Hopkins Landfill Project

landfillAbout the Project

The Hopkins Landfill cover system does not meet today’s standards and the active gas-extraction system, which was installed in 1996, will be improved to better control the migration of methane gas from the landfill.

Due to the potential of methane gas migration and the close proximity of a rather large number of homes to the landfill, the Hopkins Landfill ranks number 1 out of 112 on the MPCA Closed Landfill Program’s risk priority list for remedial response.

To reduce the risk to the public and to the environment a preliminary design has been prepared to accomplish the following:

  • move approximately 310,000 cubic yards of waste from the edges to the middle of the site;
  • reduce the footprint of the landfill from 26 acres to 16 acres;
  • install a new cover that meets current standards;
  • replace the active gas extraction system to increase efficiency and to better control landfill gas migration;
  • improve surface water drainage at the site; and
  • install two passive vents between the landfill and Raspberry Woods to vent a methane pocket.

Project Schedule

Construction began late this past summer (2012) and be completed by the following summer (2013).

During the waste-consolidation phase of the project, nearby residents will be impacted by the construction activities, which will generate noise and dust associated with heavy equipment, and may experience, depending on weather conditions, odors. Waste consolidation will occur over a three-month period from mid-September through December 2012.

The waste-relocating operation will be completed in sequential stages to minimize the extent of waste being excavated at any given time. After completion of each stage, the waste will be covered with soil. These steps are designed to keep the nuisance odor to a tolerable level for nearby residents.

Hopkins Landfill History

1969 landfill aerial

Click image for photos of the Hopkins Landfill through the years

  • 1964 – 1971: Open Dump
  • 1971 – 1980: Permitted Mixed Municipal Solid Waste (MMSW) Landfill
  • 1980: Landfill closed in accordance with requirements in effect at the time.
  • 1988: City investigates landfill gas, installs gas monitoring system, confirms migration.
  • 1991: City installs passive barrier on east and south perimeter of landfill. Some gas still present in monitoring system.
  • 1995: City and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency sign a Binding Agreement giving the MPCA's Closed Landfill Program responsibility to manage the landfill. City continues ownership of property.
  • 1995 – 1996: CLP installs an active gas extraction system. Flare begins operation in April 1996.
  • 1998 – 2005: Additional gas wells installed to supplement flare efficiency.
  • 2011: Hopkins Landfill is ranked #1 as the highest risk site in the CLP due to the potential for methane migration.


  • Patrick Hanson
    MPCA Project Manager

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