Introduction “Even with the current regulations and updated standards landfills are still a danger and unnecessary” zsLwqc zsLwqc zsLwqc
History of Landfills 3000BC- The first recorded landfill sites were created where waste was placed in large pits and covered with earth materials at various levels. The black plaque sweeps the streets causing better clean up 1800’s- household waste is collected by hand and sorted daily Association of Cleansing is established which today is known as Institute of Waste Management The first and oldest sanitary landfill in the United States was built and it was the first to use the trench method, layering of waste and dirt, and daily covering. It was first developed by Jean Vincenz and was the prototype for the future landfills. The Clean Air Act is passed to control air pollution The EPA prohibits open dumping laws are passed in 38 states for recycling The landfill tax is introduced in order to encourage alternatives Today- New regulations and laws but better standards into play for landfills but there is still a problem and with so many other alternatives.
What is a Landfill Dump- an open hole in the ground where trash is buried. Landfill- Carefully designed structure built into or on top of the ground in which trash is isolated from the surrounding environment. Sanitary Landfill- Landfill that uses a clay liner to isolate the trash from the environment Municipal Solid Waste Landfill- uses a synthetic ( plastic) liner to isolate trash from the environment
The structure of a landfill A. Ground WaterG. Drainage Layer B. Compacted ClayH. Soil Layer C. Plastic LayerI. Old Cells D. Leachate Collection PipeJ. New Cells E. Geotextile MatK. Leachate Pond F. Gravel (Freudenrich 2000)
Some Facts The U.S. has 3,091 active landfills and over 10,000 old municipal landfills. Americans throw away 1600 pounds of waste a year, which is about 4.5 pounds per person per day. “ Every year Americans discard, directly and indirectly, an amount if waste equal in weight to the Statue of Liberty.” ( McBean et al. 1995). Fresh Kills Landfill in Staten Island is the largest landfill in the United states and it was closed in It had accepted 27,000 tons of garbage, and covers an unbelievable 2200 acres and is able to be seen with the naked eye from space and is 225 ft tall.
The past of non-sanitary landfills Back in the 1930’s landfills were not built with lining or any protective guard for the soil or air for that matter. There was no monitoring or sanitary disposal. Love Canal, New York is a sad story Large quantities of toxic materials were dumped in Love Canal in the 1930’s After the dumping the building of houses and schools began in the 1950’s. By 1976 water from heavy rains caused a significant amount of chemical waste to migrate to the surface, where it contaminated the neighborhood. In the years to follow the area was stricken with higher then normal still births and miscarriages Babies were born with high amounts of birth defects Infants and children living there were having seizures, hyperactivity, eye irritation, skin rashes, and abdominal pain Also 75 % had shorter statue In 1984 a study showed that children had lower birth weight and out of 15 babies born during only 2 were healthy. Love Canal closed and many evacuated homes
Love Canal, New York
Current regulations and landfills The Clean Air Act: designed to make sure that Americans have air that is safe to breath. It requires the EPA to set national based air quality standards to protect against common pollutants including smog. EPA regulations require installation of gas collection and control system when landfills reach capacity. Double lining is required when building the landfill and continuous monitoring The lining system must consists of an upper liner of synthetic flexible membrane and the lower level of soil must be at least 0.6 meters thick. All landfills must have a leachate system Also there is a monitoring system of all local waters.
Current Problems with new standards The natural clay in landfills can crack and become fragile Some chemicals can break down or move through the clay liner The plastic liners are made from polyethylene and there are a number of household items that will make it become weak, soften and even brittle or crack To much surprise things like margarine, vinegar, alcohol will break down the plastic liner The leachate system can clog up from silt, mud, and microorganisms that grow in the pipe The covers of landfills are vulnerable from erosion by natural weather such as rain, hail, snow, freeze-thaw temps, and vegetation that sends roots down into the liners. Sunlight may cause clay to dry out and crack. Landfills are the nations 2 nd largest source of manmade methane pollution “ The EPA has failed to update the emission standards for landfills for a dozen years, violating its duty under the nations clean air laws” ( Patton et al 2008).
Still more problems In % increase in low birth weight among those exposed to gases from landfills in Montreal, Quebec. In 1997 a report found 33% increase in birth defect occurring in babies born to families living with 2 miles of any 21 landfills in 10 European countries. Researchers have discovered that even a small landfill of about 2.5 acres will pollute groundwater with 42 pounds per year; 42 pounds will contaminate 3.8 billion litters of water, by leaking waste into it.
Decomposition The many tons of waste in a landfill today will not decompose until 30 years from now. Mainly because the waste is compacted so tightly that the one component that breaks down waste, oxygen, can not get in.
Time it takes garbage to decompose! Time it takes for garbage to decompose in the environment: Glass Bottle million years Monofilament Fishing Line… 600 years Plastic Beverage Bottles…… 450 years Disposable Diapers………… 450 years Aluminum Can years Foamed Plastic Buoy……… 80 years Foamed Plastic Cups……… 50 years Rubber-Boot Sole years Tin Cans……………………. 50 years Leather years Nylon Fabric years Plastic Film Container years Plastic Bag years Cigarette Butt years Wool Sock years Plywood…………………… years Waxed Milk Carton………… 3 months Apple Core…………………. 2 months Newspaper………………….. 6 weeks Orange or Banana Peel weeks Paper Towel……………… weeks Information Source: U.S. National Park Service; Mote Marine Lab, Sarasota, FL.
Michigan and Canada’s agreement 23,750 tons of Toronto’s trash is being imported to Michigan Toronto’s load will add 1.2 million tons to Michigan's waste 20% of Michigan's landfill space is for imported waste All Canada’s landfills have closed due to community leaders and politicians. So they now import their trash to Michigan 200 trucks a day are going to Michigan with Canada’s household, school, and restaurant waste Michigan’s economy makes $100 million from the trade Since garbage is defined as a commodity it can flow across the border within the agreement of the free trade law Officials have stated that at this rate these landfills have 22 years remaining
Garbage to Michigan
Landfill numbers qTqqTq The EPA states “ While the number of landfills has steadily declined Over the years, the average landfill size has increased”.
The Future…… The green dot system and recycling Developed in Germany and has become very successful in maintaining trash Proper sorting of garbage is where this begins Germany has several colored recycling bins; green, blue, yellow, brown, and gray Everything has a bin to be put in to be collected.
To lessen amount of trash in landfills What Belongs Where? Brown bin (biological waste) Kitchen waste: old bread, eggs shells, coffee powder and filters, food leftovers, tealeaves and tea filters Fruit and vegetables: peels, apple cores, leaves, nutshells, fruit stones and pips, lettuce leaves Garden waste: soil, hedge trimmings, leaves, grass clippings, weeds, dead flowers, and twigs Other: feathers, hair, kitchen towels, tissues, sawdust, and straw Blue bin (paper) Envelopes, books, catalogues, illustrations, cartons, writing pads, brochures, writing paper, school books, washing detergent cartons without plastic, newspapers, paper boxes Yellow bin or bags (plastic, etc) Aluminum foil, plastic wrap, inside packaging materials Tins, cans, liquids refill sachets/bags, yogurt cups, body lotion bottles Plastic bags, margarine tubs, milk sachets, plastic packaging trays for fruit and vegetables, screw-top bottle tops, detergent bottles, carry bags, vacuum packaging, dishwashing liquid bottles Gray bin (household waste) Ash, wire, carbon paper, electrical appliances, bicycle tubes, photos, broken glass, bulbs, chewing gum, personal hygiene articles, nails, porcelain, rubber, plastic ties, broken mirrors, vacuum cleaner bags, street sweeping dirt, carpeting pieces, diapers, cigarette butts, miscellaneous waste
Take Back The next step to Germany’s plan is a Packaging Ordinance. This was developed in 1991 and requires manufactures to “ Take Back” their packages. Consumers pay a fee and then a green dot is placed on their product to indicate where it should be discarded This law requires every supermarket, drug store etc to accept responsibility for the products they produce and dispose of it properly By 2020 all landfills in Germany will be out of operation due to the Green Dot System and Take Back.
The End….. ?
Works Cited Berry, M & Bove, F (1997) Birth weight reduction associated with residence near a hazardous waste landfill. Environmental Health Perspective. 105, Brook, M (2006) The Tragedy of the Love Canal. Freudenrich, C (2000). How Stuff Works. Landes, L (2008). Zero Waste. Montague, P (1989) Clay Landfill Liners Leak in Ways that Surprise Landfill Designers. Environmental Research Foundation. McBean, Rovers & Graham (1995) Solid Waste, Landfill Engineering and Design. “Municipal Solid Waste” EPA (2008) Patton, V, Lynch, K & Crowel, S (2008) Environmental Defense Fund Takes Legal Action to Address Landfill Methane Emissions. Pechar, M (2004) Canadian Garbage Rogers, H (2005) Gone Tomorrow; the Hidden Life of Garbage. Scarlett, L (1994) Recycling Rubbish-Germany’s Recycling Program Schenkiam, L (2003) Great Trash State wants Canada Out. Penton Media. Waste Age Solid Waste Disposal-Fresh Kills Landfill (2002) Science and Technology n New York City.