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 landfill covers are less than ideal. This author's review of the literature unear*****d significant studies that demonstrate potential solutions to this issue in the form of alternative landfill covers. One of the most promis*****g new landfill ***** being developed is called the evapotranspiration, which harnesses rather ***** 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 ***** showing their age.

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


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

Alternative systems have ***** ***** in an effort ***** provide better ***** functionality ********** at a fr*****ction of the cost. ***** alternative landfill ***** methods generally eschew efforts to provide absolute *****, recognizing the absurdity of ***** a go*****l. Instead, these ***** systems are designed to work on a site-specific basis ***** the local environmental *****. Contamination of the surrounding environment is reduced or


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