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 questionable long-term track record means that ***** ***** covers ***** less than ideal. This author's review of the literature unearthed significant studies that demonstrate potential solutions to this issue in the form of alternative landfill covers. One of the most promis*****g 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 the conventional landfill ***** that are showing their age.

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


*****, the issue of waste management in the United States and the world is a signific*****nt one. ***** continues to pile higher every year, and *****s ***** filling up faster ***** ever (Albright et al. 71). When a l*****fill reaches its designated capacity, it is sealed and covered. In the past, this has meant the use of ra*****r conventional techniques. Usually, a landfill 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 ***** all of this engineering is simple: reduce the environmental damage and impact ***** ***** ***** by lessening the degree ***** which pollutants and contaminants can leach from ***** site through the introduction of either groundwater or rain. ***** covers can be ***** ***** 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 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 practice. Conventional containment techniques, such as ***** clay layers or geotextile membranes, have ***** tendency to be breached. Clay will crack and membranes ***** tear. Over time, this means that conventional landfill techniques are incapable of providing anywhere close to 100% isolation of the landfill from the environment. ***** end-result is contamination ***** ***** surrounding environmental system, especially via soil conditions and the local water table. Clean***** costs for contaminated ***** ***** in ***** United States are already amount to several billion dollars (Dwyer, "F*****ding" 58). These costs can only ***** expected to rise unless better cover ***** can be devised for landfills.

Alternative systems have ***** ***** in an effort to provide better ***** functionality often at a fr*****ction of the cost. These alternative landfill cover methods generally eschew efforts to ***** absolute conta*****ment, recognizing the absurdity of such a go*****l. Instead, *****se ***** ***** are ***** to work on a ********** basis ***** the local envir*****mental conditions. Contamination of the surrounding environment is reduced or


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