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Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to our most frequently asked questions

When did Sunny Farms first open?

Sunny Farms opened in 1970.

When do you expect the landfill to be full?

The landfill will be full in 2030 according to the latest annual operational report prepared for Ohio EPA using 2017 fill rates.

How big is the landfill and how much trash is buried there?

Landfill space is measured in cubic yards. In mid-2018 there were approximately 23 million cubic yards of waste and soil cover in the landfill, with permitted space for an additional 24 million cubic yards.

How much waste does the landfill process every day?

The landfill currently receives between 6,000 and 7,500 tons daily.

Who can bring trash to the landfill?

Sunny Farms accepts materials from a wide variety of customers, including residents and businesses in Seneca County and those from elsewhere in Ohio, as long as their home counties allow them to bring materials to Sunny Farms. We also accept materials from individuals and businesses from outside Ohio, so long as their materials are non-hazardous and otherwise acceptable.

Why does Sunny Farms accept waste from out of state?

Federal law does not allow restrictions to be placed on wastes from other states. Materials are accepted, if allowed by the facility’s permits, regardless of where the materials originate.

What does the landfill accept and what does it not accept?

Sunny Farms Landfill primarily accepts construction and demolition debris (C&D) from the construction and demolition of buildings. We also accept solid waste from residences and businesses. Materials come from households, construction projects and commercial sources, but do not include hazardous, infectious or toxic wastes.

Does the landfill sell anything to residents?

Sunny Farms does not sell anything beyond its disposal services.

What will happen when the landfill is full?

The landfill will be covered with a “final cap” and monitored for a minimum of 30 years. One hundred thirteen of the landfill’s 261 acres already have a final cap in place, and another 22 acres is being capped.

What protects the environment from what’s buried in the landfill?

Sunny Farms protects the environment in a number of ways. First, a bottom liner, which consists of thick compacted clay and a dense plastic layer, prevents contaminants from entering the ground or water below the landfill. A leachate collection system, consisting of a network of pipes, and pumps, collects all water that comes in contact with waste so that it can be transported off-site for treatment. Another protection is soil cover, which Sunny Farms routinely applies during operations to keep the waste in place and to reduce the potential for odors. Methane and other gases are collected by a vacuum piping system to prevent them from escaping the landfill. When the landfill closes at the end of its life, a final cap will be added over the waste to prevent rain water infiltration and contain landfill gases.

What is a cell?

Because it’s not practical to construct an entire landfill all at once, landfills are typically built in discrete segments known as cells. A cell is a distinct area within the landfill where wastes are placed until the cell is filled. A new adjacent cell is then constructed for continued operations.

What happens to all of the methane gas that is produced?

The methane and other gases are collected by a gas collection system consisting of a network of gas wells, vacuum piping and a flare system which harmlessly burns off the collected gas. Note that methane – or natural gas – is the same gas that many of us burn to heat our homes and businesses.

Does the landfill attract birds?

Landfills generally attract seagulls, but with Sunny Farms’ waste material being primarily construction and demolition, the attraction for birds is minimized.

What is being done to minimize potential odors?

The landfill applies soil cover daily over the working face and checks for odors several times each day. The facility’s gas collection piping system is expanded at least annually to collect and destroy the landfill gases that could cause odor.  Sunny Farms also is installing a new treatment system to eliminate hydrogen sulfide gas, which can cause odors.

How is Sunny Farms contributing to the Fostoria community?

Sunny Farms Landfill contributes to the community in numerous ways. In addition to its philanthropic activities, the landfill in 2018 paid more than $4 million in local wages, more than $3 million in payments to local businesses and nearly $400,000 in local taxes. Sunny Farms also paid more than $5 million in landfill fees, 61 percent of which was paid to local communities. To see some of the other ways we contribute to the community, browse our News section.

Is Sunny Farms hiring?

Sunny Farms continually accepts applications for employment and hires as positions become available. Please contact us if you are interested in opportunities.

Does the landfill pose any risks to the environment?

As describe earlier, Sunny Farms applies best landfill management practices to avoid environmental impacts. First, a bottom liner, which consists of thick compacted clay and a dense plastic layer, prevents contaminants from entering the ground or water below the landfill. A leachate collection system, consisting of pipes and pumps, collects all water that comes in contact with waste so that it can be safely transported off-site for treatment. Sunny Farms applies soil cover daily to keep the waste in place and to reduce potential for odors. Methane and other gases are collected by the facility’s gas collection system and burned off by flares. When the landfill closes at the end of its life, a final cap will be added over the waste to prevent rainwater infiltration and contain landfill gases. Groundwater around the landfill is regularly monitored, and regular surface scans are performed to detect landfill gases. These safeguards greatly minimize any risks to the environment.

What impact does the landfill have on public health?

Sunny Farms is subject to numerous state and federal environmental regulations and employs best management practices to ensure there is no impact from our operations on public health.

How does the community know if the landfill is taking the proper safety and environmental precautions?

Sunny Farms must renew its license annually with the Seneca County General Health District and is subject to a number of state and federal laws and regulations designed to protect public health and the environment. Additionally, Sunny Farms submits detailed monitoring data, logs and other records to the Seneca County General Health District and Ohio EPA. Personnel from these agencies regularly inspect the facility to confirm that applicable regulatory requirements are being met.

Is there a governing body that oversees or monitors the landfill?

The Ohio EPA and the Seneca County General Health District are the authority responsible for inspecting Sunny Farms Landfill on a routine basis. In addition, numerous operational logs, monitoring data, written plans, engineering drawings, and permit applications are submitted to these agencies for review and approval before implementation of operation changes or facility modifications.

Why does Sunny Farms choose to burn its collected methane gas instead of pursuing a gas-to-energy solution?

Gas-to-energy projects are fairly complex in the areas of gas quality, the location of end users and infrastructure. Sunny Farms periodically investigates the potential for uses of its gas and will continue to do so. To date, there has not been a viable option for this type of project.

What does a landfill look like?

Click here to view a conceptual landfill layout.