Essay - Literature Review Alternative Landfill Covers: Time for Revolution in Waste...

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Literature Review

Alternative Landfill Covers: Time for Revolution in Waste Reclamation


Even a cursory ex*****mination of the existing, recent literature on the subject of landfill covers reveals that conventional techniques are significantly flawed. High implementation costs combined with a question*****ble long-term track record means that conventional ***** covers ***** less than ideal. This author's review of the literature unearthed significant studies ***** demonstrate potential solutions to this issue in the form of alternative landfill covers. One of the most promising new landfill covers being developed is called the evapotranspiration, which harnesses rather than fights natural hydrologic cycles. It can be concluded that this technique, as well as some other alterative methods, has the real potential to become a viable ***** to ***** conventional landfill ***** that are showing their age.

Keywords alternative, landfill, covers, *****, pollution, reclamation


*****, the issue of waste management in the United States and the world is a signifi*****t one. ***** continues ***** pile higher every ye*****r, and l*****fills ***** filling up faster than ever (Albright et al. 71). When a landfill reaches its designated capacity, it is sealed and covered. In the past, ***** has meant the use of rather conventional techniques. Usually, a l*****fill is lined with compacted clay before even one piece ***** garbage is dumped there. Then, when the landfill ***** been filled to capacity, the entire site ***** covered over. The purpose of all of this engineering is simple: reduce ***** environmental damage and impact of the ***** by lessening ***** degree ***** which pollutants and contaminants can leach from the site through ***** introduction of either groundwater or rain. Landfill covers can be simple ***** complex, but are designed with individual sites in mind to control moisture, percolation, promote runoff, minimize erosion, and meet aesthetic demands (EPA 1). ***** other words, ***** ***** covers ***** designed to act like enormous box lids over and already-sealed system to isolate the site from the environment.

*****, this contained ideal is rarely realized in practice. Conventional containment techniques, such as compacted clay layers or geotextile membranes, have the tendency to be breached. Clay will crack and membranes can tear. Over time, th***** means that conventional landfill techniques are incapable of providing anywhere close to *****00% isolation of the landfill from the environment. The end-result is contamination ***** ***** surrounding environmental system, especially via soil conditions and the local water table. Cleanup costs for contaminated ***** ***** in ***** ***** States are already amount to several billion dollars (Dwyer, "F*****ding" 58). These costs can only be expected to r*****e unless better cover methods ***** be devised for landfills.

Alternative systems ***** ***** ***** in an effort ***** provide better long-term functionality often at a fr*****ction of the cost. ***** alternative landfill cover methods generally eschew *****s to ***** absolute *****, recognizing the absurdity ***** such a go*****l. Instead, these ***** systems ***** ***** to work on a ********** basis with the local environmental *****. Contamination of the ***** environment is reduced or


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