Eastern Expansion

Grand Central Landfill Eastern Expansion Project

We are eager to share our plans with you but with the uncertainties around the COVID-19 virus, we have decided to postpone the community meetings that were scheduled for March 18th and 19th. We will reschedule these as soon as we can. Please view our youtube page for more details about the project. (see main page for link to the channel)

Grand Central Landfill Rezoning Application

Grand Central Health Risk Assessement (2004) Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Grand Central Health Risk Assessement (2018 update)

Grand Central Landfill has been providing waste disposal services in Plainfield Twp. since 1951 when it was opened by the Perin family. In 1983, the landfill became the second in the state to use a synthetic liner. The Perin family sold the landfill and hauling company to USA Waste in 1997. USA Waste later merged with Waste Management, the current operator of the landfill and hauling company.

Grand Central Landfill is dedicated to being the Slate Belt’s premiere waste solutions provider with a commitment to sustainability, biodiversity and environmental stewardship. To continue our commitment, the Grand Central Landfill has submitted a rezoning application to Plainfield Township requesting that 211 acres of land located adjacent to the existing landfill be rezoned. The rezoning of the property would be the first step in a multi-step Township, State and Federal approval process required to allow the waste facility complex to continue its operations. Eastern-expansion

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Grand Central Landfill requesting to rezone property in Plainfield Township?
Grand Central Landfill (GCSL) is a regional landfill servicing residential and commercial customers within a 90-mile radius of the facility. A such, it plays an integral role in the overall waste management strategy for the Slate Belt, Lehigh Valley and surrounding area. GCSL has asked Plainfield Township to rezone 211 acres of land adjacent to the current solid waste district. To facilitate the Eastern Expansion, the proposed expansion area would yield a 133-acre solid waste permit boundary to accommodate the infrastructure necessary (access roads, stormwater basins, etc.) to support an 81-acre disposal area using 50- to 100-foot high mechanically stabilized earthen (MSE) berms around the landfill perimeter.

How much more permitted operating life does Grand Central currently have?
The current southern expansion has less than eight years* of operating life left.
* The remaining operating life of Grand Central Landfill and the predicted operating life of the Eastern Expansion are estimates based on recent volumes. Waste volumes can fluctuate due to economic factors, the weather, and other unpredictable forces. Should any of these forces result in lower waste volumes, the operating life of the current and proposed landfill would be extended.

How many more years of operating life will this rezoning, and expansion project provide Grand Central landfill?
The expansion would provide GCSL with an additional 20 years of operating life and would provide the site’s service region with an additional 20 years of state-of-the-art waste disposal services.

Why does Grand Central Landfill want to expand?
Grand Central Landfill wants to expand so it can continue providing our customers with waste disposal services that protect the environment, support hundreds of family-sustaining jobs, and provides significant positive impact on the local economy. Expanding the landfill will allow the facility to make use of existing infrastructure, including the wastewater treatment plant, gas collection and renewable energy facilities, scale house, maintenance shop and local truck fleet, all of which reside on the current landfill property.

What is your project timeline?
Grand Central Landfill has about eight years of remaining operating life. State regulations prevent landfills from requesting expansion permit requests until they have five years of remaining operating life. Grand Central will need to have Plainfield Township zoning approval in hand before requesting an expansion permit from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP), which we anticipate will take up to 5-years to obtain.

How does the Eastern Expansion fit into local and regional planning concepts?
We have engaged a Professional Land Planner in an effort to make sure the proposed expansion will be consistent with the current plans of Northampton County, including all regional comprehensive plans, open space plans and trail plans.
We also believe our project will align with the upcoming Slate Belt Multi-Municipal Plan by providing waste disposal services for a growing community which, in time, will have fewer waste disposal options.

Will the volume or type of waste the landfill receives change in the Eastern Expansion?
Grand Central Landfill does not plan to request an increase in the daily waste volume it receives. The landfill is currently permitted to receive as much as 3,000 tons a day with a quarterly daily average of 2,750 tons per day. The landfill is not requesting any change in the type of waste it receives. The landfill will continue to be permitted as a Sub-title D municipal solid waste (MSW) landfill capable of accepting MSW, construction and demolition debris, and residual waste streams that are approved by PADEP before they can be placed in the landfill.

Will the Eastern Expansion result in any change to local truck traffic volume or the truck route used by landfill customers?
The expansion plan will not have an impact on truck traffic volume and will not change the route (State Route 512) our customers use to access the landfill. Based on the most recent traffic study, GCSL contributes less than 1% of all traffic volume to the local road network and has been at the current traffic volume level for just over 20-years.

Will our customers’ vehicles be required to cross Pen Argyl Road to access the Eastern Expansion area?
Grand Central anticipates submitting an application to PennDOT for a signalized intersection at “at-grade” crossing with Pen Argyl Road with flashing warning lights in advance of the intersection. All site traffic will continue to enter via route 512 as currently permitted but will need to cross Pen Argyl Road to access the expansion disposal area.
Pen Argyl Road has approximately 2,200 Average Daily Trips. There are approximately 200 trips in the peak a.m. hour and 225 in the peak p.m. hour.
We’re projecting 67 trips crossing Pen Argyl Road in the a.m. peak hour and 24 in the p.m. peak hour

How will the rezoned acreage be used?
The application filed with the township today requests that 211 acres of land zoned as “Farm and Forest” in the Plainfield Twp. Zoning Ordinance be rezoned for “Solid Waste Processing and Disposal.” This acreage is part of a larger land purchase of 36 parcels that includes 325-acres. The proposed Eastern Expansion would include an 81-acre waste disposal area, and approximately 52-acres for support activities and 192-acres of wooded and wetland areas which would be untouched by the expansion project and would serve to buffer the community from landfill operations.

How will the landfill protect the environment and the Waltz Creek?
The Eastern Expansion area will continue to use a groundwater monitoring system, robust synthetic liner system, wastewater collection and treatment systems, a landfill gas collection system and the inbound-waste tracking systems used today to assure protection of the environment and the community.
Nearby Waltz Creek will be protected from landfill operations as the expansion area will expand its current network of up/down gradient groundwater monitoring wells to ensure the liner system installed in the landfill is performing as designed. Grand Central will also include several temporary erosion and sediment control best management practices (BMP’s) and permanent storm water control devices to control any potential impacts from runoff from the pre and post construction and filling activities. Additionally, Grand Central will perform annual macro-invertebrate studies on the Waltz Creek, to monitor any potential impacts on the biological “health” of the creek that may be related to the landfill activities.

How will Grand Central control nuisances in the Eastern Expansion area?
Grand Central Landfill will continue and build on its current nuisance-control practices during operations in the Eastern Expansion area. These include:

  • Truck traffic: other than those trucks collecting waste in nearby communities, Grand Central Landfill’s customers will continue to use Route 512 to access the landfill. Drivers who do not follow this policy will be disciplined and could face a permanent ban from the landfill.
  • Dust: the landfill team will continue to use fresh water to keep paved and unpaved travel areas damp during dry weather and will continue to apply water to incoming waste when dust control is needed in the disposal area. The landfill will continue to operate the automatic tire-wash system that removes dirt and mud from the tires and undercarriage of trucks leaving the landfill. The landfill also will continue to operate a sweeper truck on its internal haul road and on areas of Route 512 near the landfill entrance.
  • Litter: the landfill will continue to utilize permanent and portable litter fences to keep litter from blowing away from the disposal area. As it has in the past, the landfill will adhere to current permit requirements to temporarily suspend operations during high wind events. The landfill will also continue to periodically deploy litter pickers to collect material that has blown away from the disposal area.
  • Odors: Grand Central will continue to control potential odors by promptly covering arriving waste, including making sure that all waste is covered at the end of the work day, and by using machines that create an odor-controlling mist when conditions require this precaution. When necessary, the landfill will reject inbound material from customers whose waste is especially odorous. Odors also will be controlled by the application of intermediate cover (soil) and the installation of permanent cap (a synthetic membrane installed when construction in an area of the landfill is complete). Odors also are controlled by the construction and operation of the site’s landfill gas collection system. As it has since 2018, Grand Central will continue to expand the collection system twice a year to keep ahead of gas and odors created by the decomposition of recently arrived waste.

How will the Eastern Expansion affect the Green Knight Energy Center?
The landfill gas created by waste in the Eastern Expansion will be collected and piped to the Green Knight Energy Center where it will be used to create renewable electricity. The center will continue to be operated by the Green Knight Economic Development Corp. (GKEDC) and proceeds from the sale of the center’s renewable electricity will continue to be reinvested in the community in the form of economic development projects and scholarships. Since going into operation 21 years ago, GKEDC has used its revenues to reinvest $3 million in the Slate Belt and providing over 250 additional jobs in the community.

How will the Eastern Expansion affect the host and neighboring community benefits enjoyed by Plainfield Twp., Pen Argyl Borough and Wind Gap Borough?
The estimated monetary value of benefits provided to these communities during operation of the Eastern Expansion totals in excess of $100 million.
Per-ton benefits paid to these communities since 2002 totals $31,369,385 and does not include the value of waste and recycling collection service provided free-of-charge to Pen Argyl and Wind Gap residents.
The basis for the provision of these benefits can be found in Pennsylvania Act 101 which obliges landfills to provide a $1-per-ton fee to a “host community.” Wind Gap and Pen Argyl Borough are not part of the Act 101 requirement.

How can neighbors learn more about Grand Central Landfill’s Eastern Expansion Project?
Waste Management is committed to making sure as much project information as possible is available to the public. The landfill team will be conducting community information meetings as soon as possible. (Changes have been made due to COVID-19) 
More information about Grand Central Landfill and its Eastern Expansion plan also is available on the site’s Website at http://grandcentrallandfill.com/ and Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Grandcentrallandfillandhauling/
Information also is available by contacting Grand Central’s 24/7, operator-staffed Community Line at 888-373-2917 with questions.