COVINGTON - The Newton County Landfill has been awarded the 2008 Most Innovative Program Award by the Solid Waste Association of North America.
The landfill won for its use of Posi-Shell, an alternative soil cover that saves space and money.
The county was authorized in April 2006 by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division to participate in a pilot program to use the cover, which is a mixture of cement, flyash and water.
The EPD requires that some sort of cover be used to keep the contents within the landfill confines.
Previously, the county used soil cover. Posi-Shell requires about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch of cover per application versus 6 inches of soil.
In addition, county consultants Moreland Altobelli Associates initially estimated the county could save $250,000 a year by using Posi-Shell.
In July, Newton became the first county in the state to be approved to use Posi-Shell as an alternative daily cover.
In addition to the Posi-Shell program, the landfill was recognized for its electronics and hazardous waste recycling programs. Previously, these items could be recycled once a year, but now can be recycled monthly, landfill director James Peters said.
"It's just recognition that you're doing a good job," he said of the award from SWANA.
SWANA is the leading professional association in the solid waste management field, according to its Web site, with a mission "to advance the practice of environmentally and economically sound management of municipal solid waste."
SWANA serves more than 8,100 members and thousands more industry professionals with technical conferences, certifications, publications and a large offering of technical training courses.
Crystal Tatum can be reached at email@example.com.