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 examination of the existing, recent literature on ***** subject of landfill covers reveals that conventional techniques are significantly flawed. High implementation costs combined with a questionable long-term track record means that conventional ***** covers are 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 covers being developed is called the evapotranspiration, which harnesses rather ***** 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 alternative to the conventional landfill ***** that are showing their age.

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


Clearly, the issue ***** waste management in the United States and the world is a significant one. ***** cont*****ues to pile higher every year, ***** landfills ***** filling up faster than ever (Albright et al. 71). When a landfill reaches its designated capacity, it is sealed and covered. In the past, this has meant the use of ra*****r ***** techniques. Usually, a l*****fill is lined with compacted clay before even ***** piece of garbage is dumped there. Then, when the landfill ***** been filled to *****, the entire site is covered over. The purpose of all of this engineering is simple: reduce ***** environmental damage and impact ***** the ***** by lessening the degree ***** which pollutants and contaminants can leach from ***** site through the introduction of either groundwater or rain. ***** covers can be ***** or complex, but are designed with individual sites in mind to control moisture, percolation, promote runoff, minimize erosion, and meet aesthetic demands (EPA 1). In ***** 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 ***** clay layers or geotextile membranes, have ***** tendency to be breached. Clay will crack ***** membranes can tear. Over time, this means that conventional landfill techniques are incapable of providing anywhere close to 100% isolation of the landfill from the environment. The end-result is contamination of ***** surrounding environmental system, especially via soil conditions and the local water table. Cleanup costs for contaminated landfill *****s in the United States are already amount to several billion dollars (Dwyer, "Finding" 58). These costs can only ***** expected to rise unless better cover methods ***** be devised ***** landfills.

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


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