Solid Waste Transfer Station Geotechnical Guidance
This guidance document is advisory in nature but is binding on an agency until amended by such agency. A guidance document does not include internal procedural documents that only affect the internal operations of the agency and does not impose additional requirements or penalties on regulated parties or include confidential information or rules and regulations made in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. If you believe that this guidance document imposes additional requirements or penalties on regulated parties, you may request a review of the document.

Form #: 06-248 Guidance Documents Revised: 1/13/23

Solid Waste Transfer Station Geotechnical Guidance

Transfer stations can vary by design, size, method of operation, location and other factors. For example, some transfer station operations utilize a pit for the collection of waste, while others will collect the waste directly from the floor. All facilities will be covered with a roof that will need to be supported. Some transfer stations will be small enough to be supported by many soil types, while others will require specific types of soil. Finally, the topography at the transfer station may be flat or sloping.

A geotechnical sampling plan should be completed on the basis of the preliminary design of the transfer station. The preliminary design will dictate the amount of sampling required. The engineering property that is usually of interest to the designer of a transfer station is the strength of soil supporting the various features of the transfer station. The investigation of the on-site soils is aimed at determining the density, water content, and classification so that the soil strength can be calculated and engineering decisions made.

Within the geotechnical sampling plan limits, enough soil samples should be taken to identify the in-place density, moisture content, and classification of all soils beneath the features of the transfer station. Representative, undisturbed samples should be obtained from each soil beneath the site. Large, disturbed samples should be taken in cases where the soil must be reconstructed. Structures designed with footings or posts embedded below the frost line would require site-specific soil boring information.

It is possible to use Soil Conservation Service Soil Survey reports as the source of engineering properties for soil. This source should be used with caution since the data is usually not site specific. The engineering properties in the Soil Survey would be satisfactory for designs utilizing slabs on grade (slabs placed on natural, undisturbed soil).

If you have any questions concerning the geotechnical testing requirements at your site, contact the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy’s Waste Management Section at (402) 471-4210.


  • NDEE Main Line (402) 471-2186
  • NDEE Toll Free Number (877) 253-2603
  • NDEE Hazardous Waste Compliance Assistant (402) 471-8308
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Produced by: Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy, P.O. Box 98922, Lincoln, NE 68509-8922; phone (402) 471-2186. To view this, and other information related to our agency, visit our web site at