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

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


*****, the issue of waste management in the United States and the world is a signific*****nt one. Waste cont*****ues to pile higher every year, ***** landfills are filling up faster ***** ever (Albright et al. 71). When a landfill reaches its designated capacity, it is sealed and covered. In the past, th***** has meant the use of ra*****r ***** techniques. Usually, a l*****fill is lined with compacted clay before even one piece of garbage is dumped there. Then, when the landfill has been filled to capacity, the entire site ***** covered over. The purpose ***** all of this engineering is simple: reduce ***** environmental damage and impact ***** the site by lessening the degree to which pollutants and contaminants can leach from ***** site through the introduction of either groundwater or rain. ***** 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). ***** ***** words, conventional ***** 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 ***** landfill techniques are incapable of providing anywhere close to 100% isolation of the landfill from the environment. The end-result is contamination of the surrounding environmental *****, especially via soil conditions and the local water table. Cleanup costs for contaminated ***** ***** in the United States are already amount to several billion dollars (Dwyer, "Finding" 58). *****se costs can only be expected to r*****e unless *****tter cover methods can be devised for landfills.

Alternative systems ***** ***** ***** in an effort ***** provide better ***** functionality often at a fr*****ction of the cost. These alternative landfill ***** methods generally eschew ********** to provide absolute *****, recogniz*****g the absurdity ***** such a goal. Instead, these alternative systems are designed to work on a *****-specific basis with the local envir*****mental conditions. Contamination of the surrounding environment is reduced or


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