One of the great evils in American society is over-reliance upon solid waste disposal. Garbage is simply heaped upon the ground, but at a location where few look at it, thereby making it 'go away' and yet it has not gone away. The liquid leachate from landfill is poisonous and will pollute groundwater. The notion that somehow this does not matter, or that the landfill can be 'lined' is improbable. It will leak and poison the groundwater.
People routinely throw things away that could be recycled. That is why in America there is so much landfill. At a transfer station where people dump truckloads of household trash, huge amounts of metal, wood, concrete, plastic, and so on are all thrown together in a big mess.
A greater amount of 'automatic' recycling would be appropriate. So an individual throws aluminum metal into the trash, this reflects badly upon the individual, and yet it is the duty of the landfill corporation (for example, Waste Management Inc) to reduce the landfill by picking out the recyclable objects. This would raise the cost of landfilling, but also increase the amount of recycling.
The final and very urgent need is to incinerate the trash as a fuel, thereby generating electricity. There are definitely incinerator designs which attain a sufficiently high flame temperature to burn cleanly and efficiently such that air pollution is not an issue. As to the fly ash itself, it can be mixed into concrete. It could also be used to make offshore islands. The fly ash could also simply be dumped at sea. Presently the environmental trend is towards acidification of the oceans, since fly ash is an alkali, it would offset that trend. The ocean also contains every element in the periodic table, so contamination from fly ash is not an issue.
When it comes to politics, who will address this issue? The issue of garbage? A republican? A democrat? Nobody wants to talk about the garbage. It is very counter-productive and a shameful byproduct of our lifestyle and nation, and is ruining both land and groundwater as we speak. Any who disagree should spend 20 minutes standing at a transfer station in a large city. What you will see is mind-boggling and disgusting, and wrong.
analogee at gte.net
- Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash, by Elizabeth Royte.
A Recycling Revolution Recycling doesn't have to be just another household chore. We can use it as an opportunity to connect with our family, raise funds for our churches and schools, and educate our students.