News | March 15, 2018

EREF And NWRA Unveil Resource For Elevated Temperature Landfill Information And Research

In an effort to inform discussions regarding elevated temperature landfills, the Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) and the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) have partnered to create a microsite presenting some of the most recent research on the topic.

Elevated temperature landfills (ETLFs), often incorrectly labeled as landfill fires, have sparked in-depth discussions across the nation due to the management challenges and regulatory issues faced by landfill operators. While an ETLF is neither a surface nor subsurface fire, these landfills exhibit high temperatures (with some reaching 150o F to 250o F) leading to landfill gas operational compliance issues. The mechanisms leading to ETLFs are not well known; however, research is currently underway to better understand the causes.

Management challenges include: increased leachate quantity, higher concentrations of contaminants in leachate, damage to pipes and gas wells, deteriorating landfill gas quality, public perception and complaints.

Both organizations hope this tool, which is useful for both waste industry participants and the general public, will be a valuable resource to increase understanding, identify data and research gaps and aid landfill operators as they manage ETLFs.

Content includes objective, science-based information:

  • Summary of EREF-funded ETLF research awarded to a multi-disciplinary team consisting of researchers from the University of Virginia, North Carolina State University, City College of New York, and Geosyntec Consultants
  • Articles from solid waste experts and academics outlining causes and identifiers of ETLFs
  • ETLF-focused presentations from the Global Waste Management Symposium
  • FAQs defining ETLFs and the issues surrounding them

As additional research becomes available, the site will be updated to share the most current information.

To access the microsite, please visit

Source: EREF