best practices for landfill compaction.Leave no trash un-compacted. This is a simple and easy rule to follow but it is still possible that an operator could leave an area, large or small, untouched. The areas around the edges of the working face and the gaps between the wheels are a likely example. If there are multiple compactors working, it could be assumed that another machine compacted an area that was not. With AMW Compact the coverage area of all machines will be displayed on the in-cab control panel screen. The wheel tracks with dimensions (length, width and gap in-between) will be drawn as the machine moves, and the painted on-screen tracks will guarantee no areas were missed

Don’t make too many or too few passes

Make too few passes over an area and the material is not well compacted. Make too many, and you are wasting time and energy. AMW software ensures the operator is making the correct number of passes by measuring machine deflection between passes. The on-screen wheel tracks will change color, or not change, depending on the precise elevation difference between passes. When the wheel track color stops changing, demonstrating that goal compaction levels have been achieved, the area is compacted and the machine is free to move on or quit running. It is no longer necessary to perform a specific number of passes on an area, assuming or hoping that each pass might be compacting material.

Control the Layer Thickness

Spreading and compacting waste at a uniform thickness can be .challenging to an operator. Spread too thin and you are not being efficient, spread too thick and material will not compact well. AMW software gives the operator a real time indication of layer thickness. The “Add a Layer” function offsets the elevation of the starting surface and displays a remaining Fill amount for the desired Layer Thickness, such as “Fill 2.00”. After the layer thickness is achieved a new thickness can be added. Always knowing the thickness of the current layer will guarantee improved compaction.

Lift Thickness and slopes must be accurate

Building the current lift to a specific slope and elevation is also an important job on a working face. The operator may want to build a 12 foot lift with a 2% fall for drainage. Or, a steeper working face of 15% may be the preferred method. AMW software gives the operator the ability to set parameters for target elevation and slope percentage. The “Top Grade” menu offers a system for entering the target values. With an added slope sensor, the operator can make decisions based on real time fore and cross slope measurements displayed on the working screen. Giving the operator information such as current slope, elevation and fill amount to top of lift can be a valuable tool for building consistent faces.

GPS technology has become commonplace on most construction sites, thanks to its precision measurement capabilities and the opportunity for revenue-increasing analysis. AMW software offers a system specifically designed for the needs of the landfill compaction machinery and the people who manage it. The Compact system has become an essential tool in many landfills where improved compaction and efficiency are important.

Matt Kurmas has worked in the GPS machine control industry since 2008 and is a Product Manager for AMW, focused on waste management applications. He has extensive experience developing and implementing GPS systems for construction, agriculture and landfills. Matt’s previous experience includes 10 years as a Land Survey Crew Chief and Instrument Operator.