CLF Appeals Turnkey Landfill Expansion

Permit allows region’s largest landfill to accept an additional 14 million tons of waste

If Waste Management is allowed to expand its Turnkey landfill, any leaks from the site would end up in the Isinglass (above) and Cocheco rivers. Photo: EcoPhotography

July 11, 2018 (CONCORD, NH) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) filed an appeal today challenging a New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services permit that authorizes the expansion of the Turnkey landfill in Rochester.

“We need to reduce our waste instead of looking for more places to bury it,” said Tom Irwin, Vice President and Director of CLF New Hampshire. “Waste Management is dumping about a million and a half tons of waste per year into the Turnkey landfill, putting nearby communities and waterways at risk. It’s time for the state to stop undermining waste reduction efforts by expanding landfills and instead focus on zero waste strategies that treat waste as a resource.”

The permit allows the Turnkey landfill to expand its footprint by 58 acres, to accept an additional 14 million tons of waste, and to continue operations until at least 2034. Located near the junction of the Cocheco and Isinglass Rivers, the landfill is the largest in New England and accepts more than half of the waste it buries from outside New Hampshire.

CLF’s appeal highlights the negative impact the expansion will have on efforts to reduce waste and implement recycling and composting programs both in New Hampshire and across the region. The filing also includes issues related to the presence of harmful pollutants in monitoring wells and the dangerous recirculation of leachate – liquid that has already passed through waste – within the landfill.

CLF experts are available for further comment.