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

Keywords alternative, landfill, covers, evapotranspiration, pollution, reclamation


Clearly, the issue ***** waste management in the United States and the world is a signific*****nt 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 sealed and covered. In the past, th***** has meant the use of ra*****r ***** techniques. Usually, a landfill is lined with compacted clay before even one piece ***** garbage is dumped there. Then, when the ***** has been filled to capacity, the entire site ***** covered over. The purpose of all ***** this engineering is simple: reduce the environmental damage and impact of ***** site by lessening the 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). In ***** words, conventional landfill covers are 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 pr*****ice. Conventional containment techniques, such as compacted clay layers or geotextile membranes, have ***** tendency to be breached. Clay will crack ***** membranes can tear. Over time, th***** 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 the 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, "F*****ding" 58). These costs can only ***** expected to rise unless better cover ***** ***** be devised ***** landfills.

Alternative ********** ***** ***** ***** in an effort to provide better long-term functionality often at a fr*****ction of the cost. These alternative landfill ***** methods generally eschew *****s to provide absolute *****, recognizing the absurdity ***** ***** a go*****l. Instead, *****se alternative systems ***** designed to work on a site-specific basis with the local envir*****mental conditions. Contamination of the surrounding environment is reduced or


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