After the disposal phase, the closure of a landfill begins, followed by the aftercare phase. The time period of the closure and aftercare phase is determined by the authorities. In the closure phase, the landfill operator of a landfill must take all necessary measures to establish a surface sealing system. The measures are described in the Landfill Directive depending on the class of landfill (see German Landfill Directive, Annex 1, Table 2).
The aftercare measures serve to control, reduce and avoid emissions, immissions, troubles and hazards. Even before the start of the disposal phase, appropriate trigger thresholds (groundwater monitoring values) are defined taking into account the hydrological conditions and groundwater quality and suitable groundwater measuring points for monitoring these thresholds are established. The landfill operator must create the required measuring equipment and carry out appropriate checks until the end of the aftercare phase. In addition, the operator is responsible for handling leachate and landfill gas and is obliged to minimise other inconveniences or hazards.