The Deffenbaugh Landfill

The Deffenbaugh Landfill of Johnson County is located at Interstate 435 and Holliday Drive in Shawnee, Kansas. Situated on nearly 1,000 acres with a secure perimeter, the Deffenbaugh Landfill is a modern Subtitle D landfill. Please click to view a conceptual cross-section drawing of the landfill.  More than 800 trucks enter and exit the Deffenbaugh Landfill every day, providing a vital service to the region. The landfill is open for commercial trucks 364 days per year, 24 hours a day.  Residential drop off hours, rates and details can be found on our Customer Convenience Center page.  This area offers a safe, convenient option for residents to bring their extra waste, appliances, and large items just inside the gates of the landfill.  The landfill includes a separate 27 acre facility for processing yard waste.  Hazardous materials are not accepted at the landfill. An on-site gas recovery facility at the Deffenbaugh Landfill converts landfill gas, a natural by-product, into energy used to heat and cool more than 5,000 area homes every day.

Landfill Odors

In recent weeks, the City of Shawnee and Johnson County Landfill have received an increasing number of odor complaints from residents and neighbors.  While there are other sources of odors in the immediate area (such as the cleaning of sludge pits at the Mill Creek Regional Wastewater Plant beginning in September and land applying of the sludge on area farm fields), we acknowledge that an increase in landfill gas generation has resulted in odors from the landfill.

Typically, it generally takes 3 to 5 years for recently disposed trash to produce landfill gas.  From April to August, Johnson County Landfill received 34 inches of rainfall, approximately 15 inches above normal. This rainfall had an impact on the waste being deposited in the landfill and has caused an acceleration of the decomposition of the trash. As a result, this has produced landfill gas at a much more rapid rate. The increase in odors is due to this increase in landfill gas generation.  While none of the odors produced by the landfill is dangerous to human health, they are objectionable and are deserving of immediate attention. 

Here are the immediate steps being taken at Johnson County Landfill to address the odors:

  • Increasing the use of deodorizing agents at the facility.  
  • Installation of a passive landfill gas flare system at the active disposal area to capture landfill gas.
  • Upon approval by KDHE, expansion of the existing landfill gas management system including an additional 32landfill gas extraction wells and associated piping for the capture of landfill gas. This system includes an additional landfill gas flare that will place the new gas extraction wells under vacuum allowing the landfill gas to be collected and safely flared.  This construction will begin mid-January. 

January 25 Update:

  • Fourteen of the 32 gas extraction wells have been installed. This week, the focus of both crews is the installation of collection header piping. We are currently installing lateral collection header piping in the active area to connect to the installed wells. The main 24" collection header piping, which will connect to the lateral header collection piping and the active flare, is also being installed at this time.
  • The new flare is still scheduled to be delivered to the site this Wednesday, January 27 and will be operational by the weekend. After the flare is operational, the crews will then continue to drill the remaining gas extraction wells and connect them to the new flare system.

During the expansion of the landfill collection system, increased odors from the landfill are possible. We ask for your patience during this period as we are working aggressively to address and control odors. 

Extension of Closure

Deffenbaugh Industries received a permit from the City of Shawnee in 2011 to extend the landfills use through 2043.  We are aggressively pursuing diversion programs to further the life expectancy of this is currently considering options to extend the life of the Deffenbaugh Landfill beyond the projected closure date.

In turn, the City of Shawnee has prepared some Frequently Asked Questions about the possible extension of the life of the landfill.

Questions and Feedback

The Deffenbaugh Landfill provides a vital service to residents throughout the Kansas City metro area. If you have questions or feedback about the landfill or the extension of closure process, please contact CustomerService [at] DeffenbaughInc [dot] com (Customer Service).