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 conventional techniques are significantly flawed. High implementation costs combined with a question*****ble long-term track record means that ***** 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 ***** 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 ***** technique, as well as some other alterative methods, h***** the real potential to become a viable alternative to the conventional landfill covers that are showing their age.

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


*****, the issue ***** waste management in the United States and the world is a significant one. Waste continues ***** pile higher every year, ***** *****s are filling up faster ***** ever (Albright et al. 71). When a landfill reaches its designated capacity, it is se*****ed and covered. In the past, this has meant the use of ra*****r conventional 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 *****, the entire site is covered over. The purpose ***** all of this engineering is simple: reduce ***** environmental damage and impact ***** the site by lessening ***** degree ***** which pollutants and contaminants can leach from the site through the introduction of either groundwater or rain. ***** covers can be simple or 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, conventional ***** covers ***** designed to act like enormous box lids over and already-sealed system to isolate the site from the environment.

Unfortunately, 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 ***** tear. Over time, this means that ***** landfill techniques are incapable of providing anywhere close to *****00% isolation of the landfill from the environment. ***** end-result is contamination of ***** surrounding environmental system, especially via soil conditions and the local water table. Cleanup costs for contaminated ***** *****s in the United States are already amount to several billion dollars (Dwyer, "Finding" 58). These costs can only be expected to r*****e unless better cover methods can be devised for landfills.

Alternative systems ***** been developed in an effort to provide better ***** functionality often at a fraction of the cost. These alternative landfill cover methods generally eschew ********** to ***** absolute containment, recognizing the absurdity ***** ***** a go*****l. Instead, *****se alternative ***** ***** ***** to work on a site-specific basis ***** the local envir*****mental *****. Contamination of the ***** environment is reduced or


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