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

Abstract

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 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 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 alternative to ***** conventional landfill covers that are showing their age.

Keywords alternative, landfill, *****, *****, pollution, reclamation

Introduction

*****, the issue ***** waste management in the United States and the world is a signific*****nt one. ***** cont*****ues ***** 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, ***** has meant the use of ra*****r ***** techniques. Usually, a l*****fill ***** lined with compacted clay before even one piece ***** garbage is dumped there. Then, when the landfill ***** been filled to *****, the entire site ***** covered over. The purpose of all of this engineering is simple: reduce the environmental damage and impact of ***** ***** by lessening the degree ***** which pollutants and contaminants can leach from ***** site through the introduction of either groundwater or rain. Landfill covers can be simple or complex, but ***** designed with individual sites in mind to control moisture, percolation, promote runoff, minimize erosion, and meet aesthetic demands (EPA 1). ***** ***** words, conventional ***** 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 ***** clay layers or geotextile membranes, have ***** 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 of ***** surrounding environmental system, especially via soil conditions and the local water table. Clean***** costs for contaminated ***** ***** in ***** ***** States are already amount to several billion dollars (Dwyer, "Finding" 58). These costs can only ***** expected to rise unless better cover methods can be devised for landfills.

Alternative systems have been ***** in an effort ***** provide better long-term functionality often at a fraction of the cost. These alternative landfill cover methods generally eschew efforts to provide absolute *****, recognizing the absurdity ***** ***** a goal. Instead, *****se alternative systems are ***** to work on a site-specific basis ***** the local envir*****mental *****. Contamination of the ***** environment is reduced or

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