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Old 07-14-2019, 01:12 PM   #1
Undertoad
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Contrarian: landfills are better than you think

What you think about landfill and recycling is probably totally wrong via archive.org link to avoid paywall... or, if you prefer,

What you think about landfill and recycling is probably totally wrong via the original medium.com link if you don't mind paywalls

A well-researched and sourced piece. His nine points are:
  1. We arenít anywhere near running out of space for landfill.
  2. Properly run landfill doesnít hurt the environment in itself.
  3. Even really well operated landfills are a very cheap way to dispose of our waste.
  4. The main downside of sending something to landfill is we miss the chance to benefit from recycling it ó but recycling is only sometimes cheaper or better for the environment.
  5. The problem of rubbish polluting the sea, rivers and land can be most cheaply addressed by improving rubbish collection and making sure everything gets to landfill.
  6. Incinerating waste and generating electricity from it is an alternative form of rubbish disposal that is good for the environment and solves the problem permanently, but expensive to operate up front.
  7. Sending things to landfill isnít as Ďunsustainableí as you might think.
  8. Reusable straws and bags are often more resource intensive than single-use ones.
  9. If we donít use materials in the first place, we save resources and donít have to worry about any of the above.
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Old 07-14-2019, 04:43 PM   #2
xoxoxoBruce
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Quote:
2. Properly run landfill doesnít hurt the environment in itself.
3. Even really well operated landfills are a very cheap way to dispose of our waste.
At the link he says
Quote:
But a well run landfill site has a concrete lining, drainage for fluids, electricity generation from gases produced by decaying matter, active monitoring to ensure water and surrounding natural areas are not being affected, and more.
Concrete lining? I don't think so, but anyway the landfill he was referencing in NC fills 50'x50'x14' everyday. That's a lot of space, combined with all the people and equipment to do it right, plus NIBY, means these landfills are not going to be everywhere. They'll be away from population centers making the trash, so it has to be trucked, constantly, uphill both ways.

Further on in the same article it talks about Leachate(bad water) and Methane(Bada Boom) coming from the site and the possibility of screwing up groundwater, so all this must be monitored and handled. Then it says when the site is full up and closed down they must monitor the site for another 30 years. Yet some of the things in that landfill will take centuries to break down. Are they saying the things breaking down after 30 years aren't a problem?
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Old 07-18-2019, 05:47 PM   #3
Happy Monkey
I think this line's mostly filler.
 
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I think the bags and straws are more of an old-fashioned pollution issue; along the lines of cigarette butts (ubiquitous garbage) or can rings (specifically dangerous to sea life due to shape).

Plus, when intersecting them with the question of recycling, they both are actually quite bad for recycling machines, as they are light enough to gum up the works and stretch and melt into machinery rather than break into chips and proceed along the conveyor.
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