While most people were eating turkey and visiting with family on Thanksgiving night in 2020, Anchorage Fire Department crews were fast at work putting out a fire at the Anchorage Landfill, a fire that according to landfill foreman Kevin Sager was the biggest they’ve ever seen onsite. “It was pretty massive,” Sager said on Tuesday. “AFD spent all day out here putting it out. We used our equipment to push the trash out onto the liner to help put the fire out.”

The likely cause of this massive fire? A single lithium battery. Last summer, a compromise was discovered in the landfill lining — specifically located in cell nine — where leachate was noticed pouring into the ground rather than following the channel designed to carry it into leachate ponds.

Leachate is defined as any liquid that touches garbage before sinking to the bottom of the pile. While officials were successful at pumping most of the leachate out of the ground, the next step is slightly more tricky. Solid Waste Service Acting Director Kelli Toth said that in order to literally get to the bottom of the problem, crews will now need to dig a hole this summer at the burn site — approximately 50 feet deep and one acre wide — in order to inspect the lining and get a better idea of what made have caused the blaze in the first place.

To read the full story, visit https://www.alaskasnewssource.com/2024/05/29/city-landfill-starts-new-lithium-battery-policy-after-2020-fire/.
Author: Jonson Kuhn, Alaska’s News Source
Alaska’s News Source