Landfills at mines seldom get much attention. The size and glory of the waste rock dump, the heap leach pad, and the tailings impoundment quickly overshadow the lowly landfill. Yet there are landfills at mines and they should be properly planned, constructed, operated, and closed.

A 2006 manual Fort Knox Mine Solid Waste Management Plan reminds us forcefully of what is involved in landfills at mines, particularly in interesting places like Fairbanks, Alaska. This eight-page document succinctly reminds us of the need to deal with recyclables, burn piles, hazardous waste, putrescible waste, and other wastes at a mine. The document succinctly reminds us of the need to avoid surface and groundwaters, to control access, to maintain safety, to have emergency plans in place, and to provide for secure closure. I recommend this slim volume to all mines that do not have such a plan or having such a plan want to check the content and adequacy of their plan.