“There is nothing more unsightly than a garbage dump,” proclaimed Larry Aldrich, Executive Vice-President of the United States National Recycling Council. “And it’s becoming increasingly more evident that New York City and all cities are at risk for a repeat of the same problem.” In an article for the New York Times, Aldrich stated, “New York City is moving even faster toward becoming a major regional recycling center.” With this in mind, the owners of Atlas dump and other garbage dump companies should join the growing team of leaders encouraging the use of e recycling to reduce the trash that fills our landfills.
In response to this challenge, The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) called on all cities, counties, and states to designate a Regional Recycling Office. This office will oversee all of the trash dump’s hazardous waste and recycling services. In doing so, cities, counties and states will better serve their citizens and contribute to a cleaner environment. However, the cities and counties still must make their share of the responsibility by meeting the needs of their residents and ensuring that adequate trash disposal services are provided.
The problem is that many cities and counties have little land available for landfill sites. One solution is to create a special area within the City that will contain trash that cannot be recycled or used for non-hazardous waste disposal. Such landfills are designed to accommodate trucks that handle very large items. On the other hand, residential areas do not have the necessary room for such landfills. And because some landfills are located within city limits, those within the city itself may be subject to municipal laws that may limit trash dump placement. Consequently, it becomes necessary to look to other places for a safe location for a garbage dump.
“There is no doubt that the storage of solid waste is more expensive than the transportation of it,” said John Holahan, associate director for government and public affairs for the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA. “The problem is that solid wastes cannot be transported to landfills, which pose a threat to their safety.” In most cases, landfills are not large enough to accommodate the volume of trash being produced in any city. As a result, the majority of landfills in the United States are used to store organic waste, which poses a greater environmental threat than does solid waste.
For this reason, many landfills are established adjacent to existing housing developments. This makes sense from an environmental standpoint, but presents some unique issues for local land-use authorities and sanitation departments. If the trash from neighboring properties is not taken offsite to a landfill, the street or local street address may become secondary to the new address. And in the case of apartment complexes and multi-unit buildings, the land will revert to the community’s main article.
For these and other reasons, a nationwide trend has developed toward the construction of above-ground, modular, open-air landfills. These are structures above ground that contain the trash of a building site but are located relatively far away from the building itself. The primary advantage to these types of landfills is that they can easily meet all regional curbs and regulations while providing easy access for local governments and private businesses. Some countries, such as India and Pakistan, have used these types of landfills for years, but the majority of countries with landfills have chosen to build portable, closed-pit types of mechanical biological treatment (MBT), which allows for easy dumping without the use of waste conveyors.
Another advantage to a below-ground sump or pit is that the material will be contained. In most areas, including metropolitan Los Angeles and New York City, this is accomplished using pressurized carbon dioxide (CO2) gas, which is stored in drums onsite. If emissions are present at any time, the waste disposal system immediately removes them via a secondary, closed loop system. A major benefit of this method is that there is no accumulation of heavy mineral or bacterial materials that could potentially cause odors and contamination problems for surrounding residents. One major drawback to this type of system is that, depending on the regional climate, emissions of CO2 may exceed the levels that are stabilized, leading to a rise in the concentration of airborne contaminants.
A final benefit to the construction of above-ground trash compartments is the prevention of the proliferation of new landfills. In most cases, the majority of landfills are placed on undeveloped property and will not be owned by the individual or the community. With the construction of above-ground units, the landfill owner is given many years to develop a community environment around their new storage area, including proper landscaping and community events. However, a major setback to this type of recycling system is that, depending upon the waste product, it can take up to forty years for the waste to generate a usable amount of energy.