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

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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 conventional ***** 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 landfill covers. One of the most promis*****g new landfill ***** being developed is called the evapotranspiration, which harnesses rather than fights natural hydrologic cycles. It can be concluded that this technique, as well ***** some other alterative methods, has the real potential to become a viable ***** to the conventional landfill covers that are showing their age.

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

Introduction

Clearly, the issue of waste management in the United States and the world is a signific*****nt one. ***** cont*****ues ***** pile higher every year, ***** *****s are filling up faster than ever (Albright et al. 71). When a landfill reaches its designated capacity, it is sealed and covered. In the past, ***** 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 has been filled to *****, the entire site is covered over. The purpose of all ***** this engineering is simple: reduce ***** environmental damage and impact of the site by lessening ***** degree ***** which pollutants and contaminants can leach from the site through the introduction of either groundwater or rain. Landfill 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). 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.

*****, this contained ideal is rarely realized in pr*****ice. Conventional containment techniques, such as compacted clay layers or geotextile membranes, have the tendency to be breached. Clay will crack ***** membranes ***** 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 ***** ***** surrounding environmental system, especially via soil conditions and the local water table. Clean***** costs for contaminated landfill ***** in ***** ***** States are already amount to several billion dollars (Dwyer, "Finding" 58). These costs can only ***** expected to r*****e unless better cover methods ***** be devised ***** landfills.

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

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