Landfills Often in rural areas; city landfill reclamation can be relatively more rewarding Fresh Kills, Staten Island, NY 2,200 acres
Landfill Reclamation Use of term ‘reclamation’ Major motives Recovery, processing and resale of material Reduce landfill footprint Recovery of space
Landfill Reclamation Excavation- actual mining of the site, removing waste and separating materials Soil and compost, metals, plastics, glass Combustible fuel, methane Can be expensive to process to market quality Much rarer for an attempted restoration to a productive ecosystem
Challenges Subsidence Hazardous waste Gases and leachate Old landfill designs
Potential Goals ‘Garden’ or cultivated sense is common, e.g. city park, passive recreation; nature conservation. ‘Useful space’ Using adjacent habitats as reference sites, to reach for as much connectivity as possible Restoring a site to historical conditions may only be worth it when: very specific past ecological role small densely populated region
Techniques Establishing cap/ground stability and a thick soil layer are crucial Establishing trees on cap was considered a bad idea Rupture cap Dry out cap Gas, leachate, high temp Roots are not as effective or penetrating as thought Major barriers to plant growth Compaction: preplanting aeration/tilling very beneficial Landform: natural drainage, minimize waterlogging Soil depth: 1.5 m at least for clay caps
Natural Restoration Return some semblance of natural process; idea of eliminating limiting factors, or ‘guiding’ Connector or green-way between larger natural areas Natural restoration requires less soil quality, less topsoil and far less upkeep than agriculture More flexible landscape design- settlement/poor drainage areas etc become microhabitats, not problem areas; also, easier to accommodate gas recovery systems, etc
Restoration Ecology Unarguably beneficial in terms of ecological, human interests Economics often limiting factor in restoration projects- yet in Collier County, FL: 26 acre landfill; 7 year project $300,000 capital expenses $4.5-5 million saved over seven years Public support is often strong, and community involvement easier to garner
Restoration Ecology What does landfill reclamation represent? Recycles large amounts of otherwise lost material, reduces footprint, and provides opportunity to resolve toxicological issues Parkland or ‘usable space’ is a huge step ahead of brownfield in terms of productivity Landfill restoration? Returns ecosystem function Can improve ecosystem health, connectivity; develop new human connection to the land No historical element
References AS Gregory, A. V. (2003). Effects of amendments on soil structural development in a clay soil-forming material used as a cap for landfill restoration. Environmental Sciences and Pollution Mgmt, 273-276. Harvard. (1990). Landfill Reclamation Project- Collier County. Retrieved April 20, 2011, from Harvard Kennedy School's Government Innovators Network: www.innovations.harvard.edu/awards.html?id=3501 Lazarus, A. (1995). Landfill mining and reclamation- An emerging technology. Environmental Sciences and Pollution Mgmt, 36-39. Nelson, H. (1995, Vol. 36). Landfill reclamation projects on the rise. BioCycle, 83-84. Simmons, E. (1999). Restoration of landfill sites for ecological diversity. Waste management and research, 511.
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