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 c*****ventional 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 ***** demonstrate potential solutions to this issue in the form of alternative ***** 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 this technique, as well ***** some other alterative methods, has the real potential to become a viable ***** to ***** conventional landfill covers that are showing their age.

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


*****, the issue ***** 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 se*****ed and covered. In the past, ***** has meant the use of rather conventional techniques. Usually, a l*****fill ***** 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 of all ***** this engineering is simple: reduce the environmental damage and impact of the 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). ***** ***** words, ***** landfill covers ***** 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 and membranes ***** tear. Over time, this means that conventional landfill techniques are incapable of providing anywhere close to **********% isolation of the landfill from the environment. ***** end-result is contamination of ***** surrounding environmental *****, especially via soil conditions and the local water table. Clean***** costs for contaminated landfill sites in ***** United States are already amount to several billion dollars (Dwyer, "Finding" 58). These costs can only be expected to r*****e unless *****tter cover ***** ***** be devised for **********.

Alternative systems ***** ***** ***** in an effort ***** provide better long-term functionality *****ten at a fraction of the cost. These alternative landfill ***** methods generally eschew efforts to ***** absolute *****, recognizing the absurdity of such a goal. Instead, these alternative systems ***** ***** to work on a site-specific basis with the local environmental conditions. Contamination ***** the surrounding environment is reduced or


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