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Enabling better global research outcomes in soil, plant & environmental monitoring.

Landfill Solutions

Landfill Solutions

Material on this page is derived from material published by A-ACAP and used with permission. The A-ACAP site can be visited here.

Phytocaps for Australian Landfills

Today’s modern landfills separate compacted waste materials from the environment by use of liners – generally composites of clay and plastics– and engineered clay caps. They are meant to act as a ‘raincoat’ to keep out water.

The caps currently in use generally comprise compacted clays covered by a growth layer of soil and grasses.

The hydraulic performance of caps is generally set at 75% capacity of the base liner. As a result, most modern caps are fully engineered with imported clays or made up of local soils and a plastic layer.

These requirements are often costly, promoting the search for new capping solutions which are now being trialled and introduced. One of these involves the use of phyto (or plant-based) techniques.

What is a ‘Phytocap’?

The use of phytotechniques is well established in waste management and the concept of a ‘phytocap’ for modern landfills is now being increasingly considered in the US and Australia.


Landfill – Greenwaste

  • Currently installed in an urban landfill site.
  • Transects of MP406 and Temperature sensors.
  • Profiling moisture and temperature to control rate of greenwaste degradation.



Landfill Store & Release Cover


  • Installed in numerous landfill sites throughout Australia
  • Soil moisture and suction sensors installed to investigate the hydrological performance of phytocaps in sealing landfill sites.

Landfill – Sensor Protection


  • Cable connections are tightly sealed using self amalgamating and electrical tape, to prevent moisture incursion.
  • Cables are then encased in conduit for further protection.

Phytocover Lysimeter & Control



Conventional Lysimeter and Control