Wake County

Solid Waste Management Division

Summer 2019
Next Meeting
South Wake Landfill Citizens Committee

The South Wake Landfill Citizens Committee meet every six months, in March and September The next  meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 24, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. 

NOTE: Citizen Committee meetings are for members, they are not public meetings.  Please contact us in advance to insure there is sufficient space.

Location update: Our meetings are now held at the new field office at South Wake Waste Management Facilities, 6025 Old Smithfield Rd, Apex, NC 27539


If you are interested in becoming a member or would like to attend the next meeting, please contact us .  

The South Wake Landfill Citizen Committee was established in 2006 with the purpose of providing:
  • A forum for neighbors of the landfill to have a voice in its continuing development
  • A conduit for information between landfill staff and the neighboring community regarding activities at the landfill

Tree Planting Program

Due to a low number of applications for free trees, the Solid Waste Management Division has decided to suspend the Tree Planting Program until we receive expressed interest from residents in and around the landfill.  

Traffic Statistics
Number of Garbage Trucks

Avg Trucks/
May 2019
April 2019
Mar 2019
Feb 2019
Jan 2019
Dec 2018

The above table shows the average number of trucks per day and the total number of trucks per month tipping waste at the South Wake Landfill, over a six month period, from December 2018 through May 2019. 

The landfill is open Monday through Saturday from 7:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. To request more information about truck statistics and tonnages, please contact us
Landfill Tours
2019 Schedule

Residents boarding the landfill tour bus
Wake County Solid Waste staff provide free tours of the South Wake Landfill to the public and interested groups wanting to learn more about what happens to their garbage.  Take a guided tour and learn:
  • How to reduce waste at home
  • How to recycle more than you can leave out at the curb
  • How trash is being turned into energy
  • What items can be harmful if you put them in the trash
Tours last one hour and participants are required to ride the landfill tour bus. Upcoming public tour dates include: 
Seating is limited. Registration is required. All tour participants must be aged eight years by the date of the tour. Click here to  register or to learn more about touring the South Wake Landfill.
Have Questions?

We strive to keep residents well informed on activities taking place at the landfill and welcome all feedback. If you would like more information, have questions or concerns do not hesitate to contact us. If this newsletter has been forwarded to you and you would like to sign-up to receive the newsletter  click here.
Telephone : 919.856.6424
Address:  Wake County, Solid Waste Management Division, P.O. Box 550, Raleigh, NC 27602
Director: John W. Roberson,  PE 
Stay Connected
Like Us on Facebook

Wake County Solid Waste Management Division is on Facebook sharing information on waste reduction, reuse, recycling and waste disposal services in Wake County.
To stay up-to-date on the latest news and events connect with us on  Facebook .
Landfill Odors: 
Important Improvements Update

Since our last newsletter, we have been pursuing several issues related to landfill odors.  It is noted that our odor complaints numbers are up this past winter/spring as the following chart shows.  Ultimately, the continued development in the area closest to the landfill is one explanation, but other significant issues were weather (extreme rain this winter/spring) and equipment breakdowns.
Since the opening of the South Wake Landfill in 2008, a significant number of neighborhoods have developed nearby.  At that time, the closest neighborhood was approximately three quarters of a mile from the landfill.  Today there are houses within 900 feet (less than a quarter mile) from the landfill.  This has effectively led to a significant increase in odor related complaints over recent years. 

Wake County's Solid Waste Management Division, along with our landfill operator (Waste Industries) have put into place numerous operational and constructed solutions that have not been fully satisfactory in minimizing odor complaints.  However, we are constantly continuing to evaluate various methodologies to minimize odors.  It is important to note that due to proximity there is no solution currently available that will eliminate all possible chances for occasional odors, especially at the nearby neighborhoods (less than half mile).  The goal is to minimize the occurrence and duration of those events. 

It is important to note that there are two areas of odor control.  First, the County's Solid Waste Division's primary focus is on landfill gas related elements.  As the waste in the landfill decays, methane (which itself is odorless) is generated and does its best to escape the landfill, taking with it a variety of malodors.  Our landfill gas system is a series of wells, piping, blowers and a flare for destroying the methane and the corresponding odors.  The Division works with a third party, Ingenco, in converting most of the methane to electrical power (5-6 Mwh).  The second area of focus for minimizing odors is the working face of the landfill (where the waste is placed and compacted daily).  The working face, which moves daily, and its associated odors are the responsibility of Waste Industries.  Based upon conversations with Waste Industries, beyond the minimization of the daily size of the working face and providing appropriate cover at the end of every day, they are also pursuing new and hopefully improved approaches to dealing with these odors.

Regarding landfill gas odor mitigation, we are pursuing the following items:
  • Installation of 13 additional landfill gas well pumps.  This will triple the number of wells with pumps and allow the removal of further water blockage of wells for the purposes of extracting more landfill gas and destroying it before it becomes a malodor.  This work was completed in late May.
  • Installation of 30 automated landfill gas wellheads.  All the wells (over 60) currently are manually adjusted on a weekly/every other week basis to maximize landfill gas collection.  Unfortunately, with rapidly changing weather conditions this means that sometimes the wells get out of balance within days (or sometimes hours) of the weekly/bi-weekly adjustments.  This can lead to the potential for malodors.  The installation of automated wellheads (very new cutting edge technology) will allow the wells to stay in balance (samples are taken every hour and adjustments made every 3 hours) compared to weekly or even every other week for the manual tuning.  Installation was completed in mid-May.
Wake County's Solid Waste Management Division is very excited about the above two projects and their potential to reduce landfill gas related malodors.  Further, there are a couple of additional projects that are under consideration that will hopefully be completed in the next few months:
  • Contract with a company called Envirosuite that will provide a mobile based app for complaints as requested by the Town of Holly Springs Board as well as a software/hardware solution that will allow the County to provide much more reliable information regarding malodors.  The contract for this is in process with an expectation of the system being in place and fully operational by the end of July.
  • Installation of additional landfill gas piping that will allow our system to be more efficient in collecting landfill gas.  This work is expected to start in August and be complete by September.
  Regarding the efforts to reduce working face odor mitigation, Waste Industries is pursuing:
  • The use of a sprayed-on material that will be added to Waste Industries' daily closure process that has been used successfully in similar applications in landfill and compost operations.  They expect to have an operational pilot test use of the material by mid-June. 
  • Wake County continues to work with Waste Industries to make sure that the landfill is fully closed at the end of the day per permit requirements. 
  • The equipment and rain issues mentioned previously have made the landfill closure difficult on a few occasions during the past few months.  We will continue to insist that our facilities meet all requirements for closure daily. Note that the existing perimeter vapor-based odor control system is expected to stay in place and continue operations.
  We believe the combination of items described above will provide the best opportunity to minimize odor related impacts. 

Please be aware that our facilities are not the only potential source of odor related issues in the area.  There is a privately-owned construction & demolition landfill next door to us (to the north next to 540) as well as both a municipal wastewater plant to our north (near Bojangles on 55) and south (Holly Springs industrial park off Green Oaks Parkway).

Please contact the Wake County Solid Waste Division if additional information is needed or if there are any questions.
South Wake Waste Facilities
Redesign & Improvement Project Update

Wake County Solid Waste Management Division are excited to announce the redesign and improvement projects at South Wake Solid Waste Management Facilities are now complete.

New Convenience Center Site #2

The construction of the new  Convenience Center was completed in August 2018. It is open 7 days a week, from 7 am until 7 pm. For a list of items that can be dropped off at Wake County Convenience Centers follow this link

New Household Hazardous Waste Facility

The new  Household Hazardous Waste Facility was completed in April 2019. It is open Mon-Sat, from 8 am until 4 pm. For a list of items that can be dropped off at Wake County Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Facilities follow this link

New Multi-Material Recycling Facility

The new  Multi-Material Recycling Facility  was completed in April 2019. It is open Mon-Sat, from 8 am until 4 pm. For a list of items that can be dropped off at Wake County Multi-Material Recycling Facilities follow this link

New Field Office

The new field office was completed in June 2019. It will be used by staff to maintain a more permanent presence at the landfill. In addition, it will be used for operational meetings, citizen committee meetings, educational purposes and landfill tours. 

All facilities are now open for business as usual. We thank you for your patience as we've completed these improvements