A working face at the Cherokee Run Landfill.

A working face at the Cherokee Run Landfill.

The Cherokee Run Landfill is located on State Route 68 between Bellefontaine and Belle Center. This one of the cleanest and safest municipal solid waste landfills in the country, and the staff at Cherokee Run do their best to keep it this way.

Cherokee Run has 105 gas extraction wells that collect the landfill gas and convey it to one of two sources: the engine plant or the flares. The engine plant utilizes the gas to produce enough energy to power approximately 1,700 homes in Logan County, while the flares simply burn the dangerous methane out of the gas. Some of these flares are the large torches that can be seen from county road 9; they act as an alternative for dealing with gas when the on-site power plant is working to its capacity.

The leachate system consists of 6-inch pipes at the bottom the landfill that are sloped to sumps, or low spots.  These sumps have larger pipes and attached water pumps to direct the leachate to a large leachate tank. Cherokee’s leachate is currently hauled to a water treatment plant where it is treated for reuse.

Cherokee Run has groundwater wells that surround the landfill. These wells are designed to allow monitoring of the groundwater underlying the landfill. These wells are sampled periodically to verify that there is not contamination of the aquifers and that the landfill is operating well. The Logan County Health Department and Ohio EPA receive the reports of this water chemistry monitoring. In this way, the Health Department keeps informed about any possible impact of the landfill in the groundwater system and protects the interests of the community. For the 30 years after Cherokee Run closes, these wells will still be used to test the landfill’s effects on the groundwater.

Did you know that Cherokee Run offers a free tour each Fall for citizens to see basic operations and site details, and that this tour comes with a complementary meal? Why not check it out this year and see what waste management looks like!

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