Vetiver System for Landfill stabilization and treatment of effluent

Introductory Photo Essay on Vetiver System and Landfills  VS_Landfill_leachate.pdf (

In the US, landfill management is an important business, with millions of tons of waste being disposed every year.  One of the most difficult and costly obligations for nearly all of the landfills is managing leachate, which is generated when rainwater percolates through the waste and becomes contaminated.  If not collected and treated, it can contribute to polluted waters, causing major environmental and public health problems.  Common solutions for managing leachate include hauling off-site to a wastewater treatment plant, thermal evaporation, or an on-site treatment facility, but all of those systems can be very expensive and increase the facility’s carbon footprint.  Nature-based systems like phytoremediation and constructed wetlands are alternative cost-effective solutions that can be considered.  One of the engineering companies that provides natural systems is Leachate Management Specialists ( who have become leading US experts in using vetiver for contaminated liquid.  Working closely with Paul Truong in 2011, the company’s founders helped install the first-of-its-kind vetiver-based leachate disposal system at a closed landfill in the state of Mississippi operated by Republic Services.  The project is still in operation and has helped the landfill avoid over a million dollars in off-site trucking and disposal costs.

In this type of vetiver system, leachate is processed through a fully automated pretreatment and distribution system before being pumped across a field of vetiver on top of the landfill through an irrigation system.  The approach capitalizes on the natural ability of vetiver to utilize the components of leachate (moisture and various contaminants) as beneficial resources.  Moisture is consumed due to vetiver’s high evapotranspiration capacity and contaminants act as micro and macro nutrients to fuel plant growth.  A system using vetiver also reduces rain infiltration into the landfill, resulting in less leachate generation, further protecting groundwater and surface water resources.  Vetiver is particularly well-suited for solving this problem due to other characteristics such as its root structure and tolerance to harsh environmental conditions.  To learn more, watch this short video “Using Vetiver Grass for Landfill Leachate Disposal with Phyto-Utilization”.  Explore us at

Photo 1 Phytoremediation of Landfill Leachate using Vetiver at the Gulf Pines Landfill Excellent example of quality application of vetiver to a landfill project in the US.
Photo 2 Vetiver at a landfill in Queensland, Australia where leachate was delivered by overhead

Video:  Using Vetiver Grass for Landfill Leachate Disposal with Phyto-Utilization