Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Introduction to my Landfill blog

My name is Stephanie Matson and I am going to be basing my blogs on Landfills and the effects it has on the environment. I am hoping to find lots of information that will change peoples routines when it comes to throwing things away. A landfill is a system of trash and garbage disposal in which the waste is buried between layers of earth to build up low-lying land. (Merriam-webster.com). A landfill is a carefully designed structure built into or on top of the ground in which trash or waste is isolated from the surrounding environment. This is done with a bottom liner and a daily covering of soil.  There are many parts to a landfill, the bottom liner is only one part. The liner separates trash and subsequent leachate from ground water. It can be clay or plastic,effectively creating a bathtub in the ground. If the bottom liner fails, waste will migrate directly into the environment causing dangerous and hazardous conditions. (http://www.neiu.edu/~reseller/ehpg16lndfl.htm). Everything is flattened to make room for more waste, almost like a pancake. The term sanitary landfill was first used in the 1930's to refer to the compacting of solid waste materials. The Greeks practiced landfilling over 2,000 years ago but they did not compact the waste. (Richman, Vita, The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. 2008). Nationally, about two-thirds of the countries landfills are owned by local governments while about one-third are privately owned( www.scdhec.gov/recycle ). Old and new landfills are typically located next to large bodies of water (i.e., rivers, lakes, bays, etc), making leakage detection and clean up extremely difficult.(http://www.zerowasteamerica.org/Landfills.htm ). I am hoping that I can inform many people about landfills and their effects on the Earth in future blogs, and open them up to recycling. The number of landfills in the United States is decreasing, while the volume of waste is increasing, therefore we need  to look for a change.