Welcome to DSWA's Sandtown Landfill
(Central Solid Waste Management Center)

The CSWMC is located West of Camden, Delaware on Rt. 10 in Sandtown. You probably drive by it and don't even realize it is there! But so much goes on at the Sandtown Landfill...let's take a look!

Once you drive through Camden on Rt. 10, you'll see this sign:
Turn in here! This is the entrance to the entire facility!

Be careful though...lots of trucks use the landfill, and on weekdays, it is a busy place!

You'll go past a couple of gates, down a long, winding driveway. If you look through the trees on the right (easy during the Winter!), you'll see the Landfill, but you'll see more of that in a minute!

On the right, just past the gate, is a really important part of what DSWA does. If you've ever been to any of our landfills before, you recognize this part. Actually, if you recycle at all, this type of place should look really familiar...
DSWA's RECYCLE DELAWARE Centers are where Delaware residents recycle.
The first RECYCLE DELAWARE Center was placed at the Southern Solid Waste Management Center in 1990.
Since then, the program has grown to over 144 brightly-colored centers throughout the State.
Most centers are located within a five-mile radius of most households so residents can easily drop off
recyclables on the way to work or shopping. DSWA operates this statewide program at no cost to taxpayers.
DSWA averages THREE MILLION POUNDS of recyclables received EACH MONTH!

If you'd like to know more about what YOU can recycle, and where... click here!

Teachers, click here to request a RECYCLE DELAWARE POSTER for your classroom!

Once you're fnished separating your recyclables at the RECYCLE DELAWARE Center, its time to enter the Landfill! All vehicles that enter the Landfill to dispose of solid waste must be weighed, so as you enter the Landfill, you'll stop at the SCALEHOUSE to have YOUR car or truck weighed! You can stay right in your vehicle, the giant SCALE is under you when you stop at the SCALEHOUSE! It can weigh a tiny little car with two bags of household trash, and the BIGGEST trash trucks you'll ever see, full of trash from houses all over the county! Residents just pay per vehicle because they usually bring in less than 120 pounds, but bigger trucks pay by the TON!

Inside the SCALEHOUSE, you'll see the WEIGHMASTERS.
They have a very important job. They weigh each vehicle as it passes over the scales, and charge them by the weight of solid waste they leave at the Landfill. By careful monitoring of how much waste comes in, the Landfill is kept safe, clean and running smoothly.

Now comes the big split! Once you leave the SCALEHOUSE, the road splits.
If you're a resident with a few bags of household waste, you'll go left here, and take those bags to special holding containers, called ROLL-OFFS, just around the corner from the SCALEHOUSE. This is much faster for you, and you won't get your car dirty on the Landfill. Once these containers get full,we take them up to the Landfill to be emptied.

These are the special containers, called ROLL-OFFS, where most of us deposit
our household solid waste.

Bigger trucks will turn right at the split and drive up to the Landfill "FACE." That's what we call the portion of the Landfill being actively used that day. We don't just start in the middle and make a big pile, different areas are used at various times to make sure the landfill space is used most effectively. We also put drains and other pipes in to remove dirty water, called LEACHATE, and gases from the Landfill, but more of that soon....

On your way up to the FACE, there are special areas for bigger items that we recycle.
Some of the items that are to be left here are:
YARD WASTE (we turn it into mulch for the Landfill),
WHITE GOODS (that's what we call old appliances), and TIRES.

On the way up to the FACE of the Landfill (you'll be climbing quite a hill!),
you'll see some interesting things. The giant tanks (left photo) are full of the water that drains off, or is pumped off, of the Landfill. We call this water LEACHATE. The LEACHATE is stored in these tanks until it can be pumped into trucks, taken away to be treated, cleaned, and put back to good use as clean water. If you look closely at the other area (right photo), you'll see what looks like a chimney. Watch closely and you might see a flame! This is called a FLARE, and it safely burns off any gas that might escape from our state-of-the-art pumping system. We save as much of this gas as possible though, because electric companies can use it to make electricity!

Here's a photo of the FLARE at night, so you can see the flame....
On your trip up, you'll also drive by a GIANT fence! Isn't this the TALLEST fence you've ever seen? This is our LITTER FENCE. It keeps stray pieces of litter from blowing off of the Landfill. It is more than 40 FEET TALL!

Now you're at the FACE of the Landfill!

You'll most likely see other trucks that got here just before you did,
emptying their loads. BIG trash trucks, dump trucks, pick-up trucks...you'll see lots of them here! All day long, trucks come and go, leaving behind the trash that can't be recycled yet.

A COMPACTOR crushes the waste to make as much as possible fit in a small area.
Crushing, or COMPACTING, the waste helps us extend the life of the Landfill so it can be used for years to come. At the end of the day, we cover this active face with dirt and mulch to keep odors down, and to keep debris from blowing off of the landfill.

Test Your Landfill and Recycling Knowledge!

1. Where is the Sandtown Landfill?

a.) Camden, DE
b.) Sandtown, DE
c.) Sandtown, MD
d.) Dover, DE

Click here for the answer.

2. What is the name of Delaware's Recycling Program?

b.) Recycle Trash
c.) Recycle Sandtown

Click here for the answer.

3. What things can be recycled at RECYCLE DELAWARE Centers?

a.) cans
b.) newspapers
c.) glass
d.) all of the above

What should you remove from cans and glass jars?

Click here for the answer.

4. A truck weighing 89 tons pulls into the Landfill to deposit some material. When it leaves it weighs 63 tons. What was the weight of the material left behind?

a.) 2600 tons
b.) 26 tons
c.) 206 pounds
d.) 2.6 tons

Click here for the answer.

5. Why is recycling important?

a.) it helps save the environment
b.) it provides jobs
c.) it saves natural resources
d.) all of the above

Can you think of some items we use everyday that can be recycled? Choose one item and list three ways to use it?

How can you conserve fresh water?

Click here for the answer.

6. Why aren't white goods put into the landfill?

a.) may be recycled with steel scrap
b.) contains hazardous materials
c.) requires special handling
d.) all of the above

Click here for the answer.

7. Why is the garbage covered with dirt at the end of each day?

a.) so the trash does not blow away
b.) to reduce odors from the trash
c.) so the seagulls cannot get the trash
d.) all of the above

Click here for the answer.

8. What is the point of the litter fence?

a.) so people cannot get into the landfill
b.) so the litter stays within the landfill area
c.) help keep land animals out
d.) DSWA has soccer games on the weekends

Click here for the answer.

9. What is the machine called that smashes the trash at the landfill?

a.) trash smasher
b.) bulldozer
c.) trash compactor
d.) garbage truck

Click here for the answer.

10. What is the average amount of trash each person living in Delaware throws away every day?

a.) 25 pounds
b.) 4.4 pounds
c.) 42 pounds
d.) 2 pounds

Can you set a goal to protect the environment?
What are some things you can do to reach your goal?

Click here for the answer.

This resource can be used to help meet State Health Standard 1, Core Content: Community and Environmental Health, and State Health Standard 3, Self Management.